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ReplayTV 4500: No Hacking, or Else

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the stuff-to-avoid dept.

Television 357

mcglk writes "I was happy to see that SonicBlue had released its new generation of ReplayTV, the 4500. And it was $250 cheaper than the 4000. Except for that $250 one-time service activation fee. Worse is the agreement that goes along with it. Term1A basically says, No more hacking. Term1G says that they can enable or disable anything they want without notice. And Term2C says that if someone even alleges you are infringing on copyright, you can be shut down with no notice, no recourse, and there's nothing you can do about itthe agreement indemnifies them completely. I was really looking forward to getting one of these, too." Under that agreement, SonicBlue claims the right to destroy your device when you connect for updates.

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FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3637016)

My first first post

Re:FP (-1, Troll)

SillySlashdotName (466702) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637023)

ACs have first posted before...

Re:FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3637063)

Yes but not me

Re:FP (-1)

Big Dogs Cock (539391) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637260)

How do we know it's you?

Fp? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3637018)

Blah

Is that legal - in the Land of the Free? (0)

linatux (63153) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637019)

... you can be shut down with no notice, no recourse, and there's nothing you can do about it--
Just begging for a lawsuit, surely?

Covering their butts (1)

Wrexs0ul (515885) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637039)

Not begging for a lawsuit, this is their way of passing on legal liability to you the consumer. It's the Napster vs. Gnutella ideology:

"That's right RIAA, just try and sue 100 million of us whose names you don't know."

I seriously doubt that a device designed to replace VCRs is going to shoot itself in the foot and actively scan your system each and every time you update it.

-Matt

Re:Covering their butts (2, Interesting)

ScottKin (34718) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637059)

If they do scan your ReplayTV box every time, it's their perrogative because it's their product!

Three cheers for the makers of ReplayTV to hit the CONTENT THIEVES right in their 'nads!!!

Also, they'll know EXACTLY who you are by the unique Serial# and Unit# burned into the non-eprom chips.

Interestingly enough, Napster filed for Chapter 11 protections today.

Enjoy the Ride!!

ScottKin

Content Thieves (1)

Wrexs0ul (515885) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637067)

Just to clarify, I'm no content thief. This just seems to me like an obvious direction for SonicBlue to cover legal responsibility rather than start policing their own devices.

Goodbye Napster, hello BertlesNap or Naplesman.

-Matt

Re:Content Thieves (1)

ScottKin (34718) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637077)

Thanks for the clarification, Matt - my comment was in no way meant to lable you as a "content thief".

In order to make any kind of "policing" work, SonicBlue also has to create the legal protections to do so, in order for them to not self-indemnify themselves.

ScottKin

Re:Covering their butts (1)

lennart78 (515598) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637113)

It's sorry to see another industry living in the past. Since the Internet arose, and efficient codecs became publicly available, the music and movie industries have lost their monopoly on distribution of content. Period.
They try desperatly to keep a hold on the market through rediculous legal constructions and methods of copy protection which generally don't last longer than a month.
If they would put as much cash in trying to cooperate as they do in trying to dominate, everyone might even benefit...

Re:Covering their butts (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3637154)

Wow, insightful! did you learn that little speech here on Slashdot? Did you copy the spelling mistakes too?

Re:Covering their butts (0)

linatux (63153) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637080)

Showing my ignorance yet again (no such appliances where I live). Pirating shows with such a device never entered my feeble mind. I just figure that if you bought it, you own it and anyone that then decides to remotely disable it should get their ass kicked. Of course if you are stealing shows, that changes things a weeee bit. But hacking the box doesn't mean you are a pirate - does it?

Re:Is that legal - in the Land of the Free? (0, Flamebait)

ScottKin (34718) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637048)

I'm sure that the legal advisors for ReplayTV researched the indemnification limitations mentioned very thoroughly.

So what if they have, for all intents and purposes provded a legal challenge to hardware/software hacks of their products? The kinds of hacks that are done to ReplayTV and similar devices are usually only those to allow the ILLEGAL RECEPTION of content that the end-customer hasn't PAID for (i.e. "Free" as in "Shoplifting" and "Theft"); but this seems to be nothing new to /. zealots - warez, hacking and other ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES are great bedfellows.

Enjoy the ride!

ScottKin

What in the hell are you talking about (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3637084)

How can you allow illegal reception of something that you already get on your cable or antenna?

You're not making sense son. Time to sit down, have a drink, relax and come back when you're better thought out.

I'm sure you're a nice boy, but you seem to be kind of wired and overwrought.

You are wrong (5, Insightful)

cat_jesus (525334) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637116)

Actually most of the hacking being done has nothing to do with illegal reception, whatever you mean by that. Most hacks are for things like increasing storage space, running web servers, making email interfaces, ugrading memory, etc...

Normally I wouldn't respond to such a troll but this kind of misinformation needs to be stopped. It is what leads to things like the DMCA.

Cat

Bring on the whining! (1, Troll)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637021)

Even though anyone here can easily purchase TiVo instead, I predict a flood of whiners complaining about ReplayTV.

