Android TV – Ireland Legal Update
Streaming is completely legal in Europe per Article 5 of EU Directive 2001/29/EC which makes it clear that a user may view (stream but not download) any content available on the internet.
We note that smartphones and Android TV’s are very similar devices and share hardware components, the Android operating system and software apps.
If a future legal action made streaming content illegal, then streaming with PC’S, mobile phones, tablets, and laptops would also be illegal. This would obviously have dramatic commercial and civil liberty impacts.
To use a Trumpism
There are certain apps that it is not legal to install (or “fully load”) on Android TV boxes before commercial sale to end users. These apps are readily available to end users on the open internet. Our customers are free if they wish to install these apps on their device using a simple app install process.
The Commercial Court has been told that three websites being accessed by people in Ireland are facilitating copyright infringement of movie and TV content. The three websites are movie4k.to, primewire.ag and onwatchseries.to.
The application from several film and TV content producers to have Irish internet service providers (ISPs) block the three websites. The ISPs are Eircom trading as Eir, Sky Ireland, Vodafone Ireland, Virgin Media Ireland, Three Ireland, Digiweb, Imagine Telecommunications and Magnet Networks. Eircom has already agreed to block the websites.
The current case will be back before the Irish Commercial Court on 28th February 2017. It is worth noting that a similar request was granted in UK courts and the sites concerned were renamed even before the order was granted. Nevertheless, we will watch the outcome of this Irish court case with interest.