Sounds like they've got a bit of an ego problem.. someone needs to tell them that they are NOT the police and this isn't, quite yet, a fascist/communist state
Gloucestershire police have confirmed that a 26-year-old Cheltenham man at the centre of an investigation into the website TV-Links was arrested under section 92 of the Trade Mark Act, on suspicion of supplying property with a registered trademark, without permission. The man was taken into custody on Thursday last week after …
If this site is illegal then any site that displays links that features trademarked names (by anyone other than the trademark holder) is surely also illegal.
I suppose the next target will be sites and even magazines that actually dare show pictures of trademarked items!
'Shooting yourself in the foot' comes to mind...
So, are they defining a URL as a trademark?
Or is it the use of a logo which was acting as the link button?
Either way i really do see this as a complete nonsense to go after this particular website. As was commented after the original story, why didn't the authorities just use this site to track where the copyrighted material was actually hosted and take action agaist those sites?
Or is this an indication of the quality and knowledge of the law enforcement personnel?
So anyone who links to trademarked material is breaking the law now? Given that just about every website has trade names, copyrighted material etc., than half the links on the web will be leading you to information that falls foul of that ridiculous interpretation.
Next they'll be locking you up if you dare to speak a trademarked name without prior permission... those street level CCTV cameras'll have microphones attached in no time, with FACT operatives ready to pounce if you dare to distribute such information as "I like Hovis bread, did you know you can buy it at Asda?"... just you watch.
As I've said (anonymously :)) on previous occasions, it's important El Reg gets its FACTs right in cases like this, rather than just regurgitating FACT/RIAA/MS "anti-piracy" press briefings.
Because if the FACTs had been clear in the first instance here, it would have been *even more* embarrassing to the Police, to Trading Standards, and to FACT than this already is.
I don't mind FACT making themselves look daft, but htf have they persuaded Trading Standards and the fuzz to act as their heavy mob? I can't even get the cops to turn out when a bunch of mindless yobs are demolishing stuff in the local park - "we must prioritise risk to life and limb", they say. Where's the risk to life and limb here, Inspector Knacker?
Probably because this is the first bit of work they have had for ages. Whenever I hear their name a mental image of an office with nobody doing any work springs to mind (or maybe playing with loads of counterfeit software).
Think I'll go Anon on this one, if they are bored they might decide to pick on me for no reason.
The Fanatics Against Clarity and Truth just love it don't they.
Makes you wonder whose advice they took to go forward with this (currently) dodgy looking action. Maybe they figure they can coerce the guy into some kind of plea bargain thing - something else I've never understood. Just why would you admit lesser guilt to anything if you're innocent as though the courtroom was just some big poker table.
@ GettinSadda - you said "So, if I tell you that you can buy Heinz beans at www.tesco.com is that an infringement?"
No, that wouldn't be a crime, however advertising where there are a load of Heinz beans that have been stolen and are being given away for free would be. (Different crimes, obviously, but analagous)
It's a bit of an odd decision to go after this guy though, as the first people you think that would be getting a visit from FACT/The Rozzers would be Google, with their massive piracy backed search engine (YouTube/Google Search). Unless they want to get someone who can't really defend himself so that there is a precident for when they do Google...
Having said that, it was pretty stupid for this guy to embed stuff, that's probably what done for him in the end.
perhaps a better acronym for this copyright organization would be FICTION, or even FANTASY (this case certainly seems whimsical enough).
the F would stand for "fools", the I for "idiots", C for "cretins", T for "tools", A for "arseholes", S for "sheetheads" (ee:=i, but the filter doesn't know that), etc. Y is, of course, "youth" (all catchy acronyms have this).
and while i'm throwing stones, i don't suppose the police still serve their intended purpose, to protect and serve society? truly, they find so many ways to transcend their founding principle, it gives new meaning to "scope creep".
This isn't the first time trademark law has been brought in as a "we're gonna get him for something measure".
I remember a few years ago when some motorcycle dealers took to bringing in new bikes from over the channel, then changing the speedo and lights to UK spec and then selling them at a great saving over the official bikes. The big Japanese manufacturers tried to get them for various things, most of which were thrown out due to the free movement of goods laws of the EU, and they eventually resorted to persecuting, sorry prosecuting the dealer for use of their trademark without permission.
