TVAddons Repo: The Copyright Enforcement Plight & Unregulated Takedown Notices

By Novak Bozovic / February 28, 2018

During the last two decades, as TVAddons reports, the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) served as the backbone of Internet legislation. As online communities grew, which happened rapidly during that time, they were protected from unfounded lawsuits. In other words, websites and communities like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Reddit wouldn’t be what they are now if they were liable for abuse that wasn’t a consequence of their actions. However, things have changed recently. The copyright enforcement plight now seems absent from the basic principles that kept the Web open.

To give you an example, we don’t have to look in the past. Only two weeks ago, a federal judge in New York found that several large news organizations are liable for embedding a photo that was uploaded without its photographer’s consent. Actually, this was a tweet of the photo in question. Even though uploading that kind of photo might seem unethical, this wasn’t the case here. There was no way to know who upload the original photo on the Web, and it would be impossible to find the source. This is where we come to the main problem, and that is the current state of the copyright enforcement plight.

Copyright Illustration

We can find another example in the streaming industry. As a user of a streaming media service such as Netflix and Hulu, you can only assume that the company has the rights to stream the content. You’ll agree that it’s impossible to verify the distribution license for every movie or TV show that you plan on streaming. In addition, the World Wide Web doesn’t have any boundaries. Every country has different regulations and copyright laws. The movie you plan on watching is probably licensed to hundreds of broadcasters around the world. On top of that, it is impossible to know the details of these licenses. So, are you breaking any laws? What happens if you sign-up for Netflix in the USA and then you travel to Europe? You can use a VPN to access to access the US version of Netflix. Are you breaking any international laws or are you just using what you paid for? It’s impossible to know.

This is where the story of TVAddons comes into play. As we reported earlier, this repository is having serious legal troubles. Being accused of piracy, TVAddons is facing a lengthy legal battle with an uncertain outcome. And this happens because third-party Kodi addons found in this repository can be used to stream copyrighted content. However, this repository is simply a list of scripts created by third parties that scrape content from external websites. This means that pirated content cannot be found on TVAddons’ servers. In other words, this repository simply hosts third-party code that contains nothing infringing whatsoever.

So, who is to blame here? TVAddons doesn’t host any copyrighted content. Third-party developers who supplied their code are removed from copyright infringement. However, users can still use that code to watch copyrighted content online. What are your thoughts about this case? Let us know in the comments section below.

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