Pointing the Webcam At the TV Leads To Trouble

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Pointing the Webcam At the TV Leads To Trouble

Thu Nov 06, 2008 @ 12:31AM PST

By Eriq Gardner

A sure one-way ticket to legal hell is stamped by messing around with a professional sports league's exclusive broadcasting rights. Case in point: the Premier League is threatening legal action against a 24-year-old who came up with a crazy website idea to point a webcam at a television and stream it live.

Earlier this year, Justin Kan launched justin.tv, a San Francisco-based website that lets users broadcast their lives. Sometimes, this entailed watching television. Some users just continuously streamed television stations from around the world. The channels that have broadcast UK soccer games has become the most popular, boasting around 150,000 viewers.

A bit like YouTube meets SlingBox.

Unsurprisingly, lawyers from UK's major sports league are pursuing Justin. The league has previously had trouble with Internet pirates and participated in a lawsuit against YouTube.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]

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