View Full Version : ReplayTV?
11-02-2002, 07:08 PM
Anyone else using a ReplayTV? I just picked up the 5040 model and am loving it so far. I really like the idea of being able to exchance recorded programs with others, but haven't tried it yet.
What a night of odd piracy conflicts. So would it be okay for someone from Seinfeld to pirate a Sierra game? Fair trade?
11-02-2002, 10:42 PM
The Seinfeld episode was free for the legal viewer. You resolve the paradox.
11-02-2002, 11:33 PM
Huh? Does anyone pay to watch Seinfeld? Do the networks collect money from you in exchange for watching their programs? When you exchange shows with ReplayTV you get the commercials and all with them. This has absolutely nothing to do with piracy.
I guess I'm not even seeing how a piracy issue could be construed. If I am only sent programs which I had access to anyway (through free over-the-air stations or basic cable, which I subscribe to), what's the difference? These are all shows that I could have watched if I wanted. I could also have taped them, but I got rid of my VCR.
Unless I'm missing something philosophical, no issues here.
Ignoring the actual permission to share and any copyright notice, I do not know of a series that does not at some point have the series available on DVD or VHS, so wouldn't your trading cut into potential future profits of the sale of these collections?
Example. Your friend really wants to watch the masturbation contest episode. It is not aired in reruns where he is at, you say - "hey I've got that here you go". The next day the series is released on DVD, your friend no longer feels the need to purchase the DVD because you have provided him with the episode that would have been the impetus for his purchase.
Or Adam, are you in some way suggesting at times the user of the material in question will have needs or wants that supercede the original IP owner? Copyright be damned?
Or since it is not your industry, and you just could not bothered to think about it? After all you plugged that big Ebay reviewer selling hole, all copyright owners should be thanking you.
11-03-2002, 01:45 AM
Or to add the "free" example, television series are sold into syndication, and that is where they make most of their money. If you pass around copies of broadcast television shows, you erode the syndication market by reducing the demand for repeats, and erode the producers' ability to turn a profit.
Despite the fact the commercials are included, are the viewings of shows passed between users recorded in the ratings in any fashion? If not, it doesn't matter if the commercials are included because the secondary viewings of the show are not creating any benefit for the producers. If anything, there is a negative effect since there is a group of viewers that are not incresing the price paid for those commercials.
Maybe the producers should combine the cues from the software industry and Major League Baseball and include a type of shrinkwrap license at the beginning and end of every show. "By agreeing to view this program you waive fair use rights, rights to repeat viewings, any right to record the program and transmit or display it to others, and any other right granted end users under the copyright laws of the US."
11-03-2002, 02:23 AM
The SC ruled that VCRs are acceptable in the Betamax (http://www.virtualrecordings.com/betamax.htm) case. I suppose you can come up with a hairsplitting reason that VCRs are ok and digital recorders aren't, but I'd be amazed if the SC accepted it. Even more surprisingly, they only approved 5-4; can you imagine VCRs that won't record television shows?
Congress could specifically ban them if it wished, though.
My opinion: television *somehow* survived the rise of the VCR. They'll *somehow* survive the rise of digital recorders. The entertainment industry is insane if they think they can basically stop technical innovation, and fighting DVRs is tantamount to doing so.
11-03-2002, 08:11 AM
Meh, I'm not gonna fight for my right to do something that's illegal. Despite your trolling responses, Chet, trading television programs is completely legal and approved by the powers that be (at least for now). So I'm not gonna sweat it. I'm not gonna rationalize making mix tapes, either, does that bother anyone?
So, the question still stands - anyone got one of these bad boys? I'm really liking mine - myreplaytv.com is seriously UBER. I can program the damn thing over the Internet!
11-03-2002, 08:12 AM
Gah, first sentance above should have said NOT illegal, hehe.
11-03-2002, 09:25 AM
Despite your trolling responses, Chet, trading television programs is completely legal and approved by the powers that be (at least for now).
The various entities suing SonicBlue over ReplayTV don't think it's legal.
I bet you skip commercials, too. That IS stealing from the channel, if you watch the show without viewing the advertisements that pay for it. :-)
Of course, it'll all be a moot point with the new copy protection that was stealthily added to the digital broadcast formats. Copy protection that will not only prevent PVR recordings of pay-per-view movies and any other programs the networks deem nonrecordable, but will also render some programs unwatchable on the early digital TVs that people dropped $6 or $7 grand on.
