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Japanese Supreme Court Rules TV Forwarding Illegal

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the legal-is-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder dept.

Television 177

eldavojohn writes "If you use anything like a Slingbox in Japan, you may be dismayed to find out that a Japanese maker of a similar service has been successfully sued by Japan Broadcasting Corp. and five Tokyo-based local TV broadcasting firms under copyright violations for empowering users to do similar things. TV forwarding or place shifting is recording and/or moving your normal TV signal from its intended living room box to your home computer or anywhere on the internet. Turns out that Japan's Supreme Court overruled lower court decisions confirming fears that to even facilitate this functionality is a copyright infringement on the work that is being transferred."

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Ridiculous (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34982442)

This ruling is ridiculous. Once a signal is openly broadcast why do the content providers think they can limit how you view the content?

Re:Ridiculous (3, Insightful)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983132)

They have a right to control EXPORT of the content to other countries, which is what this ruling forbids. Read the frakkin' article

Re:Ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34984466)

That's still ridiculous. Export laws are stupid when applied to information. We live in one global online community (maybe excluding China and some other crazy countries). They need to learn to deal with reality.

Re:Ridiculous (1)

chiasmus1 (654565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983344)

This ruling is ridiculous. Once a signal is openly broadcast why do the content providers think they can limit how you view the content?

The signal is not really open. If you lived in Japan, you would know that there is a law that allows NHK to collect money if you have a television or other device that can pick up the signal. You are required to pay money, even if you do not watch NHK. The funny part is that the law requires you to pay, but no one can do anything about it (except continue to visit and ask for money) if you do not pay.

I once paid for a Sony LocationFree box and had it hosted at a third party company so that I could watch Japanese television in the USA. What always confused me was that there was no good alternative to using Sony LocationFree, I wanted to have an Internet channel (also ruled illegal), not a box I paid for hosted in Japan somewhere.

Re:Ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34984476)

How about japanese channels on satelite? http://www.tvjapan.net/en/watching/dishnetwork.html [tvjapan.net] in the USA or http://www.jstv.co.uk/ [jstv.co.uk] in Europe. Probably less programs for a higher price, but atleast it is legal.

Re:Ridiculous (2)

Creepy (93888) | more than 3 years ago | (#34984566)

Germany has something similar, and as I recall it is per-monitor (including computer) as well. Supposedly it is to keep the number of commercials down, but I hear it doesn't help much.

My big question is since you can do the same thing with any proxy server, does that make proxy servers illegal as well?

Re:Ridiculous (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 3 years ago | (#34984036)

Why would broadcasters even care? Unless someone bothered to edit the broadcast before transmission (afaik slingbox and others don't automatically remove commercials for you), the viewer still gets spammed with commercials. Seems like good business for the broadcaster to me.

Re:Ridiculous (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#34984242)

because you're adding value to their products!

how dare you emphasize that they're missing the chance to let people watch their channels outside their country! /sarcasm.

what about a long cable (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34982470)

is that illegal too? if so how long does it have to be 5m
10m 100m?

i don't know how you make a rule like this without it
being capricious and arbitrary. but then again ianajl

Re:what about a long cable (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 3 years ago | (#34984138)

Or a sufficiently high-powered telescope, an even series of mirrors, and S/PDIF via laser to carry the audio?

And nothing of value was lost (0, Troll)

Magada (741361) | more than 3 years ago | (#34982472)

Good. The faster they wean the slobbering masses off of TV, the better. It's fast getting to the point where not even the dumbest of the dumb will have the patience to watch huge slices of commercials sandwiched between product-placement "shows".

Re:And nothing of value was lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34982562)

durr TV has made me dum, thas why uh forward it via a ssh pipe (4096 bit key) through that there series of tubes.

Re:And nothing of value was lost (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34982654)

You fool! This is Japanese TV we're talking about!

Think about it: No more Japanese TV means a significant drop in anime produced. A significant drop in anime means less of it exported to the US (legality notwithstanding). That leads to the otaku/Japanophiles in the US losing their candy-colored pseudo-philosophic drivel. THAT leads to their now relatively-well-contained minor communities breaking down, and that leads to them breaking out and infesting the rest of the internet at large!

Don't you see? This isn't about keeping the slobbering masses stupid! This is about keeping the slobbering masses away from US!

