1/3/2017 EUCJ Denies National Law and Public Interest
The announcement by the EUCJ today (1st March) regarding the issue of national legislation has not come as any surprise. Ironically, the cynical reliance on the EUCJ by ITV comes at a point where EU influence over national law is set to disappear as a result of the forthcoming exit of the UK from the EU. And there are many who will welcome that day.
The Section 73 cable exemption in the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act ("CDPA") played a major historical role in our long running dispute with ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, and it was a great comfort to us that access to these channels - which have traditionally been the most popular - was ruled fully lawful by the High Court. Sadly ITV have managed to persuade the EU to now rule that the delivery of content via the internet does not equate to a cable service.
There will of course be a great deal of legal commentary and the usual deluge of uninformed opinion by bloggers, for the loss of Section 73 CDPA is a major blow to individual freedom, and both ITV and friends as well as the EUCJ have caused a massive disservice to the viewing public.
We have not stood still at TVCatchup, and have developed and have already implemented alternative technology allowing users to enjoy a far greater selection of entertainment than previously without infringing any copyright restrictions, so Section 73 is largely irrelevant to us in 2017. In this sense, those channels funded in part by the TV licensing scheme , ITV, Channels 4 & 5, have in fact scored a major own goal.
TVCatchup will not only remain available to users for many years to come, but with a forthcoming far greater choice of channels and many more ways and places to use the service that we pioneered.
21/12/2015 TVCatchup Apps News *** UPDATED ***
*** UPDATED 31/01/2016 ***
To update the situation, we are extremely saddened that people who we once regarded as family have abused their privileged positions of trust. This has left us with no alternative than to commence a series of highly aggressive legal actions against both the G Zero business and personally against the people trying to hide behind it. We have been far too tolerant for far too long, and have now unleashed the dogs of war.
Our renowned legal team are extremely confidant as to the outcome, but we cannot comment further whilst this is ongoing.
In the meantime we continue to provide a far superior and perfectly legal streaming experience, with more channels being added and not, it goes without saying, at any cost to the viewers.
GZero were originally contracted by TVCatchup to provide an application, and we have parted company with them for reasons that will become apparent in due course.
Having pioneered online streaming of live broadcast content (IPTV), TVCatchup has always been justifiably proud of the quality of our streams as a FREE service. We have been lauded by the likes of Channel 5’s ‘Gadget Show’ for such quality. In a callous and illegal attempt to extort subscription payments from end users, GZero appear to be limiting the quality of "their" streams in a bid to force users to "upgrade" to an acceptable service.
TVCatchup has successfully defended itself from attempts by several broadcasters to shut the service down, our continued existence being evidence of our success. However, this does not form any legal precedent that allows GZero or anyone to set up their own identical services or for them to profit from our hard won legal position.
Following an unsuccessful attempt to trademark the TVCatchup brand as being their own in the European Union, and having illegally passed themselves off as TVCatchup in the app stores and elsewhere, GZero have now taken it upon themselves to rebrand the TVCatchup mobile service in a transparent bid to try to evade legal action.
The legal process takes time, patience and money, and this latest move has significantly hastened their own demise, their "rebranding" exercise amounting to an admission of liability.
They will not be missed, they have been damaging the established brand of TVCatchup for their own ends for far too long. In the meantime we have not been sitting idly by, and have been developing new apps using vastly superior quality streams based on our own proprietary technology and networks. This service will not only be superior, but users will never be forced to pay any subscriptions to view content on TvCatchup that is supposed to be free at the point of delivery.
Regrettably we cannot answer any individual questions at this point as proceedings are currently in hand. We will however be as transparent as we can throughout the process and we assure all our users that quality and legality is paramount to us for both continuity and quality of service.
Thanks for your understanding and support. We have now launched a new range of subscription free apps, showing all the TVCatchup channels, including exclusive content in superior quality, which is available in the respective app stores.
14/10/2013 Legal Update
In the High Court case of ITV & Others v TVCatchup Limited, during the process of which TVCatchup was deemed to be a qualifying cable service for the carriage of certain channels, your attention is drawn to the following Order.
Details of the full judgement will be made available as soon as they become available.
06/09/2013 TVCatchup European Court response
Broadcasting must innovate to secure future, urges TVCatchup
London, 6 September 2013 - TVCatchup has responded to the European Commission, urging it to stimulate innovation in the converging broadcast and internet spaces in order to safeguard the strength of the European audiovisual media sector.
In its submission to the European Commission's Green Paper Preparing for a Fully Converged Audiovisual World: Growth, Creation and Values, TVCatchup agrees with the need to set an appropriate policy framework to ensure the future success of the TV broadcasting industry in Europe. The company also agrees that there is a"need for private economic actors to further innovate" in the industry in order to guard against overseas entrants benefitting at the expense of European companies.
