European Court: Live-Streaming TV Broadcasts Is Illegal

Ruling asserts that original broadcasters have rights as "authors" over their content.

A court in Europe has stated that live-streaming TV events without getting permission from broadcasters is in breach of copyright. The European Court of Justice was ruling against a case brought by three U.K. broadcasters against streaming site TVCatchup.com, which streams free-to-air shows from British TV channels, but the decision means that all websites will have to get permission from the original broadcasters.

The ruling, which could well have landmark implications, recognizes the original broadcasters as "authors" of the programming, which gives them rights to say yes or no to live-streaming by other sites. The victorious broadcasters, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5, will be allowed to "obtain an appropriate reward for the use of those works." Ching.

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