Re:And nothing of value was lost (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34982662)

You know, generally whenever someone uses the term "slobbering masses", I know with 99% certainty that they're a dick.

Re:And nothing of value was lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34984080)

And since you just used the term (and to criticize another poster, no less) you're now 100% confirmed as a dick.

Dick.

Re:And nothing of value was lost (4, Insightful)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 3 years ago | (#34982680)

Yeah, and as more and more people stop watching TV, the amount of ads that show up in commercial breaks on Hulu grows. It's up to two, now, from just one -- don't you think that by the time TV "goes away," it will have reached parity, rendering this argument obsolete?

Re:And nothing of value was lost (3, Insightful)

Magada (741361) | more than 3 years ago | (#34982952)

Maybe by then you'll have the good sense to give up on Hulu too.

Re:And nothing of value was lost (3, Insightful)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983112)

And just do the sensible thing and just pirate everything (and then whine unceasingly when shows get canceled for lack of revenue from viewers) or is this a "popular culture is so crass and I'm so sophisticated it hurts, but in a snooty way, not a plebeian way" statement?

Re:And nothing of value was lost (1)

NoSig (1919688) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983556)

and then whine unceasingly when shows get canceled for lack of revenue from viewers

You are whining about whining, the mark of a true snob. Here's you membership card and welcome.

Re:And nothing of value was lost (4, Insightful)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983686)

And just do the sensible thing and just pirate everything (and then whine unceasingly when shows get canceled for lack of revenue from viewers) or is this a "popular culture is so crass and I'm so sophisticated it hurts, but in a snooty way, not a plebeian way" statement?

Right. As if piracy has ever been the cause of a show being cancelled.

Re:And nothing of value was lost (1)

rident (1287114) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983124)

Maybe you should find the good sense to give up on both currently?

Re:And nothing of value was lost (0)

Magada (741361) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983926)

Already did, thanks.

Re:And nothing of value was lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34984452)

In fact, let's give up entertainment as a whole and stop watching TV, playing video games, going out to the local club and skiing once in a while.

Entertainment is so mainstream.

No, really, fuck you.

Re:And nothing of value was lost (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983230)

I don't mine online Hulu ads. It's not as if you're forced to watch them (open another browser window, read another chapter of your book, go potty, whatever). Just as we did with broadcast tv.

Once TV is gone, They will control the Internet (2)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983358)

Mark my words.
Once they get rid of the old competition (e.i TV) you'll get:
-Gobs of commercials.
-demands for your personal info BEFORE you get to watch anything
-Demand proof that you are from where you are
-Etc.

Re:Once TV is gone, They will control the Internet (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983480)

Demand proof that you are from where you are

they do this now. Many shows that are downloadable from US networks like NBC or CBS are blocked if you try and get them from outside the US. Even some TV shows broadcast on satellite are blocked if your receiver is outside of the US.

Re:And nothing of value was lost (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983406)

Yeah, and as more and more people stop watching TV, the amount of ads that show up in commercial breaks on Hulu grows. It's up to two, now, from just one -- don't you think that by the time TV "goes away," it will have reached parity, rendering this argument obsolete?

And DVDs. I can barely tolerate "previews" for old movies on DVDs I purchased. I don't want coke commercials.

Re:And nothing of value was lost (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34984460)

And DVDs. I can barely tolerate "previews" for old movies on DVDs I purchased. I don't want coke commercials.

Step one: Install XBMC. Step two: start it. Step three: configure it to attempt to skip annoying PGCs.

Mixed in with my other apps I enjoy vlc because it is good at playing DVDs (recently) and it is good at skipping video. In my living room it's XBMC on Windows (I also watch Netflix on the system.)

Re:And nothing of value was lost (3, Informative)

dintech (998802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34982744)

I wonder what this means for the Japanese Government sponsered TV Streaming App:

Keyhole TV [v2p.jp]
Wikipedia Article [wikipedia.org]

Re:And nothing of value was lost (1)

Tr3vin (1220548) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983016)

I need my anime, damn it!

Re:And nothing of value was lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34983028)

Even the so-called educational shows usually contain the equivalent of one paragraph of facts, spaced out with lots of filler material. There's still little substitute for a good book. Some TV shows are good entertainment, so long as you remember that's all they are, but I'd still rather see those shows move to a standard (RSS/Atom-based) podcast format.

ok, what's next? Illegal to take tap water? (0)

tomkost (944194) | more than 3 years ago | (#34982476)

Stupid. At this rate, you won't be allowed to take water out of your house without paying a tax to the water company.

