TVCatchup, the UK live streaming service, seems to be completely shut down and gone for good. After the EU copyright ruling in 2017, TVCatchup was in trouble but somehow still continued to serve users.
However, the sudden disappearance with no announcements seems to indicate the demise of this live streaming platform.
TVCatchup was originally an online personal DVR service that gained huge traction in a relatively short time. It later transformed into a live streaming service offering several channels such as the BBC, ITV and so on. This popular service was battered with allegations and engaged in a series of legal battles for several years in the UK and EU Courts. The ECJ’s judgment in 2017 turned out to be a final blow for TVCatchup.
According to the ECJ, TVCatchup streamed copyrighted content without permission. However, TVCatchup claimed that it operated legally by streaming TV content broadcasted by ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 according to Section 73 of the UK’s Copyright, Designs, and Patent Act. This section states that there will be no copyright infringement when a party re-transmits the content by cable within the area of the initial broadcast. The ECJ said that TVCatchup cannot rely on such legislation designed to grow the cable infrastructure decades ago and passed a judgment against the company.
After this judgment, many expected the service to shut down. However, TVCatchup continued serving the applications on the Google Play and Apple’s App Store. This service too, came to a halt when the company seemed to have vanished. TVCatchup’s website is currently displaying an error message that says, “Whoops, looks like something went wrong” and the users are unable to access any channels through the Android and iOS applications as well.
TVCatchup’s Android app is published by a company listed as Spaceshifting LLC, which was dissolved back in February 2018. The iOS app is published by the Toyon Investments Ltd, a UK Company which was dissolved in February 2019.
TVCatchup’s last tweet was unrelated to its business and the last customer correspondence via Twitter seems to be on 5th March 2019. This sudden disappearance of TVCatchup has caused a great deal of frustration to its users.
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