By David Peralty
Contributing Writer, [GAS]
There are many ways to get your favorite shows, you can watch them at their scheduled time on television, record them with your PVR or VCR (does anyone use a VCR anymore?) or watch them on the broadcast companies website. If none of these choices work well for you, sometimes you can catch them on sites like TVLinks (tv-links.co.uk), where they link to illegally uploaded videos on various video hosting websites, which allows you to view them at your convenience.
I don’t want to focus on the legality of this whole thing, but for the many people that use such sites, a sad thing has happened: TVLinks has been shut down.
Not only has the site been taken down, but the owner, a 26-year-old man from Cheltenham, UK, has been arrested. Though he doesn’t host the content himself, only providing links to the material on major video hosting sites, he has apparently been charged with the “facilitation” of copyright infringement.
Personally, while I agree that the service wasn’t entirely legal, I think it provided a remarkable video on demand service for shows both on and off the air, and should continue to prove to studios, production companies, and cable providers that the audience demands to have their media at their disposal. I hope that the charges are dropped.
Also, as they have started to realize with both video and audio, consumers will get what they want, any way they can and companies can adjust, or try to bully people using the legal system. Unfortunately, bullying won’t get them very far. Proof of this is the number of such video linking websites, torrent websites, and private content sharing networks still out there today.
Now is your chance to chime in on the discussion. Was it right for the site to be taken down and the owner arrested? Will the removal of TVLinks stop you from watching television shows and movies online, or will you find another source?
Do you believe that the future of both video and audio is a complete multimedia on demand service? If so, how much would you pay every month to access any and every movie and song available in a massive library?
Please do not link to any video sharing, torrent or any other illegal or grey area websites as such comments will be moderated. Geeks are Sexy does not condone piracy, but we do believe that certain, currently illegal, models are proof that the handling of media is rapidly evolving and changing to a very consumer focused model.