Wait...what? (-1, Offtopic)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34982478)

Maybe I'm missing something here, but how could it possibly be illegal to "shift" a TV broadcast from one room to another? Are they pissed you aren't buying another TV Provider's box? Are they pissed about the possibility of the stream ending up online? What's going on here?

I see what they're saying, but it doesn't make any sense. Insert the sound of an adult talking in a Peanuts cartoon here.

Re:Wait...what? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34982582)

Are they pissed you aren't buying another TV Provider's box?

This is the same country that, due to special interest groups, made it illegal to rent video games or consoles while leaving it perfectly legal to do the same with other types of media including dvds and music cds. This includes "selling" those video games for a week or two with the agreed upon idea of "buying it back" a week later for 10 dollars less than the original price.

So yeah, that's probably why they're doing it.

Re:Wait...what? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34984238)

As opposed to some other countries where special interest groups made it OK to rent video games and consoles, but NOT okay to rent music CDs.

True story: a branch of a Japanese retail chain opened a store in my town in the US. Being the thing they do back home, they had Japanese music CDs for rent. Mind you, this was in the days before CD copying existed so it was not like you could make a perfect copy unless you had a DAT drive, which almost nobody did. And then the tapes for that would cost more than the CD. So basically CD copying didn't happen.

But the store was eventually found by the US music licensing companies (ASCAP, etc) and C&D'd over this practice of renting CDs. Apparently it's not allowed in the US, which may explain why I've never seen any other place in the US do it.

But I don't understand why. You can rent DVDs. You can rent video games. You can even borrow CDs from the public library. But you can't rent them.

Re:Wait...what? (2)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34982672)

I see what they're saying, but it doesn't make any sense.

Welcome to every bit of Japanese Culture, EVER.

Re:Wait...what? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34984426)

It only doesn't make sense from a distance, or to those without imagination. It's easy to see how the legend of the Kappa could have grown out of someone in denial about loving violent buttsex.

Re:Wait...what? (3, Interesting)

papabob (1211684) | more than 3 years ago | (#34982930)

Are they pissed about the possibility of the stream ending up online?

Yes. This is basically the thing. But its better to have somewhat more context: we are talking about a country with amazingly fast internet connection. Neigbourghoods are in esence connected with what we call "ethernet speed" so it's not uninimaginable that some guy buys such device and feeds his pay-per-view stream to his building's router, effectively allowing all their neigbourghs to view tv for free (or just imagine a college building the day of superbowl or victoria's secret show...).

Re:Wait...what? (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983410)

A slight exaggeration. Japan's "amazing" speed is only 18.5 Mbit/s average. This compares with the U.S. average of 10.5* and EU average of 9.5 Mbit/s.

*
* US was once 8.5 Mbit/s, so speeds have increased over the last two years.

Re:Wait...what? (1)

Lazareth (1756336) | more than 3 years ago | (#34984350)

So, almost double the speed on average of everybody else. "Amazing". I can see why you're not impressed.

Re:Wait...what? (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34982936)

What's going on here?

They want you to pay them before "shifting."

Re:Wait...what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34983006)

All sounds kinda "shifty" to me.

Re:Wait...what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34983876)

Maybe I'm missing something here, but how could it possibly be illegal to "shift" a TV broadcast from one room to another? Are they pissed you aren't buying another TV Provider's box? Are they pissed about the possibility of the stream ending up online? What's going on here?

I see what they're saying, but it doesn't make any sense. Insert the sound of an adult talking in a Peanuts cartoon here.

This sort of idiocy isn't new - there was a giant clusterfuck of lawsuits when the VCR was first released that led to the media companies getting spanked. Now, they're apparently hell-bent on re-litigating it all, with the words "on a computer" added.

Targeted: Fansubbers (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34982508)

This is designed to prevent anime fansubbers from capturing raw broadcasts, subtitling them, and distributing them in the US and Europe before there are licensing deals (which are now negotiated after first run in Japan based on popularity there, and most shows aren't licensed) to protect the sales of DVDs and Blu-Rays.

It's bullshit.

Re:Targeted: Fansubbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34982536)

And pointless.

This wont stop shit.

