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It's a sad day for streaming video fans everywhere as news has been reported that TVLinks has been shut down and the owner, a 26yo man from Chelteham in the UK, was arrested.
Though not hosting an actual content himself, and rather merely providing links to where particular titles can be found, he was nonetheless apparently charged for the "facilitation" of copyright infringement.
What makes the charges so odd is that he was again, only providing LINKS to pirated content, and not actually hosting any such material. Can linking really be considered "facilitation?" If I link to TVLinks am I then a co-conspirator?
FACT goes on to revisit the same old diatribe about how piracy is stealing food from form the tables of people who work in the film industry, but with guys like Brad Pitt reportedly getting $20million bucks to make trash like "Babel" who's really robbing who? Couldn't Pitt be paid a little less, say $15 million, and leave that other 5 for the "starving" film crew? I guess not
"The theft and distribution of films harms the livelihoods of those working in the UK film industry and in ancillary industries, as well as damaging the economy," said FACT's director general Kieron Sharp.
What's even more surprising is that the move was part of an overall strategy to crack down on piracy, though all it does is target a middleman who tells you where to go. More importantly, will its demise really compel people to find content legally or to suddenly run down to their local cinema? I think not, and all it means, as is usually the case with piracy, is that people will just go elsewhere.
Either way R.I.P. TVLinks, it was nice while it lasted. Maybe once again we have a case where Sweden's the only answer.