It seems to be used in the same way that anti-terror laws get abused left right and centre.
I don't think this situation is like saying you can get Heinz baked beans at www.tesco.com since Heinz gives Tesco permission to sell their beans.
A better analogy might be that it's like telling people you can get flawless copies of Heinz baked beans without paying Heinz (or anyone) from www.allurbeans.com.
Ditto with Hovis ;)
I wonder if FACT got permission from GNR before using a photo with one of their monitors in it (trade marked logo visible) on their front page.
This sort of thing is a saddening waste of resources, why don't they turn FACT into something useful like .. err...... Forcefully Acting on Clitoris Terrorism? (sorry couldn't think of anything)
Oh please. Don't even start that crap. Like many other people I watch Yank TV shows by downloading/streaming them, not because I'm a dirty little parasite, but because I won't be able to buy the DVD for at least a year after it shows in the states.
And you'll never believe this, WHEN it comes out on DVD I tend to buy it (providing it's reasonably priced) and delete the file on my PC to save space.
Yes I know, shocking isn't it.
Get a clue.
i dont see why we cant still have tv shows up there, i can understand newly released films being a problem, but surely the so called "free to air" programs arnt such a big deal! i say we get a petiton going!! haha
anyway the way i see it, is that its likely some big corporate company has seen an opertunity, to "cash in" on this and will probly set something up very similar in the near future, with a supscription charge ect ect... but first the competition has to be removed!
p.s did anyone make an offline copy of the site with all the links?
Money and property. That's all the police & CPS are interested in dealing with - as in protecting it for those who pay the current govt's bills (party political bills). How else to explain thousands of police "protecting" Heathrow (owned by a Spanish company) from all those dangerous citizens/subjects this year?
Have any of you considered what CROWN Prosecution Service means and how it operates? Perhaps you should. Perhaps you should all think about the fact that England & Wales DID once have grand juries, where citizens/subjects (you pick) decided which cases should be prosecuted and which shouldn't.
The "great and the good" decided that was more than a little inconvienent and abolished them. Now we have an agency which acts in the interests of the Crown (govt) while being funded by us.
Constitution? England has heard of it.
You will notice that no one who actually put up any of the dodgy material on to the intarwebs is getting their wrists slapped here... Neither is any of the countless people who accessed these links... so um, I don't really see how the law (or even WHAT law) is actually being enforced here.
Just wondering whether TV-Links linked to content on Google Video or YouTube. Considering lots of companies have a presence on there, it would be an interesting argument to say that TV Links can't link to video X which is ours, but can link to video Y on the same site, because it is ours.
Now lets read this bit again: "The man has not been charged with any offence, and has been released pending further investigation."
So a few questions if i may...
So are we saying here, the trademark and copyright laws are incompatible with this particular situation because the material was not hosted on tv-links servers?
Is it likely that F.A.C.T maybe "elaborated" on its findings to get the site down in the first place?
If the answers to the questions above are "Yes", wouldn't this mean that the facilitators at F.A.C.T could be charged with purgery along with wasting police time and resources?
They can wish the law said something different all they like, but they have a duty to enforce the laws as they stand. At the very least he should file a complaint with the police complaints authority and his local MP.
I know the fashion in the UK is for the police to drive the law making with their demands, but this is one step beyond that.
FACT = Federation against copyright *THEFT*, even though there is not such thing as copyright theft, it's copyright infringement. So already you can see that group plays fast and loose with reality, so they claimed it was a copyright raid when it wasn't.
I also hope FACT weren't present during the raid, there was a problem with BSA attending software copyright raids, as the complainant they gained the opportunity to plant evidence by physically being involved in the raid. If FACT were present I think the raid is tainted by their presence. They are after-all liars, copyright infringement is not theft.
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>And you'll never believe this, WHEN it comes out on DVD I tend to buy it [at least a year later]
Nah, I don't and "tend" suggests you don't always?
>no one who actually put up any of the dodgy material
No, but the point is they got the one they could get hold of (who is facilitating the theft) thus preventing the theft (temporarily).
Actually it occurs to me that FACT are using TV-Links trademarks without permission in a manner that is damaging their reputation.
>1) We pay a Tv Licence
That doesn't give you total rights to anything that's put on telly though.
>2) Most of the things we watch on the net will be shown on Digital TV.
