Unauthorised Streaming Of TV Broadcasts Breaches Copyright, EU High Court Rules 02/03/2017 by Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Internet television broadcasting service TVCatchup (TVC) may not offer live streams of free-to-air TV broadcasts without permission, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) said in a 1 March judgment. ITV Broadcasting and others v. TVCatchup Limited and others involves a copyright infringement claim brought by the commercial broadcasters against TVC. Broadcasters sued TVC in the High Court of Justice (England & Wales), and that court sought a preliminary ruling from the ECJ on the interpretation of the concept of “communication to the public” in Article 3(1) of the EU Copyright Directive (2001/29/EC). Following a March 2013 ECJ ruling, the English High Court found that TVC had infringed broadcasters’ copyright, but that, regarding three of the channels, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, TVC could rely on a defence in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA), which implemented the EU directive into UK law. The relevant provision states that copyright isn’t breached “if and to the extent that the broadcast is made for reception in the area in which it is re-transmitted by cable and forms part of a qualifying service” (i.e. a public service). The broadcasters appealed the decision of the English High Court, which stayed the proceedings and referred several questions to the ECJ. The EU court found that the concept of “access to cable of broadcasting services” in the EU Copyright Directive must be interpreted as not covering, and not allowing, national laws to provide that there is no copyright infringement in immediate retransmissions by cable, including via the Internet, in the area of initial broadcast, of works broadcast on TV channels subject to public service obligations. The ECJ judgment is here. Broadcasters said they’re “delighted” with the ruling that their channels should not be retransmitted online or on cable without their authorisation. The UK government has already confirmed that the current law on retransmission in the CDPA “is no longer relevant and will be repealed as part of the Digital Economy Bill,” said an ITV spokesman. “We now look forward to its immediate removal…” The ECJ judgment “denies national law and public interest, TVC said. http://tvcatchup.com/press#0 It criticised broadcasters’ “cynical reliance” on the EU decision, saying it “comes at a point where EU influence over national law is set to disappear” due to Brexit. Doing away with the CDPA provision “is a major blow to individual freedom” which causes massive disruption to the viewing public, TVC said. But, it added, it has already implemented alternative technology that allows users to enjoy a greater selection of entertainment than before without breaching copyright, so the CDPA “is largely irrelevant to us in 2017.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related "Unauthorised Streaming Of TV Broadcasts Breaches Copyright, EU High Court Rules" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.