Bruce Pilley, chairman of TVCatchup said: "There is a misguided attempt by traditional broadcasters to maintain the status quo or at least slow down the pace of change. Only by embracing new models of enterprise, whether in programme creation or content distribution, can Europe - and especially the UK - expect to maintain its lead position in audiovisual media. The paradox is that engaging with new players will bring about greater prosperity for the industry and incumbent organisations."
Unless more is done to support innovation, argues TVCatchup, the European audiovisual media services industry will cede control to foreign entities with the scale and resources to circumvent traditional broadcasters.
TVCatchup also states its support for a reinforcement of the values that underpin European Audiovisual Media Services regulation. In particular, the need to strengthen protective measures for minors should be considered a high priority throughout the value chain.
Enquiries: Press Office: [email protected]
06/08/2013 TVCatchup partners with S4C
London, 6th August - TVCatchup, the Internet TV service, has reached a landmark agreement with the Welsh public service broadcaster S4C.
TVCatchup, which operates as a cable TV service, has reached agreement with S4C to carry the channel across all of its web and mobile platforms. TVCatchup is launching the channel today ahead of all other digital services.
S4C will benefit by increasing its audience reach across the UK with access to TVCatchup’s large user base, while TVCatchup will gain additional usage from speakers of the Welsh language. TVCatchup’s service is completely free of charge, so viewers of the channel will be able to access it without paying any subscription fees.
In keeping with forthcoming legislation recently outlined by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, TVCatchup is not charging S4C any retransmission fees, while S4C will not charge for content licensing.
As a qualifying cable service, TVCatchup already has rights and obligations to carry the channels of all the public service broadcasters. Nevertheless, the company is actively seeking opportunities to work in partnership with all the PSBs in a manner which is beneficial to all parties, with emphasis on user choice.
Bruce Pilley, TVCatchup chairman, said: "S4C is leading the way amongst its peers by actively engaging with us to further its public service remit and to extend its reach to a wider audience. We’re looking forward to a fruitful and enduring relationship with S4C and plan to form similar partnerships with other public service broadcasters."
Ian Jones, S4C Chief Executive said, "The launch of S4C on TVCatchup marks another significant development for S4C as we reach out to new and growing audiences on digital platforms. For us at S4C, making our channel accessible via services like this one will broaden the opportunities to watch our excellent programmes. We look forward to working with TVCatchup as we make sure that our content is available on as many platforms as possible in the digital age."
Enquiries: Press Office: [email protected]
08/05/2013 High Court Update
Having won all but one of the five complaints brought against them by three of the broadcasters, ITV, Chan 4 and Chan 5, Justice Floyd referred a single point of law to the European Court of Justice in November 2011 regarding the online rebroadcaster, www.tvcatchup.com
The point of law concerned a technicality regarding whether or not TVCatchup communicated broadcasts to what has been referred to as a "new public", being a group of people outside those to whom the broadcast was originally intended. It has always been TVCatchup's position that only people who live in the very same region to which the original broadcast was intended, and also holding a TV licence, were entitled to watch the very same programmes on TVC as they would otherwise access via the broadcasters own separate web sites or other online services.
This question does not affect the majority content of the popular website, which boasts having close to 12M registered users for their free to use service. Rights to carry such broadcasts were conferred in a previous judgment in the long running case, and TVCatchup have dismissed any adverse ruling decision regarding the carriage of such minor derivative channels as being inconsequential.
This action has included many technical innovations that TVCatchup have made to satisfy the demanding criteria applicable to becoming a qualifying cable service, which the High Court has already acknowledged in their previous judgment which ruled in their favour on 80% of the case. These include measures such as geographical blocking of people outside the UK, region checking, and a number of other technical innovations.
Regardless of the outcome of the European Court of Justice, matters have yet to be finalised in the High Court, where TVCatchup will be arguing that the OFCOM licences granted to ITV, Channels 4 & 5 specifically include those minor subsidiary channels. Further, that if these PSB broadcasters argue that their channels do not form part of the qualifying cable services that TVCatchup is allowed to rebroadcast, then their inclusion in pay access platforms such as Virgin Media and BT Vision would be in direct contravention of their PSB obligations.
Thus, whatever the outcome of the ECJ, TVCatchup has already emerged as the clear victor from years of legal wrangling, and has established itself as the de facto online broadcast platform for web, tablet, mobile and numerous other applications. In the words of Bruce Pilley "TVC is here to stay, we may have relinquished some ground in a minor part of our battle, but the war has already been decided in our favour. We remain Europe's first and only legal internet cable service and the ECJ opinion affects only a handful of channels we carry"
Enquiries: Press Office: [email protected]