Paid for by companies selling the advertising space, if the adverts are bypassed, or if an advertiser thinks that a later showing will not actually get watched then the advertsing space is devalued and money is lost.
>so called "free to air" programs
You mean paid for by advertising? Or by the licence fee?
Advertsing revenues get diluted as described loosely above.
The licence fee produced stuff actually gets sold abroad, by sticking it online for free that also erodes the value of it and so costs money.
It's not the cost of the thing it's the value of the rights to the thing.
>its likely some big corporate company has seen an opertunity, to "cash in"
You mean the owner of something wants to make money out of it?
"The man has not been charged with any offence, and has been released pending further investigation."
Welcome to a fascist state! I hope you enjoy being arrested whenever some (rich) private party so wishes, even if you committed no offense.
This is just like the IRS does in the US, going after people who committed no crime -- the income tax is voluntary (except in case of for profit activities), according to the code, or so I've heard...
I travel a hell of a lot with my job and i always used to watch stuff from tv links abroad as a kind of home comfort thing. Plus the tv in other countries dont cut it for me.
There are companies that sell you hard disk recorders for the very purpose of recording tv programs for watching at a later date at your own leisure. In fact BT (brittish telecom) have a new service for their broadband customers that gives you a digital tv box with a built in hard disk recorder for recording difital tv. I obviously cannot bring this abroad with me so i liked to use this site to watch my fav shows when abroad.
Anyway the quality of the shows is generally failry terrible although wathcable and I doubt this site was causing anyone to loose money. People still buy dvd box sets of shows despite watching stuff on tv links.
I think its lame that this site is not available anymore. Ah well I guess I will now have to use one of the many other sites that provide a similar service.
Get a life JonB
I appreciate what FACT is trying to get at, It is morally wrong to link the stuff but it is not illegal and the reason why much of the stuff was not taken down is probably to help sales. I will admit that I watched any CSI episodes I missed on TV at TV-Links and then I go and buy the DVD boxset at the end of the season.
I have also been watching anime like Bleach, Naruto and One Piece from there because a friend recommended it to me. I will tell you now that If I couldn't watch the episodes one after another in order then it would have pissed me off and that if I couldn't watch the 1st few episodes for free then I would not have started. I have bought loads of anime merchandise and I wouldn't have without TV-Links.
FACT should be after Stage 6/Veoh/Youtube
Stage 6 is unreliable and Veoh has an idiotic new system that doesn't work so just go for Youtube!!
I wonder if he copyrited the TV-Links logo?! They've definately taken a copy. http://www.fact-uk.org.uk/images/tvlinks.jpg, though it's likely he signed permission whilst in handcuffs and a birght lamp in his face.
I all seriousness, will someone PLEASE stop this madness. He has done nothing other than provide links on a webpage - it's the people hosting the content and the people who posted it in the first place they need to go after.
If i were to post a link to www.coca-cola.com am I in violation of their copyright?? I have no doubt the term 'Coca-cola' (thats 2 violations- time to bend over) is copyrighted and I certainly didn't ask permission!
Best post of the lot, had me falling off my chair.
the new Shubinism perhaps. we get
It sounds like something my wife experienced last night.
(To top it off, the acronym is made up of random abusive names and makes no sense.)
All hail Shubin!
Henceforth, I do declare, all truly terrible Acronyms should be known as a Shubin. The mark has been set.
Oh stop the hate. I admit some of the comments here are taking it a bit far - but lets look at this logically.
The shows that were on there were shown on public TV. Free to record for all. These same companies are giving us the means to record these shows direct from the TV even without being there into a digital content as opposed to analogue (VHS).
When this happened the distribution increase of said programs was imminent.
You say that Advertising pays for the 'free to air' programs. Well allthoug you are right there - you are taking it out of context. Unlike something like google adwords - the advertisers pay for the length of the advert (3 seconds to 75 seconds) and the price varies on the time slot. THUS they will get the money for that time slot whether the said TV programs are distributed freely on the net or not. Lets face it - WE use TV links - and by WE I mean the whole 1% of the population that knows what TV Links is.
Getting the drift yet? Let me put it simpler. I jsut sent a globl email @ work to over 5000 colleagues. Only 32 people knew what tv-links was and 3 of them didnt use it because of 1 reason or another.