Re:Targeted: Fansubbers (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983312)

The artists' desire to get paid for their labor is "bullshit"? Really? How many hours do you give to your boss for free?
You don't give free hours to your boss?
Well that's bullshit too.
/end sarcasm

Re:Targeted: Fansubbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34983604)

Call bullshit all you want, but fansubs essentially built the anime/manga market up to where it is in the US. The vast majority of anime that makes it over here has already been fansubbed to hell and back by at least a half dozen independant groups and gets wide coverage with the targetted fanbase well before any company picks it up.

Consider how at anime conventions, a show will be announced for distribution and there will be a HUGE applause by an expectant crowd. I can damned well assure you 95% of that crowd has already watched the show which is why they're cheering. They know the show is good, and some of them will be buying it on DVD when it's officially released regardless of that fact.

If anything this will have a NEGATIVE net impact on the US anime industry as a whole.

Re:Targeted: Fansubbers (1)

C_amiga_fan (1960858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983732)

If anything this will have a NEGATIVE net impact on the US anime industry as a whole.

Doubtful. People will still be able to watch the fansubbed anime --- they just won't be doing it from the Nagano Shashoto(sp?) Export company which the Japan Supreme Court banned. Instead they'll use torrent or Usenet groups.

Re:Targeted: Fansubbers (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983880)

As parent said, many shows aren't licensed, and that is bullshit. If they're not interested in selling them to certain markets, prohibiting sharing is just selfishness and nothing to do with wanting to be paid.

Re:Targeted: Fansubbers (3, Informative)

Chang (2714) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983342)

This is incorrect. This ruling went against Nagano Shoten's Maneki TV service which was targeted almost exclusively at a small number of Japanese living overseas - especially people who were doing the same thing by sticking a media PC at their Japanese apartment or parents house or whatnot and streaming it themselves.

Sony sells a device called location free TV that does the same thing except you set it up yourself with no service provider involved.

I wouldn't read too much into this ruling. If Sony is sued successfully then this would actually be news.

Re:Targeted: Fansubbers (0)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983352)

Yes. Heaven forbid people who have legitimate claims to international copyright and redistribution ensure that their rights are upheld.

Anime isn't free. Entertainment isn't a right.

Entertainment is a consumable product.

Re:Targeted: Fansubbers (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983378)

It's too bad no one has come up with a legal way of simulcasting subbed anime over the internet.

dear media execs: you can't control this (1, Informative)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34982516)

why do lawyers believe they can stop the march of technological progress?

it didn't work with the printing press, and it didn't work with every other media advance since

why do some fools continue to believe it will stopped now, or ever?

technological progress trumps law. always. deal with it

Re:dear media execs: you can't control this (4, Funny)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#34982632)

why do lawyers believe they can stop the march of technological progress?

well, its either that or do real work.

which would *you* pick?

Re:dear media execs: you can't control this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34982656)

Lawyers don't care, they're engaged by clients to act on their behalf. If you're going to blame someone blame the TV companies.

Re:dear media execs: you can't control this (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34982694)

"Lawyers don't care, they're engaged by clients to act on their behalf. If you're going to blame someone blame the TV companies."

companies which are usually run by lawyers

Re:dear media execs: you can't control this (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#34982770)

You are making the factual assertion that most TV companies are run by lawyers? Do you have any backup for this remarkable assertion?

Re:dear media execs: you can't control this (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983056)

No, but most TV stations surround themselves with a plague (my collective term for a group) of lawyers.

Re:dear media execs: you can't control this (2)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983432)

No, but most TV stations surround themselves with a plague (my collective term for a group) of lawyers.

Really? I kinda like Doves....

I would have used: a Culture of Lawyers (same as bacteria), a battery of lawyers (barracuda), a Smack of Lawyers (jelly fish), or maybe a Surfiet of Lawyers (skunks)...

my apologies to all those animals.

Re:dear media execs: you can't control this (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#34984096)

I would guess most TV stations are small outfits that often won't even have any lawyers in-house. If you mean TV networks, I think you're probably overstating things.

