TV-Links: RIP

If any of you guys thought that UK had a copyright law that is any less retarded than ours, think again. Apparently, over there you can actually go to jail for linking to copyrighted material illegally hosted on a foreign site. Sin, the maintainer of tv-links.co.uk who commented on here several times, was arrested the other day and his website was shut down.

Yes ladies and gentlemen – UK is all kinds of fucked up. In some ways even more so than we are. I don’t recall anyone being put in the slammer for linking to youtube, stage 6 and dailymedia. So watch out guys.

In the meantime, let’s try to find a good replacement. This might be a good place to start.

Post your favorite tv-links like site. Also, shameless link whoring is allowed, as long as your website is on topic (ie posts free streaming TV shows and movies).

Update 10/22/2007 09:44:53 AM

If you want to donate for the tv-links legal fund, you can do it here. Btw, I’m not sure if this is legit, but what the hell. Thanks to Gary for posting it in the other thread.

[tags]tv links, tv-links.co.uk, sin, copyright, copyfight, tv-links shut down[/tags]

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21 Responses to TV-Links: RIP

  1. Jake UNITED STATES Konqueror Linux says:

    Okay. I can understand the site being illegal. I can understand fining them for so much money. I don’t understand actually putting people in jail for this sort of this. Let’s just hope this practice doesn’t move to the states any time soon.

    (About my “posted using,” I’m on an old machine waiting on a comp to upgrade to Kubuntu Gusty)

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  2. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @Miloš – thanks!

    @Jake – I have no clue why they went this far. Perhaps there was something else going on there. Now that I read the article, it only says he was arrested. So chances are they booked him, questioned him and then released him. Still it seems a bit much for just linking to youtube vids.

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  3. Aaron UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    This is total…something.

    Not only did it make watching the TV shows I already pay for more convenient (I pay for a cable connection, but rarely am available to watch the shows when they are actually on), but it also made it so I could watch old shows that have been off the air for years or decades.

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  4. james UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    forumflicks.com is the one that I use most regularly. For TV shows, videostic.com has a small selection of shows, but it has a lot of newer episodes of shows, and they’re usually embedded right on the site, with stage6, which is a huge plus.

    Its a sad day when TV Links gets shut down.

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  5. Marie UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I was wondering what happened to the site.

    I agree with Aaron, I pay for a cable connection, but can never watch shows when they’re actually on. And, I get to watch shows that were out before I was old enough to enjoy them.

    Although it’s not streaming video if the show is long, there’s http://www.veoh.com . If the show is a certain length, you have to download their special player to watch it. Not the best thing, but at least it works.

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  6. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    And, of course one can always just find the whole season of any given show on bit torrent. :P

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  7. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Someone posted a link to a legal fund for the tv-links case in the other thread.

    Not sure if it’s legit, but whatever. Here is the link:

    http://humanopinion.org/support_for_tvlinks

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  8. Mr. C UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Yes ladies and gentlemen – UK is all kinds of fucked up. In some ways even more so than we are.

    Wow, for someone who champions freedom and amongst the distribution of media, you’ve proven yourself to be quite the ignorant racist bigot.

    Sin is a criminal, he facilitating the use of piracy. Saying he can’t face legal action because he doesn’t host the videos is like saying the guy on the street selling illegal copies of DVDs can’t face prosecution becuase he did not make the DVDs himself (before you make any comments about making money, hosting a site like TV links is still a breach of copyright law, and if you break the law, you can be prosecuted).
    If Sin had been living in America, the MPAA would’ve gotten onto him a lot quicker, I daresay, than FACT did.
    So, seeing as he would’ve been arrested despite his nationality, Please explain your racist comment.

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  9. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Racist? That was not my intention. I always thought that Europe was a bastion of sanity when it comes to copyright law. I’m just disappointed to see that UK decided to take example from the worst country in the world with respect to IP regulations – the US, and then kick it up a notch. The use copyright law is fucked up beyond usability.

    But, so far I haven’t heard about anyone being arrested in US for running a link site or a tracker. People get sued, fined and etc, but not arrested and thrown to jail. I thought that this was kind of harsh. But either way – if there are were arrests in US, then its still harsh. US is not a good example to follow. Following US agenda on copyright and intellectual property is like learning about freedom of speech from China.