The point im trying to make is - it is harmless and isnt loosing them any money whatsoever from ad revenue or any other type of revenue.
What is next - FACT coming into my house and confiscating my DVD recorder because I burnt someone @ work a DVD of a Planet Earth he missed?
Its been taken too far this time - and this guy deserves at least an apology
The site was not violating copy right laws as it was not hosting the files themselves nor did they upload the files themselves. And last I checked linking to illegal content was illegal. That's like saying "that guy over there has pot" and getting arrested. Complete foolishness if you ask me.
F. A .C.T. I want to watch the last season of Oz.
It was aired on channel 4 but i was unable to watch it due to work hours.
I'm owed the opportunely to see it for the cost of my license fee alone. Tv-links aloud me that opportunely I had already paid for.This is why i used the site.
One link dies, another is born. Thats the way of the Web. You can stop it. yours faithfully........ Vernon Shillinger.
This is an outrage, the Internet is a completely free source of information. If i put up a copyrighted item or object, as long as i say that I do NOT own this item/object it can not be removed. PERIOD. You are saying that search engines on the net are also of the same category. E.g: Google.co.uk I search for... say a copyrighted item, such as: Sony Playstation. And Google.co.uk displays the Sony site Link, it is linking to that site, when it doesn't have permission to do so. Therefore, the sites which host the files, should be removed on the terms that they are breaking the copyright act. TV-Links.co.uk has never and will not ever host copyrighted item/objects without Permission or Stating that TV-Links.co.uk does not own the item/object.
Again I say to you, This is an outrage, no website of any type or form should be removed from the Internet, UNLESS it breaks PROPER laws and/or is completely Immoral.
Thank you for your time, Phelix Fanel
"It was aired on channel 4 but i was unable to watch it due to work hours.
I'm owed the opportunely to see it for the cost of my license fee alone. Tv-links aloud me that opportunely I had already paid for.This is why i used the site."
Wrong. The licence fee covers only the BBC. Which is why you don't have the chance to make a cuppa or dash to the loo when an opportune ad break arrives, as with other channels.
Movie producers and their associates get paid when the movies play in theaters, when they are aired on commercial and cable TV, when they are sold on DVD, when the sound track is broadcast on radio, when shows are rerun, and when associated toys and products are produced. How many times do you need to get paid for one effort? I worked 20 years as a secretary. I was paid for the hours I put in and the product I produced--much of which, believe it or not took a great deal of creativity to accomplish. My compensation was the gratitude (sometimes) of my boss and a one time hourly salary. Anonymity was also a side benefit of that occupation.
Painters create a work of art and sell it once, the buyers don't pay them residuals for each time someone looks at the painting. Writers write works of art and are paid for the thousands (hopefully) of copies that are sold. But once I buy the book, I don't pay residuals each time I lend it to a friend or each time I reread it. Libraries assemble collections of books, DVDs and audio recordings. Imagine the loss to people who can't afford to go out and buy books if they were not able to check them out at their local libraries. I used to rent movies at my library, but I can't get out and around like I used to. TV-Links was a Godsend to me. I can't afford the $50 a month the cable company demands. If I could I wouldn't spend it. There are very few shows worth watching and they are repeated ad nauseum. TV-Links gave me the opportunity to watch old shows I haven't been able to enjoy in years and new, some foreign ones that I never knew existed. I don't personally buy DVDs but when I let my family know what shows I like, they show up under my Christmas tree.
I especially liked being able to watch British TV movies and shows. I even got to see some Korean ones on TV-Links. The only British shows I have access to now are 20 years old on Public Broadcasting and BBC News. I think our fat cat movie industry does a good job of keeping foreign films and TV shows out of our country. There are foreign TV networks, but their shows are seldom subtitled in English. TV-Links shows were either English or English subtitled, so I could enjoy them.
I think TV-Links was like a library. I could go to the site and check out a movie or show from somewhere on the vast internet. If TV-Links isn't providing the service for English speaking people, someone else somewhere else in the world will provide the service, but you won't be able to see the movie for all the foreign subtitles on the screen. TV-Links promoted the shows and movies it indexed by bringing them to a wider audience (the world).
