Ruling threatens Wizzgo future

The French online virtual PVR service Wizzgo is no longer allowed to include programmes from the channels M6 and W9, according to a ruling by the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris. Viewers can record programmes from all 18 French DTT channels and play them back on their computer, Media Centre or video iPod. The legal proceedings were instigated by Metropole Télévision, the owner of M6 and W9, “The Court in particular considered that this service of ‘digital video recorder’ could not be classified as a private copy and evades paying copyright,” according to a statement by the broadcaster.

This ruling will threaten the future of Wizzgo and other online PVR services, as most other broadcasters are now likely to follow suit and prevent the portal from offering their programmes. Most major French broadcasters have their own online Catch-up TV service, but these usually only offer a selected number of programmes to which the broadcaster owns the online rights.