UK piracy site owner arrested

A UK website that was allegedly providing links to pirated video content has been shut down, and its owner arrested. The move is the first such closure of such a UK-based piracy website.

UK piracy site owner arrested

A 26 year old man from Cheltenham was arrested for offences relating to the facilitation of copyright infringement. The arrest came as part of an operation by investigators from the Federation against Copyright Theft (‘FACT’) and Gloucestershire Police. The man has been released pending further enquiries.

The site, TV-Links (, was “providing links to illegal film content that has been camcorded from within a cinema and then uploaded to the Internet,” says a FACT statement.

“We at FACT have stated very clearly that we intended to pursue those who are openly exploiting and facilitating the distribution of illegal film and TV content and this was the first major target,” says Kieron Sharp, FACT Director General.

“The theft and distribution of films harms the livelihoods of those working in the UK film industry and in ancillary industries, as well as damaging the economy. In addition, those visiting sites hosting illegal content run the risk of downloading Trojans or viruses that can infect their computers.”

Although no copyright material was being hosted on the site, it is an offence under UK law to facilitate copyright infringement. This means that any such site in the UK is vulnerable to the same fate as TV-Links.

“This practice allows people to view any one of a large number of films and television programmes directly via the website. This is illegal under UK copyright law. The ‘users’ are potentially evading licence fees, subscription fees to digital services or the cost of purchase or admittance to cinemas to view the films,” says Roger Marles, Head of Trading Standards.

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