Re:dear media execs: you can't control this (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34982658)

why do lawyers believe they can stop the march of technological progress?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Money [wikipedia.org]

Re:dear media execs: you can't control this (2)

Ancantus (1926920) | more than 3 years ago | (#34982886)

Lawyers don't truly want to stop technological progress, they want to get rich while technology progresses. Sure a few may truly believe that improvements in technology will be the downfall of their profession (as many of us keep wishing). But any lawyer worth his suit jacket has realized that emerging technology is an amazing way to earn great money, and ingrain themselves deeper in the social/political system. It may appear that they wish technological innovation's downfall, but without an innovator to create an idea, where would the patent lawyer be.

Re:dear media execs: you can't control this (1)

FreonTrip (694097) | more than 3 years ago | (#34982940)

Because there is a tremendous amount of money to be made in prolonging the inevitable.

Re:dear media execs: you can't control this (2)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34982956)

Lawyers can't stop the march of the technological progress... but they can sure as hell slow it down. Stopping the sale of devices they deem to be illegal, etc. Big companies slow technological progress until they can figure out a way to turn a profit... and they probably will eventually find a way.

Re:dear media execs: you can't control this (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983218)

If progress means your high profit industry is turning into a low profit industry or a no profit industry then of course they'll do everything to block progress. Nobody except a few socialist idealists think people will take pay cuts or give up their livelihood for "the good of society". It's the rest of society that has to tell them "tough luck, find something else to do" and if you don't they'll just keep going. For example take the whole ambassador thing, they were very important as long as that was the person kings and statesmen would interact with and messages had to go by mail or courier back and forth with the home government. Today Obama could pick up the phone and call Putin just as easily - probably easier - than relaying stuff through the Russian ambassador. Or for lesser things, just a liason to the United States back in Moscow. And yet these people are in the highest circles of society, highest pay grade and live in extremely luxurious estates on prime locations with diplomatic immunity. Embassies serve more purposes which are still useful, but ambassadors must be the world's most glorified delivery boys.

Re:dear media execs: you can't control this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34983250)

Government made the decision, not the corporate execs or their lawyers. Therefore, the fault lies entirely with government, and there is where your anger should be directed.

Re:dear media execs: you can't control this (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983956)

You have it wrong. The lawyers KNOW this is a losing fight. They have just convinced the guys who sign the checks it's not.

Actually, good (1)

nightfire-unique (253895) | more than 3 years ago | (#34982518)

This is actually good news. Anything that helps further the demise of television is a good thing.

Re:Actually, good (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983134)

This is actually good news. Anything that helps further the demise of television is a good thing.

Televisions seems to be doing just fine in my opinion. It's putting out a poorer and poorer product and making money hand over fist. Advertisers wouldn't be shelling out the kind of money if people we're watching.

Re:putting out a poorer and poorer product (1)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983606)

I'm curious, just when was the golden age of television? I seem to recall plenty of ignorant shows during my youth such as The Lone Ranger, Gilligan's Island, The Love Boat. If anything, some of the more recent sci-fi like stargate, and battlestar galactica, are much better than anything 30 years ago.

Re:putting out a poorer and poorer product (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983758)

I was going to list other shows... but I realized that I only need to start and stop with Jersey Shore. Reality television is a cheap alternative to actually having to write a script or put any work in except for sitting there with a camera. The only really good shows are on Showtime: Dexter, Weeds, etc.

Re:Actually, good (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983500)

Really?

I would miss-out on great shows like Star Trek: DS9, Babylon 5, Xena, Buffy, Angel, X-Files, Supernatural, Farscape, Stargate, Haven, BSG, and Caprica..... just to name a few. The end of television would be sad.

Eating shows and infomercials (2)

DinDaddy (1168147) | more than 3 years ago | (#34982532)

This is even more bizarre in the context of it being about Japanese TV. Most of what I see when I am there are eating (not cooking) shows, odd game shows, and infomercials. And news.

Re:Eating shows and infomercials (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34982660)

eating (not cooking)

I'd love to be a talento that gets paid to eat nice food and say 'oishii' all day. Unfortunately I am not a member of SMAP or Arashi so it's a non-starter.

Re:Eating shows and infomercials (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983906)

Why would they need cooking shows if they eat raw stuff all the time ?

What about longer cables? (1)

ifrag (984323) | more than 3 years ago | (#34982546)

So by this logic, using a longer cable to transmit the signal is also a copyright violation! They better regulate the maximum allowable cable lengths as well!

No, Re-encoded Transmission Bigger Factor (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34982670)

So by this logic, using a longer cable to transmit the signal is also a copyright violation! They better regulate the maximum allowable cable lengths as well!

