The now-defunct online video site TV-Links.co.uk prevailed in court this week, according to a report from Torrentfreak.com. TV-Links used to be one of the most popular online directories for TV show episodes hosted on streaming video sites like YouTube, Megavideo or Veoh. The site was taken down in October of 2007, with Dutch law enforcement officials seizing its servers and British police arresting one of its admins. Investigations against TV-Links were based on a complaint by the U.K.’s Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT).
The case eventually went in front of a judge this January. Torrentfreak reports that the TV-Links admins retained representation from the same law office as Alan Ellis, the administrator of the also-defunct BitTorrent music sharing site Oink, who got all of the charges against him dismissed in January. Apparently, having a good lawyer worked for TV-Links as well. The judge dismissed the case against the site, ruling that linking to TV shows wasn’t the same as distributing them.
TV-Links.co.uk has been offline ever since the raid in 2007, but the site has been succeeded by a fair number of other TV show directories. The implementation of filtering solutions at YouTube and other streaming video providers hasn’t been a huge obstacle either. Instead of linking to YouTube content, they now simply provide links to video sites hosted in Eastern Europe or China.
Related GigaOm Pro content: Will Automated Rights Management Take Down Fair Use? (subscription required)