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Template:Infobox Website

TV Links was a website containing a directory of links to television programming and movies from around the world and user-created movies created by David Rock of Cheltenham, who started the site as a hobby.[1] In a similar style to BitTorrent trackers such as The Pirate Bay, no actual content was hosted on TV Links; all content was hosted on external websites and the servers were physically located in the Netherlands.[2] It had been described as "teetering on the edge of illegality",[3] and on 18 October 2007, the site's owner, David Rock,[1] was arrested, although was released without being charged with a crime[4]. As of July 2008, the site simply displays the text "Something here Soon".

LegalityEdit

The legality of this site could be compared to BitTorrent indexing sites like The Pirate Bay or the original Napster program, in that the site did not actually host the files, but only provided links to the files which are hosted on external sites.

The legal page of the site contained the following disclaimer:

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Shutdown by UK government Edit

On 18 October 2007, the owner of TV-Links was arrested by the Gloucestershire Police in cooperation with the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT). The site was also shut down.[5][6][7]. Initial claims by FACT indicated the 26 year old man from Cheltenham was arrested in connection with offenses relating to the facilitation of copyright infringement on the Internet, whereas the arrest was over a matter of possible trademark infringement. [5][4]

Arrest, release, and lack of chargesEdit

Whilst arrested under Section 92 of the Trade Marks Act 1994, he has now been released 'pending further investigation' with no charges filed against him as of 25th October, 2007.[4] Section 92 has been used to prosecute illegal copiers of CDs and DVDs, but never in the absence of a physical storage medium. It is unclear whether the operation of TV Links was actually a crime under UK law.[8] The owner himself, stated that he did not find anything in UK law saying that what his site did was illegal, and if he had, he would have already stopped.[1]

Broader implicationsEdit

The forced closure of this site (and others like it) raises a difficult legal question as outlined in the following quote from an article in the Guardian Unlimited, "TV Links shut down for linking":[9]

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References Edit

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See also Edit

  • Alluc - a similar service

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