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Thread: Site Policy; Use of Proxies & VPNs

  1. #1
    Administrator TVC_Admin's Avatar
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    Oct 2008

    Arrow Site Policy; Use of Proxies & VPNs

    A proxy is a server which people use as an intermediary server, so that they can access sites that would otherwise block them on the basis of their geographic location, amongst other things.

    In most instances, the use of a proxy sets out to anonymise the user, by masking or cloaking their real IP address. Users of TVC should be aware that any anonymity provided only relates to the referral (HTTP) address, not to the destination (RTMP) address of streamed or other downstream content, and offers little more than a flimsy illusion of privacy. We are able to tell with absolute accuracy whether or not you are watching video from the UK or overseas and what your real IP address is.

    If you are unsure whether you are using a proxy service, look at the link you type into your browser to get to this site. If it is anything other than www.tvcatchup.com, then you are using a proxy or a redirect. Try coming directly to the site instead.

    If you cannot get a stream or receive a message telling you so, then you are either using a proxy service from overseas or an untrusted service, such as the manydodgy VPNs that are springing up to take advantage of illegal viewing.

    Our site terms and conditions expressly forbid access to this site from outside of the country in which the broadcast was originally intended, in other words, the UK or, when lawful, anywhere in Europe. This is not a matter of our own choosing, the site operates under very strict legislation and it is unreasonable to expect us to jeopardise the site for everyone for the benefit of a handful of people who contribute nothing to either the site or broadcasters in this country.

    We recognise that users may have perfectly legitimate reasons to use a proxy (or VPN): They may be situated in schools, colleges, universities, hotels, or places of work where a non-geographically distinct IP address is provided and would otherwise be blocked. They may be using one of the ISPs who do not provide geographically accurate IP addresses, such as AOL, Tiscali, Orange or Sprint, or their employer may be doing so. Or the website may be blocked from direct access by their educational establishments, place or work or wherever, or routed through a content filtering proxy. In such circumstances we accept that users have no option other than to use a proxy service, and we have absolutely no problem with that.

    Whereas VPNs are more secure from a user point of view, they are still visible to our security system. Many companies or institutions use VPNs for perfectly lawful reasons, and therefore their use will be deemed legitimate unless otherwise apparent.

    We are required to make enquiries of anyone whose use of a proxy or VPN (to view streams, not participate in the forum) comes to our attention, please be aware of this and understand that we may have to block such users if the use to which they put our services gives us cause for concern. Please also bear in mind that many services offering unauthorised access to this site from overseas are likely to be blocked in the foreseeable future.

    Thank you for taking the trouble of reading this, the chances are that it doesn't effect you. Our wish is simply for us all to have an easy life and to protect the interests of the majority of users by complying with the law.
    TVC Administration
    ☑ ITV ☑ Chan 4 ☑Chan 5 ☑ SKY/BSB ☑ ABU QATADA ☐ COMMON SENSE

  2. #2
    Administrator TVC_Admin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008


    For those wanting a more detailed explanation regarding the use of VPNs and the risks they take:

    Copyright laws are set by international convention, specifically the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), which is based in Geneva, an organisation of which virtually every civilised country in the world is a member.

    They (WIPO) have determined that the construction, sale or use of any measure designed to circumvent any form of copyright protection, even simple geo-blocking, is a criminal offence. Every member country has implemented this provision within their national law. In the UK, this is specifically dealt with under section 296ZB of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act which states:

    296ZBDevices and services designed to circumvent technological measures.

    (1)A person commits an offence if he— .
    (a)manufactures for sale or hire, or .
    (b)imports otherwise than for his private and domestic use, or .
    (c)in the course of a business— .
    (i)sells or lets for hire, or .
    (ii)offers or exposes for sale or hire, or .
    (iii)advertises for sale or hire, or .
    (iv)possesses, or .
    (v)distributes, or .
    (d)distributes otherwise than in the course of a business to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the copyright owner, .
    any device, product or component which is primarily designed, produced, or adapted for the purpose of enabling or facilitating the circumvention of effective technological measures.
    Canada has reciprocal legislation (the Canadian Copyright Act, as enacted by Bill C-11) and the USA (in the form of 17 USC 1201), as does every other member country of WIPO

    Note the use of the expression "in the course of a business". This has been interpreted by the international law makers as meaning both those selling such services and those buying them. In their eyes, it equates to "receiving stolen goods" or "colluding with a felon" depending on where you live.

    To perhaps better explain the situation, the use of any commercial VPN to circumvent technical protection measures ("TPMs" such as geo-blocking) is actually a criminal offence in almost every country. In the UK, the penalty is defined as follows:

    (4)A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) or (2) is liable— .
    (a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or both; .
    (b)on conviction on indictment to a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or both.
    Given that several website operators have been imprisoned for lengthy terms in the past few months for authorising unlawful breaches of copyright, you can understand why we adopt such a rigid position regarding access to our service using VPNs.

    However, we are also aware of several people who have used VPNs to access sites such as the BBC and ITV (and that just about sums up what is available on the net) who have been charged with copyright offences in Spain, France and the US, so users have to ask yourself if they are really prepared to risk prosecution in the country in which they have made their home. It seems a high price to pay, and people need to remember that their ISPs are required to log their activities for just such purposes

    Turning next to the method by which we detect and block VPNs, we use statistical and various other methods that we're not prepared (or allowed) to discuss for legal reasons, but we are aware that similar methods are now being trialled by a number of European and US broadcasters, including Hulu.

    This is just a summary of the international position as determined by WIPO in terms that most people should understand. We cannot change it by ignoring the law - for that would make us indistingiuishable criminals from those who wh profit from illegal VPNs, but we are challenging it in the proper way. in the international courts, and with a large measure of success.
    TVC Administration
    ☑ ITV ☑ Chan 4 ☑Chan 5 ☑ SKY/BSB ☑ ABU QATADA ☐ COMMON SENSE

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