I was under the impression, the betmax law does not cover you giving a third party a copy. Adam, there is a copyright notice on everyone of those shows. I guess you just feel you can rationalize in this case to not abide by the wishes of the copyright holder, so if a pirate can rationalize pirating a Sierra game, as long as he can sleep at night, it is okay?
Under your rationalization, I can make a copy of a game for my friend and lend it to him, right?
11-03-2002, 10:49 AM
Replay is the only DVR that does the show-sharing thing -- I think it's a bad idea. But they're also getting sued for the commercial-skip feature. Tivo avoided both these features, mainly because their major investors are networks and they knew better than to incur their wrath.
Of course, neither company will ultimately survive, IMHO, but it will be for different reasons.
And that concludes my contribution of Tivo-zealotry for the month.
11-03-2002, 11:05 AM
The value of commercials in swapped shows can be zero if the commercials are local and you live in different communities.
Well, unless you're planning on flying to St. Louis to buy your used car, Adam. Then I guess those commercials have some value.
I don't know the legality of these things, but it's undeniable to me that if it becomes widespread it will cut into advertising revenue. Just like TIVO and the like will cut into ad revenue as it becomes more and more commonplace. Good? Bad?
I also don't know if game companies can legally prohibit review copies from being sold unless there's an agreement in place between the two parties. At least this practice doesn't cut into a game company's revenue in any appreciable manner!
11-03-2002, 11:34 AM
I'm not sure I agree with the implicit argument that I have agreed in some way with the networks that I get my free TV in exchange for watching ads. That may be how it works, but I never signed a contract agreeing that I would watch the ads.
That point may be made law at some time in the future, but it isn't yet, and until it's made law that trading TV shows is illegal (as piracy is), I will continue to do it and enjoy it. The day that the supreme court says that it's not OK, I'll stop.
The way networks get compensated for the programming they give me is their problem. HBO decided that they want to get money direct from viewers. ABC decided that they could get that money from advertisers. Perhaps one day ABC will decide that they can't get enough money from advertisers and will begin charging viewers directly - more power to them.
I will not and would not accept a program from a pay television station to which I do not subscribe. That probably is illegal, but it's definitely immoral and I try not to be hypocritical.
Let's put it this way - if Sierra one day decided that we could get advertising revenue for our games and we "broadcast" them over the Internet for free for anyone to grab, I would most certainly be perplexed about this sort of feature, but I wouldn't think it was illegal to trade the game to someone else or skip the ads. I would simply try to figure out a new way of making money.
And enough about the selling free copies crap - that is Chet trying to take this argument down a road that means nothing. I never sued anyone or even took it any further than a philosphical debate. The issue is closed and in the end I agreed that I couldn't expect anyone else to abide by an implicit agreement that I thought was made. From now on we slap a sticker on the front making it clear that selling our review copies is a no-no.
And even then it's not "illegal," so don't go there.
11-03-2002, 12:09 PM
I think it's funny how people will beat their fist on the table talking about commercials in otherwise free television but then install programs that block banner ads from otherwise free websites and spam from otherwise free e-mail.
Here are three types of entertainment media in which you pay for access to the "network" (internet/cable tv) but not for the specific bits of content you use (web sites/email/tv shows) and yet I'm sure some who valiantly defend one will attack the other. I just thought I'd point out the paradox.
The day that the supreme court says that it's not OK, I'll stop.
Now that we have thrown our own morals out the door and look to others how to behave, what if I just pirate games if I know I won't be caught?
The way networks get compensated for the programming they give me is their problem.
Your other point of view seems to hinge on, well that isn't a good way to derive income, so the ease at which you can copy the programs and share them are actually the fault of free television? Since clone cd makes it trivial for me to copy sierra games, does that make it okay? After all the way Sierra distributes their games on easy to copy cds is their problem, right?
11-03-2002, 01:17 PM
They'll never let you live down the review copy thing. It's the nature of this board. But it's 99% in good fun. Remember, one word: "micropayments."
People are just enjoying the irony of you posting about an intellectual property topic that there is currently some debate on.
11-03-2002, 01:58 PM
clone cd makes it trivial for me to copy sierra games, does that make it okay?
Not any more. There's a new protection that even CloneCD can't copy. Of course downloading the crack is easy enough-- assuming it's been released, which for new games takes a while-- but I prefer perfect 1:1 copies of my games.
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