No, there's not a lot of material here but I think it has more to do with converting or capturing the signal to a framed encoding and then viewing this on a device unintended. There's the obvious facilitation of digital recording (like your own DVR) and redistribution or broadcasting to unintended individuals.

Basically I think it comes down to a problem with locked down system to potentially open system. The new technology could potentially facilitate this.

Remember, early on Slingbox and Tivo faced these same questionable legal issues [newsweek.com] ... looks like Slingbox's strategy is not valid in Japan.

Re:No, Re-encoded Transmission Bigger Factor (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34982718)

What it means, really, is that Japan has just upheld the right of major manufacturers to force you to buy the white album again. Can this really have been on behalf of anyone but Sony? I will bet actual money that the money that influenced their decision came from Sony. Further, I will bet actual money that they were bribed. Now if we could only prove it one way or another.

Re:What about longer cables? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#34982686)

its not 'logic'. you thinking people have to stop assuming that laws and courts follow logic.

really. grow up. the world is not logical and anyone who led you to think this was lying to you.

powerful people get what they want. logic and rules don't enter into it. rules are defined by those in power.

media co's see a way to tighten control and they bought legal support. yawn. same thing happens here. our DRM is court-bought laws that attempt to cancel out 'obvious rights'. same thing there.

Re:What about longer cables? (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 3 years ago | (#34982746)

Actually his problem is equating "using a longer cable" with "receiving, re-encoding, and re-transmitting".

Re:What about longer cables? (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | more than 3 years ago | (#34984278)

You mean like the NFL does here on private screen size (annual Super Bowl parties article on /. in a couple weeks).

ps3 + psp remote play (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34982706)

Does this mean Sony are going to remove the Remote Play capability from the PS3 now?
It will transcode video from PlayTV (the freeview tv tuner for ps3) either live or from your library, it will also transcode video from your UPNP media shares and serve it up to the PSP system.
Great for watching TV as you wander around the house. It can also send it over the intarweb to your psp wherever it is. The PSP can turn the PS3 system on remotely too.

Space-shifting "service" is the issue (5, Informative)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 3 years ago | (#34982834)

Here's a better article. [japantimes.co.jp]

Looks like the issue is a commercial entity providing the space-shifting service. This isn't an individual setting up his own DVR and using a VPN to watch recorded shows. This case involves a company acting as a proxy for the individual, hoping that the following claim will protect them -
.

Nagano Shoten said it is just renting out space to install the devices belonging to its customers, who chiefly live abroad, and is not infringing copyright.

Having not seen actual court documents, I'm inclined to think that the third-party service is the real issue. Oh, and that pesky part about the media cartels not getting a cut.

Re:Space-shifting "service" is the issue (5, Informative)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983114)

Actually had a friend who worked in sales selling one of these services.

The way it works is this:

The company hires a room in Tokyo and fills it top to bottom with (legally purchased) decoder boxes. The output from these is sent over the internet to paying customers in foreign countries -- in the UK in the case of my friend. They get access to these "proxied" services, the idea being that they can watch Japanese TV programs from the UK without needing all the special satellite equipment.

The (stupid) copyright issue is down to regional licensing of TV programs and films, which is why the established broadcasters hate these services and try to portray them as criminal / pirates when of course they are no such thing.

Anyway, hope this explains a bit more what's going on here. I see it's business as usual for openness and transparency in Japanese politics/law ...

Rich.

Re:Space-shifting "service" is the issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34983162)

The third-party IS the issue. Not because of what they did, but because they thought of it first, actually implemented it, and here's the key part, were making money off of it. Now that the broadcasting companies know they can make money with such a service, step 1) kill competition via legislation 2) buy up the remnants or reimplement the service. Why compete directly when you can send the politician in your pocket to get rid of your competition for you?

Re:Space-shifting "service" is the issue (0)

Chang (2714) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983392)

Somebody mod this guy up - he is exactly correct about this whole issue.

Re:Space-shifting "service" is the issue (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983592)

>>>I'm inclined to think that the third-party service is the real issue.

Yep. Basically the same thing that led Broadcast Networks to block GoogleTV from seeing their shows on hulu and other sources. They want to control when/how you see the content they own.

The difference is that Nagano Shoten was broadcasting outside of Japan, so it was also copyright infringement AND violation of export restrictions.

