There has been plenty of controversy over the past year as to whether websites that provide links to copyright infringing content are running legitimate businesses or promoting piracy, but now one site that is providing links to perfectly legal online video is finding themselves facing a lawsuit because of their business model.
LiveMovies.gr, a site which provides a searchable database full of information about TV series and movies being shown on legitimate online providers, has been sued for infringement by the Greek Society for the Protection of Intellectual Property.
“We’ve explained to AEPI in every way possible that livemovies.gr doesn’t ‘present works to the public’ but instead transmits information about the works,” the admins of LiveMovies explained to TorrentFreak this week. “AEPI sued us, and considers that it has suffered damages worth 10,000 Euros ($14,215) for ‘each illegal act’. The result was the launching of a preliminary felony process against us!”
Yes, in a world where many business owners fight to make their content popular by getting it listed on as many websites as possible, the entertainment industry is so worried about losing their grip on more of their audience that they’ve taken to stifling the spread of even legitimate online streaming operations.
The folks at LiveMovies state that they have personally attempted to work things out with AEPI, but to no avail. AEPI insists that, though none of the actual video is hosted on LiveMovies’ servers, the lack of explicit authorization to distribute the works constitutes an illegal act.
LiveMovies has now responded to AEPI with a countersuit including charges of fraud and perjury, and have also appealed to the government for assistance with the case.
“We also ask for the solidarity of public opinion, so that AEPI finally realizes that we live in an Information society where Intellectual property coexists with other fundamental rights, and sticks to what’s under its jurisdiction, as defined by the law and its statute,” the LiveMovies admins said.
I must admit that I don’t know very many details regarding AEPI and its history, but I feel that a lawsuit of this nature has to stem from a certain level of technological ignorance on the part of AEPI. Or maybe Greek TV operators want to give the illusion of providing technologically advanced services like online streaming, but are attempting to minimize their use because their revenue comes from traditional TV advertising? Whatever the reason, I can’t imagine the charges against LiveMovies actually holding up in a court of law.