Feeds

Copyright-bothering web TV outfit rises from the grave

TVCatchup.com says it's cracked it

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

TVCatchup.com, a web-based TV recording service which was shut down last year under pressure from broadcasters, has returned, and this time it assures us it's legal.

The original service allowed members to stream shows on all the main channels for up to 60 days. If a member forgot to set his account to "record" a particular show, he could ask others to "lend" him them their copy. TVCatchup.com claimed this was legal as its service was covered by the same copyright exemptions as domestic video recorders.

The BBC and other main broadcasters disagreed, and set the legal dogs on TVCatchup.com and the site was quickly withdrawn. TVcatchup.com says there was "some dialogue".

The new TVCatchup doesn't store shows, but instead offers streams of 18 channels live as they are broadcast. There's six BBC channels, four ITV channels, four from Channel 4, three from Five, and Dave. Its function is basically that of a Slingbox anyone can access for free.

According to the relaunch press release, the new site will target commuters and those unable to receive Freeview. The 18 channels are offered as Flash streams, so are compatible with many mobile devices.

TVCatchup says it has expert legal opinion this time that it complies with section 73 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, which allows retransmission of broadcasts by a "cable programme service".

TVCatchup claims heavyweight legal opinion is on its side in the form of Robert Englehart QC, a top media and entertainment barrister.

Mike Parsons, TVCatchup's spokesman declined to give an interview, but said via email: "As far as I am aware, nobody from TVCatchup has ever suggested that the broadcasters 'set their lawyers' on us. There was some dialogue prompted by a misleading press report [in The Guardian], culminating in the broadcasters themselves participating in a closed trial of the website prior to its public relaunch. During this time they were unable to identify any cause for specific concern."

Like the BBC's own streams, TVCatchup's services is restricted to UK IP addresses ("at great expense", says Parsons), to avoid violating copyright licensing deals between broadcasters and producers.

Parsons said the site plans to sell pre-roll video advertising on the streams, a business even Google is struggling to make money at it with YouTube. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.