UK Court Finds That Simply Linking To Infringing Videos Is Not Infringing

from the took-a-while-though dept

We've seen more than a few lawsuits over the years by the entertainment industry against various sites that merely link to infringing content. The entertainment industry likes to make the claim that this is inducing infringement, but if you're just pointing to a bunch of YouTube videos, it's difficult to see how that should be considered infringement at all. In one such case, over in the UK, a site called tv-links.co.uk, after years battling this in court, was found not to have infringed on the copyrights of movie studios. The case was brought by FACT, the "Federation Against Copyright Theft," but had little evidence of any actual infringement being done by the site, who merely linked to videos found on YouTube, Veoh, DailyMotion and other sites.

FACT originally claimed that the site "facilitated" copyright infringement on the internet, despite that not being a part of UK law. Eventually, the official charges were "Conspiracy to Defraud and breaches of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act," which is quite similar to what OiNK's admin was charged with. And just like how OiNK's Alan Ellis was found not guilty, the court has sided with TV links, noting that it didn't actually infringe on anyone's copyrights directly. Of course, this still took years of having to fight it out in court and a ton of resources -- some of which were frozen by a "financial restraining order" during the case itself.

So while it's great that TV Links prevailed in the end, it does show how the decks are usually stacked again those doing perfectly legal things. If the entertainment industry does decide to sue, you're basically facing a huge, costly and painful legal battle, no matter how strong your case is. The system is weighted way too heavily in favor of the entertainment industry, such that they can bully sites they don't like into compliance in many cases, even if they're legal. It's great that TV Links was able to make it through the process, but many other sites don't even have the chance -- and that's why these kinds of lawsuits keep showing up.
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Filed Under: infringing, linking, uk, videos
Companies: tv-links


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Feb 2010 @ 10:40am

    Re:

    And all this time, I thought it was pneumatic tube system created during the Eisenhower Administration.

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