It seems to me that a work of art, a book, a painting, a photo or a movie becomes a cultural artifact once it is past its original dissemination event. The original dissemination event should be the sum total of the compensation garnered by its producers. Cultural compensation could follow from further demands for follow-up works by the same producers or artists. But to be continually paying someone for a single effort or contribution to society seems counter-intuitive and non-sensical to me.
We don't pay a royalty every time we sing Happy Birthday or Amazing Grace. Papparazzi don't pay royalties for the images of stars or celebrities they capture. The estate of the model for the Mona Lisa isn't sucking up residuals from the museum it is displayed in. TV shows once they've been broadcast and movies once they've been originally circulated become part of the fabric of their culture. Now if someone somewhere is making money off of redistributing these cultural artifacts, they should share the profits with the producers.
By making criminals of their fellow countrymen RIAA and FACT are alienating themselves from their constituency/customers. This may account somewhat for the popularity of sites like You Tube. People are making their own entertainment and discovering the artistic talent of foreign artists. Maybe the English speaking consumer will subcontract his entertainment needs out to India and leave US and UK money mongers completely out of the picture.
So the FACT of the matter is that some commie group took down one of the greatest sites ever assembled, comprising of a majority of program links that were ultimately free to view at some point anyway. Not to mention that the word-of-mouth viral campaign by fanatics of some of the material accessible via tv-links helped stimulate the entertainment industry by popularizing some otherwise overlooked programs and documentaries. In turn, possibly invoking the purchase of the hard copy material for keepsake, accessories, and other merchandise related to one of the given trademarks in question. Further stimulating the economy. You see what we've done here? Backwards progress. Someone will be at a social gathering, be instantly reminded of "this cool thing you've just got to see" and will have no way of further relaying the message. So I really don't see the problem here, supercensor committees devoted to dismantling supercoherent operations are an inevitable FACT if some money-grubbing corporation figures out they aren't going to make their immediate due penny. Someone needs to tell these people to piss off.
I must admit, over here in California there are many unhappy people. A friend pointed me to TV Links about 2 months ago and my husband and I watched all 3 seasons of Dr. Who (which is limited here) and Torchwood. I thought the site was brilliant and enjoyed catching old TV shows I watched growing up.
So they can post anything on YouTube, but TV Links gets taken down? Makes no sense.
"The licence fee covers only the BBC"
a) it is used to _fund_ the BBC, but to watch Channel 4 legally (i.e. using a televison receiver) you still have to pay it
b) Channel 4 recently received licence fee money to fund their digital switch-over
c} S4C (Channel 4 in Wales) receive some programs free (i.e. for nothing) which are made by the BBC and thus paid for by the licence fee
Anyway, please stop this "fee" nonsense. It's a tax, nothing more, nothing less.
It's a sad truth that they have already done this, the UK being the pioneer in the field of sticking your nose in where it isn't wanted. The have also now got CCTV with loud speakers, so the operator can tell someone to stop talking about the trademarks. In fact, I've seen one scheme pioneering remote control water cannons to disperse crowds. what next? CCTV cameras given the power of arrest? Roll on the rise of the machines...
>Oh stop the hate
There's no hate. I just feel people should stop stealing other peoples stuff.
>How many times do you need to get paid for one effort?
Well, it depends what you consider "one effort" to be. Is "one effort" one showing to one person or is it the act of producing the program at all, if it's the latter then you're claiming that once one person has seen and paid for it then it should be free forever more?
>Painters create a work of art and sell it once, the buyers don't pay
>them residuals for each time someone looks at the painting.
This is how actors and musicians get paid though.
What about galleries that you have to pay to go in?
>Libraries assemble collections of books, DVDs and audio recordings.
Under special negotiated licences, maybe some of these sites should attempt the same thing, it would be a brilliant resource.
>I can't afford the $50 a month the cable company demands.
I can't afford the £100,000 pounds that ferarri demands so I think I'll just nick one. If I nick a hire car then someone has already paid for it once - how many times do they want to get paid for one effort? (Where is that crap analogy icon?)
>some commie group
Surely FACT represent ardent capitalists? The "commie group" would be TV-links...
>of Dr. Who (which is limited here)
...To people who pay for it.
>So they can post anything on YouTube, but TV Links gets taken down? Makes no sense.
Absolutely, they've obviously gone for the low hanging fruit. I quite agree that they should get You Tube as well.
>This is an outrage, the Internet is a completely free source of information.
