There are thousands of sites that link to video on the Internet and it’s becoming increasingly common for them to be threatened by rightsholders when they link to unauthorized content. However, things have gone a stage further as a site is now being sued by a copyright group for linking to completely legal content provided by official sources.
It’s likely that you’ve never heard of AEPI, the Greek Society for the Protection of Intellectual Property, and by the end of this post you’ll probably wish it would have remained that way.
LiveMovies.gr is a site dedicated to listings of TV shows and movies. While many sites may provide links to torrents or other methods of acquiring content from unauthorized sources, LiveMovies provides a database of information and links to shows being streamed by their official and legitimate providers.
According to the operators of LiveMovies, AEPI is now suing them for “illegally making available” content that they do not have the right to.
“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 explain. “AEPI sued us, and considers that it has suffered damages worth 10,000 Euros for ‘each illegal act’. The result was the launching of a preliminary felony process against us!”
The admins of LiveMovies say that by means of an extra-judicial statement, they have explained to AEPI that in accordance with both international and local law, “providing links to the official site of a TV station isn’t ‘presenting works to the public’ but transmitting information relevant to said work.”
But the pleas of the site’s operators are falling on deaf ears. They say that AEPI have responded and insist that any LiveMovies user who ‘uploads’ a link to an official TV site can only do so with the explicit authorization of AEPI.
“It’s worth noting that AEPI doesn’t provide a single judicial decision supporting what it invalidly claims, but speaks in general and vague terms of ‘EU Court of Justice case-law‘, obviously referring to the irrelevant decision regarding the hotels’ obligation with regards to the TV sets installed in clients’ rooms,” they add.
It’s clear that LiveMovies are taking this attack very seriously. In response they are now pressing a number of charges against AEPI including fraud and perjury. They have also gone to the very top by reporting the case to the government.
“We have also denounced the case to the Ministry of Culture, which, under law, supervises AEPI and whom we call to assume its duties against this unprecedented and unfair attack against the very concept and function of the Internet,” LiveMovies admin report.
“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,” they conclude.
We were going to publish this story yesterday, April 1st, but we were worried that everyone would think it was a hoax. It’s absolutely real.