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  • Aug 27th, 2012 @ 2:10pm

    (untitled comment)

    UKNova distributed torrents of UK TV programmes. Virtually all the UK TV companies are *not* members of FACT, except one, the one whose programs were being distributed and were removed upon request. At least some of the other TV companies are aware of UKNova's existence, as witnessed by UKNova having received occasional requests in the past from TV companies and duly removing them. I even remember seeing a photo of a BBC presentation years ago with a picture of the speaker standing in front of a projected UKNova logo for goodness sake. I'm not saying any of them approved of UKNova, but it was clearly known about and tolerated (presumably becasue of the strict policy of not allowing commercially available material on the site).

    Civil legal actions are not cheap. Seriously, would anyone here be willing or prepared to lose everything and have their lives seriously disrupted for years? Even if they won and recovered costs then they would still have a financial and emotional loss. And that's what FACT is relying upon.

    And yes, the SurfTheChannel case has clearly emboldened FACT into bringing private prosecutions too, or at least the possibility of more. With the knowledge that they won being commonplace (though it's currently being appealed) would anyone really take that risk?

    FACT stated “ALL links or access to content provided by UKNova are infringing, unless you can prove that you have obtained explicit permission from the copyright holder for that content,”. Read that comment from them again. It's *very* carefully worded. It doesn't reveal that they have no legal standing to bring a prosecution (remember, virtually all the UK TV companies aren't members of FACT) but it does make a particular point, that all the (commercially produced) programs listed on UKNova have a copyrightholder somewhere. That the copyrightholder hasn't taken action to date doesn't prevent them doing so in the future. It was superfluous for FACT to state (demand?) that the site obtain the explicit permission of the copyrightholder(s). But I suspect that if FACT were to take proceedings they would claim that to be necessary.

    Really, all it would take would be someone slipping copyrighted material belonging to a FACT member onto the site. No matter if it was removed within minutes, the fact it was made available however briefly would suffice to allow FACT to start a civil or criminal action.