In 2011, Richard O’Dwyer was arrested by UK police for running TVShack, a site that listed user-submitted links to TV-show streams.
The arrest was followed by an extradition battle with the U.S. Government which ended a few months ago. Richard was granted amnesty after he signed an agreement to pay compensation to rights holders and not to breach copyright in the future.
However, this hasn’t stopped the former TVShack admin from starting a new TV and movie streaming venture.
Richard informs TorrentFreak that he’s working on Filmhub, a new project that will enable TV and movie enthusiasts to stream and discover video content from the major networks and studios. His selling point is a ‘discovery engine’ that makes personal recommendations, allowing people to cut through the trash.
“It could be described as a hub to manage everything you’re watching and wish to watch. What you like and dislike. And importantly delivering Movie & TV suggestions personalized to your own taste and current mood, with features to connect with others and share your opinions,” Richard tells TorrentFreak.
The content will come from authorized sources including Netflix, Amazon and Lovefilm and by offering a one-stop destination for video enthusiasts Richard hopes to fill a gap in the current legal offering.
“As of right now offerings are scattered, simply put it’s a mess. Some services are good for viewing, some for information, some for opinions. The aim with Filmhub is to bring everything into a single reliable source the community can build upon,” he says.
Being a great film and TV fan himself, Richard believes that such a tailored community will give the public a better viewing experience. He also encourages the community to suggest features they want to see, such as a mobile app that’s currently in the works.
Passion for film and TV is one of the main reasons why the former TVShack admin is starting another video hub.
“In the end the reason for returning to this is the emotional connection to film and television. No other medium can make us laugh, cry, jump and send chills down our spines. That’s why I feel it’s important to help more people to discover good content to their individual taste,” Richard says.
Of course he hasn’t forgotten about the events of the past two years. The same companies whose content he will be promoting wanted to see him in a U.S. prison after all. But in hindsight he also learned from the whole ordeal.
“Looking back overall it’s a great shame, but I have no regrets since the whole experience has improved myself both technically and personally,” Richard says.
Since his arrest the Internet has seen an increase in copyright enforcement initiatives and a push for more censorship. Richard hopes that these censorship efforts wont stifle innovation and that the “free” Internet as we know it will remain intact.
“Since it began, online censorship has increased not only in the US but in other nations as they are slowly brought into line with the industries’ will. This damages the Internet as a whole and isn’t what it was designed for. Hopefully we’ll still have an Internet to connect with in 10 years time.”
Richard is thankful for all the people who have supported him throughout his legal battle and he hopes to reward them by providing a great new video platform.
“Thanks goes out all the supporters from many countries. Hopefully this new project is a way to give back to everyone,” Richard concludes.
Filmhub is still in development but those interested in early access can sign up to be notified when it goes live. Definitely a project that’s worth watching.