Currently, the number one paid app in the UK App Store is “TV English Premium”. Since its launch 2 days ago, it provided live streaming of a number of obviously copyrighted content, such as Sky Movies and Sky Sports, all in a really rather glorious 1080p HD and AirPlay support.
Unfortunately, while it’s still available on the App Store, it doesn’t actually work. It appears the app was just streaming futubox’s streams access to which has now been pulled.
Twitter anger seems to be against Apple or Futubox. Some blame Apple for breaking it (they didn’t), others blame Futubox for shutting it down (it was using their content, presumably without permission). The app updates its channel list from a server, as well as its stream URLs. When the App was submitted to apple, it almost certainly was only displaying legal content, which is why Apple allowed it through. Apps like this need to be able to update live, it’s a risk apple have to take. Obviously by switching to stream copyright material it’s now in breach of those terms, and will no doubt be pulled once Apple realise.
The legality of Futubox is another question entirely, they seem to suggest they are legal, but i’m sure the increased spotlight on them following this weekend will soon lead to a definitive answer on that. But the popularity of the app, while partly or even mostly led by the fact it [is|was] 69p, demonstrates a thirst for premium content, without the need for satellite broadcast equipment, and the current model is just not working…