No it's not, there are plenty of pay for information services out there, check out academic journal publishers or stock data services for instance.
Also, my bank details are available online, but it aint free.
Although it may not seem like it to you, even google is paid for by someone.
> If i put up a copyrighted item or object, as long as i say that I do NOT
> own this item/object it can not be removed.
So, say I got a bands album weeks before the CD production run had finished and put it online, thus massively damaging their sales (mostly due to their production difficulties, say) provided I say that it's theirs then that's OK is it?
ON A MUCH MORE IMPORTANT NOTE - Why do my posts keep coming up double line spaced? (Firefox on XP)
Well I see the FACT guys had a Joker tucked neatly in the belt, I think they had to produce something in court to get the guy busted and revealed some clips the site had been hosting, just as Emule got Donkey Servers knocked off by music copyright owners they were blamed not for linking as the site had I believe indexed/hosted ofer 240 million files nearly all copyrighted material but there servers which provide the links had copyrighted material on then so it came to an end for that reason, so I gather TV-Links got pulled off in the same manor for having illegal copyright material on there server for the purpose of distribution and not for the links it provided. P2P sites annoy the living hell out of me, I think if i had spent years developing a program and hundreds of hours or research and suddenly it appeared on a P2P site I would devistated. I suppose im the oddball that had to throw a spanner in the works GULP!!!!!
this group FACT might want to review the sites they take down... TV-Links said on many occasions that it did not own the content on its site nore did it control what was on the other end of the links... if a link died a USER provided a new link to take its place from the host (Stage 6/Voeh/Google Video/You Tube/ect.) So in all technicalities TV-Links was providing a service no different than any other search engine by compiling results submitted by users into an easy to navigate format... nowhere on this site did it say "here are my links i own them all!!!" FACT please get your facts straight before you fly off the handle and arrest innocent people...
Facilitation of copyright infringment...?!? that’s their argument ? Come on men..!! i can't believe it... there's no way linking is illegal, not a chance. that would make us all pirates. why don`t they shut down you tube or google. If that's the case, I'm sure Google is the biggest "facilitator" of the world... ha ha ha but i'm taking all this in a real cool way, cause i found in sidereel the fountain that calms my thirst for tv series and movies..! LOL so that you can be calm too, here goes the link http://www.sidereel.com Oh, no..!! i just linked and facilitated piracy..!! who's gonna protect me now..?? ha ha ha and there’s also stage 6 or Dailymotion, ups… I did it again…! ;)
I personally am in two minds about what the outcome of this case wil be.
In typical UK fashion
Either a breach of human right will be claimed (as is the norm in practicly any criminal case)
TV links will be found guilty therefore you tube will be band and a significant proportion of its videos contain copyrighted material.
All search engines will have half their content removed (ditto above)
The internet will become completly censord therefore ignoring the fact the thing was set up for information sharing in the first place.
What may also happen is TV-links will be found innocent to prevent the above from happening, but uk law will be changed, in order to make this sort of thing harder.
This is ridiculous,. Why are they not arresting google? This is typical of UK law now. The police are so impotent they arrest the "little guy" and leave the big businesses -who actually host the stuff- alone. Can anyone say cash for honours?
This is the equivalent of arresting you for being approached by the local Chinese "you wan' DVD" guy..
Perhaps they are going to "crack down" on the import of drugs by arresting the addicts? "Oh we WOULD arrest the suppliers but they have a lot of money and quite frankly the paper work would be too much."
Typical of UK law. Welcome to the Soviet socialist republik of Britain.
I did read the other week, of which I am still looking to find again, but YouTube (and I think Google - as they're basically the same thing now) are protected by some law or something, to stop them getting sued anymore. The reason being because they host "too much content for humans to filter through". To be honest though, how hard can it be to just type in "Leona Lewis" and remove all that content??
Well done! Now the guy responsible for TV Links has been arrested for "deep linking", maybe they can show how brave they are by doing the same to the owners of Google for hosting films and music videos! Or don't they dare tackle multi-billionares and only go after little fish?
And after that, they really need to do someting about these really cheeky people who put these REALLY annoying adverts about film piracy at the start of DVDs (which override DVD player menu options)with a soundtrack that sounds awfully similar to the character selection screen music in Tekken 3...they go by the name of FACT or something... :)