UKNova without Torrents

UKNova has always been a interesting place for a clue about the future (specially when they use to share the data of how many people were downloading what, and from which country). Its existed way before bbc iplayer, 4od and all the ondemand services we all use now. It also has a very interesting stance on what content it does allow to be shared. But despite all that, they have always been on the wrong side of the fence for many in the industry.

UKNova is being forced to change. We have been issued with a “cease and desist” order by FACT (The Federation Against Copyright Theft).

Despite our efforts to cooperate with the UK media companies, FACT have stated: “ALL links or access to content provided by UKNova are infringing, unless it can be proven that explicit permission from the copyright holder for that content has been obtained”.

Whilst we believe that they are wrong both legally and morally on account of the strong ‘no commercial content’ stance that we have always taken, we are not in a position to be able to risk lengthy and costly court battles to prove this. Therefore we have no other option but to close down the trackers. It has not been an easy decision to take, but it is apparently our only option.

The argument by FACT sounds wrong too from what I know about UK copyright law but would I state my flat on it? Not a chance… I expect moving to Magnet links won’t help their dilemma either? Such a shame and a great loss, people will just seek their TV from elsewhere now, somewhere with less rules.

I remember UKnova was once asked to come into the BBC to meet content producers and defend their position as part of a BBC Backstage outreach (one of many engagement with the darknet/undernet, etc). The guys behind UKnova at the time were scared of arrest but they did come in and that discussion was one of the best discussions I’d seen. Thanks to Jem Stone and Ben Metcalfe for setting that up by the way…

Remember what I said about chilling effects?

Torrrentfreak just published about it before I did as I wasnt’ sure if I should, so I left it in the drafts for 12hours… thanks Mark Boas.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.