Of course, they are complaining that they should be allowed to steal service because they paid for a completely unrelated piece of hardware somewhere else along the line.

Everyone? (0)

sysv (220133) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637122)

Some people on this world live outside the US.

Re:Everyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3637198)

Some people on this world live outside the US.

That doesn't give you any more right to break our laws and steal intellectual property now does it? IP theft == terrorism. You know what we do to terrorists. Now, stand up straight, wipe that frown off your face, and go back to being a nice little foreign consumer.

Re:Bring on the whining! (5, Insightful)

Technician (215283) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637133)

Some people purchase hardware with the intent on using it "their own way". Having your VCR (digital) under a third party's thumb is very scarey. I'll stick with a PC based solution to avoid the big brother problems. The option of subscribing to the program guide, etc. is one thing. Having the ability of a EULA enforced open back door, that can kill your hardware investment remotely, is another!

Re:Bring on the whining! (2)

Zathrus (232140) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637358)

Go ahead and kill my TiVo. I have it backed up. And there's nothing they can do to stop me from restoring it and then going and using 3rd party services to get program information, etc. -- at that point I consider the informal contract between myself and TiVo to have ended (and it's not so informal in my case - I have a lifetime subscription, and both my TiVo's are prior to the "you must use this with our service" clauses).

What, you don't have your PVR backed up? You should. It's really quite easy.

And no, there are no hardware kill switches. Or none that have been found at least - and I doubt the first generation boxes had them at all. Even if they were to tell the BIOS to kill itself, the BIOS can be replaced too.

Re:Bring on the whining! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3637177)

Oh cripes...

Let's see, I buy a piece of hardware...
I hack piece of hardware to accept MY data stream for Guide information.

Idiots like you call it stealing..

Go away.... please? just go away.

TiVo (0)

jkeegan (35099) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637024)

Man, I love my TiVo!

computer geeks = target market or no? (2, Interesting)

Kargan (250092) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637026)

I would think so, but to turn around and try to apply all these restrictions implies a fundamental lack of understanding of what computer geeks do!

Or, a complete understanding, and overly restrictive agreements to try and somehow compensate?

DirecTV Tivo's - Fully hackable! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3637027)

Good think I have my fully hacked DirecTV Tivo's where I can grab all the content I want of of them with now quality loss (Check out the forums at dealdatabase [dealdatabase.com] to see how)

Shame (2)

johnburton (21870) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637029)

Just when personal video recorders were starting to look good they do this. And tivo (in the UK at least) have decided that they, not you control what you record. Are there no honest companies left out there who just want to make their money by selling a good product, and not by trying to exploit their customers in some underhanded way?

Re:Shame (1)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637049)

Are there no honest companies left out there who just want to make their money by selling a good product, and not by trying to exploit their customers in some underhanded way?


Yes, there are. The reasons you haven't heard from them are because they're usually gone within the year. But hey, feel free to start your own company.

Re:Shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3637085)


No successful ones, no.

Re:Shame (0, Redundant)

fuzzybunny (112938) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637099)



There are, indeed.


However, they are vastly outnumbered by customers who prefer to whine about products and their "rights" instead of doing the only right thing--voting with your wallet, and letting the offending companies know about it.


You have no "right" to get what you want from a company (barring them meeting contractual obligations, of course.) The only right you have is to avoid said company if you disagree with their terms.


You as an individual customer will not change the world, or a company's policy, but it's masses of individual consumers (or not-consumers, in this case) which show corporations that, given the conditions they attempt to set, they lose potential revenue.


So, quit whining, and start not-consuming. Anyway, it's a nice day outside.

an opportunity (4, Interesting)

drDugan (219551) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637146)

I've been thinking on this a bit. I want input.

I think it would be great to start a non-profit technology company. ... one that had consumer interest in mind. no need to really innovate on NEW products, just make products that do what corporate, money-sucking products do with the consumer interest in mind.

PVR are perfect examples. How hard is it to build a PVR? With technology today, not too hard. How hard would it be to build one that didn't put all these absurd money-grubbing restrictions on it? not hard at all. How many people would chose to buy a product designed to MAKE CONSUMER'S LIVE BETTER instead of MAKING CORPORATE EXECS and BUSINESS OWNERS RICH?

SocialTech. would you choose it?

Re:an opportunity (2)

richieb (3277) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637236)

But to be able to record shows of TV you'll have to sign some kind of agreement with the media cartels, to follow their "standards".

Look what happened to the free (!) DVD players for Linux. People are not allowed to write one without paying a licensing fee to the DVD secret holders.

Of course with DeCSS out you can build a DVD player for Linux, but try and sell players based on this code without paying the licensing fees and you'll see hordes of lawyers on your tail.

Also, nobody really needs a PVR. We'd be better off not watching TV at all (or less anyways).

Re:an opportunity (1)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637328)

You're right that nobody needs a PVR, but he was asking about giving consumers what they want as opposed to giving them a little of what they want with a giant corporate interest forcing conditions and restrictions on them they don't want.

