French Film Director Pushes Canadian Streaming Site Offline

Says that because the site had advertising, it is an illegal website.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

In a report that has, thus far, remained almost exclusively a French story to date, a French film director has pressured Canadian website into going offline. One report from 01net says that the website is illegal because it also contained advertising. It’s a peculiar move that resembles one of the arguments made against the “spectrial” of ThePirateBay.

It’s an interesting development given that it’s often extremely difficult or impossible in some countries to argue that a person who creates a dynamic website is suddenly committing acts of copyright infringement because of the actions of their users. Additionally, video streaming websites that allow users to upload their own home-made videos have been continually under fire from copyright corporations like Viacom for alleged copyright infringement. In some cases, even with a notice and takedown system, that doesn’t stop sites like YouTube from being sued by, say, foreign broadcasters.

All this goes back to the tired old question, if you create a tool that could be used for copyright infringement, is the creator of that tool suddenly responsible for the actions of their users? The answer, thus far, seems to have almost always been, ‘only if the creator doesn’t have financial backing to fend off overzealous lawyers and the copyright industry’.

In spite of this setback by the website, the website administrator of BeeMotion Streaming wrote in their blog (Google Translation) that they might make a comeback in the future. Seeing as how the only reason they were pushed offline in the first place was because the site was hosted on a French server, it’s likely that the only required move is to have the site hosted on a server in a different country. Not all streaming sites are backed by companies like Google it seems.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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