The high court has ruled that streaming website TVCatchup must drop over 20 channels broadcast by ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.
The major TV broadcasters won a ruling forcing the site to remove 21 channels, such as ITV2, ITV3, ITV4, E4, Film4 and More4 from its website and mobile apps.
However, the main ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 channels can be watched on the website because of a loophole in section 73 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act. This allows certain channels to be retransmitted but these three channels cannot be streamed on mobile devices.
In a joint statement issued by the major broadcasters, they said: “This result will help protect the substantial investment broadcasters make in content and is a clear message to those who seek to infringe our copyright or use our content in an illegal capacity.”
“Whilst the outcome so far of the ensuing proceedings has been undeniably favourable to TVCatchUp, the rights that have been granted in the process entail certain responsibilities on our part. We pride ourselves in always working within the law, we accordingly felt it necessary to remove certain of the channels to avoid perpetuating contention,” TVCatchup said in a statement on its website.
TVCatchup said it would be introducing additional services (including HD streams and new channels) on an ongoing basis, and “hope to work with the broadcasters concerned to restore any channels that have been affected.”
It will also replace the removed channels with direct links to ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5.
TVCatchup lost a court case at the European Court of Justice earlier in the year when the court ruled that retransmission of live TV over the internet without permission was in breach of copyright.