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UK High Court orders TVC to remove 20 channels from its service

TVCatchup, the UK Internet television service for viewing free-to-air channels, has had to withdraw channels from ITV and Channel 5 following a series of court actions.

In March this year, the EU Court of Justice found the simultaneous relaying of broadcasts via the Internet without permission from the broadcasters constituted copyright infringement. On 10 October, the UK High Court confirmed that the relay service of TVCatchup (TVC) is unlawful under UK copyright law and ordered it to remove more than 20 channels from its streaming service.

“We enjoy excellent relationships with most of those whose content we carry, but this sadly hasn’t proved to be the case with all of the public service broadcasters,” says TVCatchup. “Whilst the outcome so far of the ensuing proceedings has been undeniably favourable to TVC, the rights that have been granted in the process entail certain responsibilities on our part. We pride ourselves in always working within the law, we accordingly felt it necessary to remove a certain amount of the channels to avoid perpetuating contention.”

IP&TV News reports that TVC has announced it will be introducing additional services (including HQ and new channels) on an ongoing basis. TVC, which has more than 9.35 million users hopes to work with ITV and Channel 5 to restore the affected channels. “We want to work together with all the broadcasters on acceptable terms, as our partners in bringing [our customers] the best selection of shows online, and to continue to deliver their content to the widest possible audience.”

In the meantime, TVC has begun to provide direct links to the broadcasters’ websites for the channels that it can no longer stream.

It is possible that a further appeal will be made against the High Court decision.