    All I’m saying is – don’t copy US! We have a horribly broken copyright model here, and you can do much better than this.

    Your example is off the mark though. Better analog here is a guy who stands on the street and when asked tells people you can buy bootleg DVD’s 3 blocks from here from a guy named Bob who lives in apartment 4a. Is that a crime? You tell me.

    In fact, I thought that TV-links was sort of a public service that benefited both the average internet user and the copyright holder. If you are concerned about your property being posted on dailymotion, stage6 and all the other places you can really use sites like TV-links to locate offending clips and send DMCA letters to the companies that host them.

    This way the clips get taken down and no one can watch them. All that is accomplished by arresting the host of tv-links is ruining some poor guys life, while all the clips are still available for everyone to use. All they did was to remove a popular link index but none of the copyrighted content was removed.

    Sorry if it sounded racist, but I really didn’t intend it to come out that way. Also, since I’m technically a European citizen, I don’t think that criticizing fellow Europeans can actually count as racism. :)

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  10. Mr. C UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    oh, well, that’s all right then. Comments revoked. :)

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  11. discostoo UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    It has shown though that the TV companies over here are not meeting the demand of your average internet user. TV links had 0.4% share of the entire internet “audience”. BBC, ITV etc seriously need to justify my licence fee and all that advertising and introduce some proper on demand services.

    To arrest some one for linking to videos has set a dangerous precedent though, even if he was released without charge.

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  12. Errant UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    BTW ‘arrested’ in the UK simply means charged – otherwise they can’t take him to court, if that makes sense. Probability is he will just get a fine (I’m pretty sure that the criminal sentence for copyright infringement of this sort is a maximum fine).

    Oh and also BTW the law is the same in the US as well :) so the same would have happened to him there :P

    See were not totally screwy (uh then again…)

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  13. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Oh, hmm… Good to know. We are people divided by a common language I guess. ;) When I read arrested I think handcuffed, taken down town and held in a jail cell for few hours till someone posts bail.

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  14. Errant UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Lol, yeh so now you know why we call it that! Makes the whole country look wickedly macho… when the truth is he probably sat in a nice comfy room for 1/2 an hr eating donuts and drinking crap coffee :D

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  15. Yoda UNITED STATES Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Another cool spot that popped up: http://www.vidictive.com

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  16. Mats Rauhala FINLAND SymbianOS says:

    In Finland it is against the law to talk about breaking copyright protections. One person is waiting for the decision of high-court for using libdvdcss2.
    It is also basically illegal to own a mp3 player in here since you cant make copies for even personal use.

    It is getting even more retarded than the US system.

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  17. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    [quote post="2037"]In Finland it is against the law to talk about breaking copyright protections. One person is waiting for the decision of high-court for using libdvdcss2.[/quote]

    Well, it’s technically illegal here in US too. Libdvdcss2 is illegal under US DMCA. It’s legal to talk about it – it’s just not legal for me to tell you where to find it, post source code, or tell you in detail how to re-create it.

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  18. arparp UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    All kindsa mixed up here dogg.

    DeCSS and libdvdcss2 are different and in my opinion under statute should be treated differently. DeCSS was purely a circumvention tool and contained no other functionality, and distribution that 2600 did was clearly illegal according to the (admittedly kinda whack) DMCA statutes. On the other hand, libdvdcss2 has a few hurdles to jump (notably 1201(a)(2)(B)) but overall could pass muster in 1201(a)(2). The current Wikipedia article on libdvdcss2 posits the interoperability exception.

    Linking to copyrighted works however isn’t about the DMCA or circumvention. It’s about infringement and liability. Fair use applies, if that was your motivation, but linking to a page whose primary purpose is infringement or a direct link to infringement is clearly contributory to that infringement. Trying to play technical games and saying the page isn’t taking the user there, the user is taking himself etc, doesn’t pass muster in any reasonable system.

    P.S. IANAL.

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  19. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    Yeah, I think you are right about libdvdcss2. Thanks for the clarification!

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  20. tv links UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    Can you do an update about this tv links thing? a lot of things have changed since you created this post and it would be interesting to see the changes and also your thoughts on what happened.

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