I don't know what is in the air these days, but Internet-TV aggregators seem to be popping up all over the Internet. I recently blogged about Tioti and the TVUPlayer, each of which have received substantial press coverage owing to their controversial nature.
Over the last few days, I have become aware of dozens of online TV, movie and other aggregators running the gamut from sites streaming literally hundreds of live TV channels over the Internet to others indexing and hosting thousands of TV shows and movies for instant viewing over the Internet.
Many of the live broadcast feeds are likely accessed from Internet feeds supplied by the content owners themselves. But, I'm guessing, others are likely redirected Slingbox or similar streams. As you can read in my TVUPlayer post, the company's CEO, Paul Shen, believes he can escape U.S. copyright infringement liability using the DMCA's ISP safe harbor. He argues that the streams are made available from the service's users and not hosted directly by his company.
peekvid and QuickSilverScreen in particular, seem to be the most blatantly infringing services of the lot. They directly index over a thousand TV shows, movies, cartoons etc. for instant viewing. Users can select a particular TV series from a list and then directly view selected episodes – on demand. Movies can similarly be selected and viewed on demand. If peekvid is located in the U.S., I suspect it won't be long before the link fails to work owing to NAB and MPAA legal actions. QuickSilverScreen was located in the U.S. until Fox sent it a cease and desist letter. The proprietor has sold it to someone offshore and it continues to operate unabated from an offshore location.
In no particular order, here are only a few of the dozens of live TV aggregation sites that have popped up recently.
All of these have the following features in common:
- They all actually worked when I tried them
- Of the dozens of other aggregators available, these sites required no prior signups or passwords.
- Unlike Tioti and the TVUPlayer, no plugins or downloads were required for these sites to work – simply show up, click and watch.
- My browser, Firefox 2.0, is set to disable popups and redirects – all worked without popups or redirects
- Many of the video streams were resizable – even to full screen in many contexts
This is clearly a new trend, or at least a new trend to me. In light of the fact that iCrave TV
was so quickly shut down in 2003 for doing essentially the same thing, it is surprising to see so many seemingly thriving. I gather that most, if not all, are hosted in far-off countries outside the reach of NAB
and the MPAA
– for now. As AllofMP3.com has recently discovered
, locating offshore will not, alone, keep you outside the reach of the U.S. copyright lobby.
the Digg.com comments
to an original story about Streamick.com
that provided the spark to get me blogging about this.