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TVCatchup Declares Overall Victory With Broadcasters - press statement

European court of justice (ECJ) rules today on TVCatchup case

European court of justice (ECJ) rules today on TVCatchup case
published on UK Free TV

Press statement from TVCatchup regarding the outcome of the ECJ case:

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,

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.

"Barely 30% of our users view such content" said TVCatchup's Director, Bruce Pilley, "this would be more than compensated for by the addition of those many channels who have asked to join us", going on to state that they are in advanced negotiations with many major content providers. "An acceptable price to pay for ending the years of uncertainty arising from the vexatious action of a handful of broadcasters"

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 and 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"

Also reported in Unauthorised TV live streaming breaches copyright, rules European court - Media - .

The European court of justice judgment

1. The concept of 'communication to the public', within the meaning of article 3(1) of Directive 2001/29/EC of the European parliament and of the council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society, must be interpreted as meaning that it covers a retransmission of the works included in a terrestrial television broadcast where the retransmission is made by an organisation other than the original broadcaster, by means of an internet stream made available to the subscribers of that other organisation who may receive that retransmission by logging on to its server, even though those subscribers are within the area of reception of that terrestrial television broadcast and may lawfully receive the broadcast on a television receiver.

2. The answer to question one is not influenced by the fact that a retransmission, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, is funded by advertising and is therefore of a profit-making nature.

3. The answer to question one is not influenced by the fact that a retransmission, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, is made by an organisation which is acting in direct competition with the original broadcaster.

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Thursday, 7 March 2013
Mr F
4:12 PM

Hi, The Wrekin transmitter in Shropshire, is still not broadcadting fully according to reports in the area. Various channels regularly disappear. Dave Ja Vu is a perfect example of this. What is the problem with the Wrekin transmitter, it has always been a broadcaster of minimal numbers of channels?

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Mr F's 1 post GB flag
Dave Lindsay

6:09 PM

Mr F: The Commercial (COM) channels (which carry ITV3, ITV4, Pick TV, Dave, Film4 and others) aren't broadcast on the same power as the Public Service (PSB) ones. Therefore, some may find that they can receive the PSBs while not getting the COMs, or getting them intermittently. Or to put it another way, the footprint of the COMs isn't as big as the PSBs.

Also, the COM channels from The Wrekin are outside of the former analogue channel group which may mean a replacement aerial is necessary. The analogue channels (and digital PSBs) are on Group A channels which are the first third of the band of frequencies used for TV. Group A aerials are most sensitive on Group A channels and drop off outside of that. The Wrekin COMs are in Group B, which is the middle third which means that a Group A aerial may not be sensitive enough (and remember that the COMs are also weaker).

In some places it may be better to switch to using another transmitter.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

7:46 PM

Mr F: The point of my posting is: don't assume that just because you can receive PSB channels adequately that you will be able to for COMs.

The question must be: Is there a reason you are having issues (e.g. aerial Group) or is there something you can do to move yourself from having intermittent COMs to reliable COMs?

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag

11:49 PM

Mr F: Plus to add to that already said by Dave Lindsay, that it should also be pointed out that anyone requesting advice on any issues involving reception really has to provide their location, this in the form of a post code or at least one from somewhere nearby, e.g: a shop etc, as without this info its not possible for anyone assisting to access the reception predictor which also gives details of the transmitters involved, something that's essential to know due to the large variations in reception that can be experienced across the estimated coverage area of a transmitter, with many viewers being located within a few miles of a high powered main station whereas others are receiving at a distant location that can realistically be considered as being outwith the accepted coverage area for the station, hence their reception is prone to suffering from seasonal signal level variation drop outs.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Sunday, 14 April 2013
pete russell
5:45 PM

Can any one help
I usually use Free sat and understand how to use Iplayer bbc and ITV via a broadband link
Recently I had a dish failure and had to change to freeview and an aerial but could not for the life of me find how to use Iplayer for itv or bbc.
I use a Sony TV with built in Tuner for Freeview and a Humax box for Freesat

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pete russell's 3 posts GB flag

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