When The Entertainment Industry Takes Down Linking Sites, It Makes It Harder To Take Down Actual Infringing Content
from the is-it-worth-it? dept
And yet... it continues. TorrentFreak has been covering how the latest copyright laws in Spain (which have been updated repeatedly over the past few years at the demands of Hollywood) mean that linking sites -- which, in the past, had been declared perfectly legal -- may now face tremendous liability. As a result of this, a few of those sites have decided to shut down. That's not surprising, and I'm sure that the legacy copyright players are excited about this result, high-fiving each other around the office, saying "job well done." Except, of course, it's not. In another post, where TorrentFreak spoke to the folks behind Wiziwig, a sports linking site that has shut down, there's an aside where it becomes clear that because Wiziwig has shut down, actual streams of sporting events may be more available than in the past:
“What we noticed Thursday [the day the site went down], and that’s what we’ve always been thinking, is that the Premier League has only been focusing on Wiziwig lately to take down streams, like those from [P2P streaming service] Sopcast for example,” Wiziwig told us.Now, I'm sure some copyright system defenders will argue that this is an okay tradeoff -- that in taking down the middleman linking site, they also made it harder for people to find those other streams that remain up. But... that's unlikely to be that true. The folks who really want to watch these kinds of things are generally members of communities of folks who are equally interested, and the links to new sources can get passed around quite quickly. So the people who are watching the infringing content still get to do so.
“If we added a Sopcast link for a game in the Premier League, then quickly that link was made inaccessible. On Thursday all Sopcast channels kept working all day, without any been taking down during the early kickoff, 3pm game and late game. Coincidence?”
The idea that the soccer league had been using Wiziwig to find streams and have them taken down at source was confirmed when matches streamed from other sources also remained up.
“Same applied with Veetle links, as when those previously appeared on Wiziwig they were quickly taken down. If we didn’t add them they were working all game long, while people could find them easily in Veetle. That also applied to several other links.”
All that's really happened is that the copyright holders who are rushing around trying to take down everything now have made their own job more difficult by going after a tool that helps them find the actual infringement. That's why it's really dumb to focus on the middlemen rather than the actual end users who are streaming the infringing content.