Hold on here. (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34982942)

Reading the secondary link, instead of the one linked to in the article, says something different:

This has nothing to do with Slingbox which, as I understand, is not a service provided by a 3rd party but a device and software you use and set up yourself. The Nikkei article linked reads as follows:

Japan Broadcasting Corp. and five Tokyo-based local TV broadcasting firms sued computer company Nagano Shoten, demanding the firm's service be terminated for copyright violation and seeking damages.

So a 3rd party firm was effectively redistributing the broadcasts and charging for the service. While I don't believe this should be a problem (charging for routing of free to broadcast programming including the advertising,) I can see where the problem comes in.

Services like Slingbox are likely immune as they are effectively a private circuit. I suspect that Sony sells both ends of the streaming hardware to end-users and said device was not the subject of this suit.

Just forwarding or selling devices to forward (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983044)

Is it illegal to use the devices or is it illegal to sell the devices? The former is virtually impossible to prove.

Contracts (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983068)

I'm going to take a devil's advocate approach here. You've subscribed to a service and signed some sort of contract. That contract probably stated that you can use the service in a certain predescribed manner. If you use it in any other manner, you are probably in breach of that contract. If you don't like the terms of that contract, there are many different legal options including choosing no options and obtaining televisions shows ad-hoc across the internet for a small fee.

If your cable provider wanted to actually make a few bucks, maybe they'd provide an authenticated way to access your service via the internet... but that would make way too much sense.

Re:Contracts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34983540)

There are often all kinds of unenforceable clauses in contracts. That's the reason that many (at least here in the US) have a clause that refers to severability (...deemed unenforceable shall be severed, wit the remaining clauses amended as needed to remain enforceable... or some such). IANAL, but that's my understanding anyway. Until a particular clause is tested by the supreme court of the land (or equivalent), you don't really know if it will hold up. My feeling is if something is found to be unenforceable in a form contract, the company should be required to amend all future forms with that clause to exclude it. Far too many companies bully people into thinking they can enforce terms they know they can't actually enforce. I know, I used to work for one that did just that (I quit in disgust over that and other equally disturbing things). That, and they can afford the lawyers, and they know most people that use their service can't (mini-storage).

Of couse ... (1)

garry_g (106621) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983274)

What's the surprise? Broadcasters and Movie-producers are still p@ssed that consumers can record analog signals ... I reckon with today's lobbying, they'd probably be able to get VCRs outlawed ...

Re:Of couse ... (1)

LocalH (28506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983582)

They're working on closing the analog hole. Ever heard of Cinavia? It's analog copy-protection added to the audio track before encoding that survives even recording via microphone. Remember the old "horror story" people warned about, where you'll have devices that won't let you record if copyrighted media is playing in the background? Well, that's what this is, except it kicks in on the playback end with devices that support Cinavia (and such support is required on all newly-manufactured Blu-ray players). I await the dark day when they try to make ALL devices that can play media support Cinavia, regardless of Blu-ray support - except professional equipment of course.

Ban IP Cameras as well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34983534)

...since any moron could point an IP camera at a TV screen and send the signal over the internet to anywhere the observer wants to be. This for sure is already being done unintentionally with security cameras installed in areas like airpot terminals or sports bars where TV screens are everywhere.

rebraodcasting off limits (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983572)

Is that to say running tv media servers that stream something you are watching on tv to some clients that may be connected to your server is illegal as well?

VHS? (1)

spongman (182339) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983632)

so does this also mean that VHS is now illegal in japan?

Re:VHS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34984050)

Only if you remove the tape from your recorder and play it at a friend's house.

lol (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34983646)

Windows supports this functionality. Is Microsoft going to get sued?
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Share-your-media-in-Windows-Media-Player-with-other-people-or-devices

The death of Japanese language and culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34984272)

This type of attitude will lead to the death of the Japanese language and culture because it makes it almost impossible for overseas Japanese to pass on their language and culture to their children. The same thing will happen in other countries that try to do the same. A country that wants its language and culture to survive and compete against the English and Chinese languages will need to remove barriers to distributing their cultural and linguistic content.

If a university student is trying to decide whether to learn Japanese or another language, the easy and free availability of TV programs and films is an important factor, because it is becoming more widely known that watching foreign language TV greatly speeds up language learning and can lead to near fluency in only two to three years.

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