Bryan McCarthy, the Deer Park man arrested last week for illegally livestreaming sporting events on the Web, is getting some support.
A Web-freedom group called Demand Progress says McCarthy's arrest represents "a radical shift" in federal-government policy because his site only linked to (illegal) livestreaming of events.
Their take (italics and bolding included):
[T]hey don't even allege that he made a copy of anything! Just that he ran what they call a "linking website" which linked to various sites with copyrighted material. Under that sort of thinking, everyone who's sent around a link to a copyrighted YouTube video is a criminal.
"This is another shocking overreach by DHS and ICE -- a steamship-era department that's proving once again that it doesn't understand the Internet," the groups says. "We need to push back -- and fast -- before they try to lock up more Americans."
A petition has been started.
DP has the charging document in the case, which showed that McCarthy's site, channelsurfing.net, also included links to network shows and news. As for the sporting events, they included pay-per-view WWE and UFC stuff, NFL games, NBA, NHL and MLB.
And just in case you don't think federal agents sacrifice themselves during investigations, one had to watch a mid-December game between the Golden State Warriors and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Above and beyond, to be sure.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.