This is going to be a very trendy idea, and it doesn't have to be not-for-profit in order to sell such a device cheaper while still offering the consumer more of what they want.

Plus, such a company may need to have a contract with the networks in order to get programming information, but I don't believe they need such a contract for their customers to be able to record the shows.

Ben Cohen (of Ben and Jerry's fame) has started a new clothing company specifically to empower the employees - sort of a proof of concept that companies don't have to run sweat shops in order to make a profit. The employees are the owners, and the working conditions are great, and the products don't cost any more to the consumer.

This is a good idea, and it could work with a device like a PVR, or a lot of other modern electronics, as well.

Scary (1)

radsoft (103659) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637030)

This is very scary. It's vendors taking out UCITA in advance. They have all made up their minds that they can do this, and they are going ahead full steam. Grass roots, people - beat the fields, flush the snakes out now.

Does not comply (4, Informative)

dybdahl (80720) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637031)

That kind of enduser agreements does not comply with the consumer protection laws of most countries and are therefore not legal.

Re:Does not comply (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3637148)

Most countries? What the fuck are you talking about? Just how many countries do you think have a ReplayTV service?

Without the service it's just a hard disk VCR. Service is what you get when you accept the ReplayTV agreement, and what makes them so useful.

Overreaction (5, Informative)

spullara (119312) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637033)

These terms are identical to those terms that are present within the Tivo service license agreement. I think you can expect terms like this from whomever you get your PVR service from. They are here to Cover Their A$$. You can find more information about Tivo's license here:

Tivo's Service Agreement [tivo.com]

Re:Overreaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3637070)

I don't see any terms in TiVo's agreement dealing with remotely disabling the systems, etc. Also, the TiVo license doesn't stop you from doings things to your software. Compare it with this ReplayTV license excerpt: "Except and only to the extent permitted by applicable law and this Agreement, you may not copy, decompile, reverse engineer, disassemble, modify, rent, lease, loan, distribute, assign, transfer, or create derivative works from the software. You acknowledge and agree that any unauthorized use, transfer, sublicensing or disclosure of the software may cause irreparable injury to ReplayTV, and under such circumstances, ReplayTV shall be entitled to equitable relief, without posting bond or other security, including but not limited to, preliminary and permanent injunctive relief." Btw, ReplayTV seems to be using "Moronic" Microsoft Charsets. (www.demoronizer.com)

Re:Overreaction (2, Informative)

spullara (119312) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637090)

Hmmm, then I am pretty sure you didn't read the agreement, for instance:

TiVo retains the absolute right to immediately suspend or terminate your account, and terminate this agreement, if the charges to your credit card for the fees described in the "Subscription Fees and Payment Authorization" paragraph above are refused for any reason, if you breach any provision in this agreement, if you misuse the TiVo Service, and/ or if you alter the Recorder or use the TiVo Service in such a manner as to infringe upon the intellectual property rights of TiVo or any third party.

and

Any attempt to disassemble, decompile, create derivative works of, reverse engineer, modify, sublicense, distribute or use for other purposes either the authorized product or software of this system is strictly prohibited.

and

You may access and use the TiVo Service only with a product authorized to receive the TiVo Service and you agree not to tamper with or otherwise modify the authorized product.

and

TiVo may, at its discretion, from time to time change, add or remove features of the TiVo Service

IANAL, but I think it is fair to say that these terms are exactly the same.

Moronic character sets (0, Offtopic)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637108)

You ever see the movie The Jerk [imdb.com] ? There's a scene where Steve Martin is the Guess-Your-Weight guy at a carnival and someone comes up and asks him what the prizes are. He turns around to face a huge wall filled with carnival prizes and points out a 2 inch area containing tiny prizes, hardly worth winning against the guesser for.

There are quite a few more than 128 characters that need to be represented. Limiting yourself to those few makes you look petty when you decide to complain about something that more than 90% of users have no problem with.

Re:Moronic character sets (1, Offtopic)

Darren Winsper (136155) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637364)

There is a reason HTML has stuff like & and > defined in the language.

Re:Overreaction (2, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637111)



These terms are identical to those terms that are present within the Tivo service license agreement.


Well, no, they aren't. But lets just say they are for the sake of argument.


Just because an industry decides to go in a certain direction, it doesn't mean it is good for consumers. Alerting consumers to less-than-favorable policies is the first step to putting pressures on companies (and the industry) to change those policies.


Granted, consumers have to give a damn. In most consumer markets, issues like this are lost on the masses of that market. However, PVRs still remain an early-adopter market. Early adopters tend to be more tech-savvy and an issue like this may register to that market.

Re:Overreaction (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3637136)

Once again /. readers look at the issue backwards. WHY do you think a business is even remotely concerned with what is good for consumers? Why should they be? Do you want the whole world to be looking out for you? Oh no, you can't have a car that goes too fast, you might crash! You can't have inline skates, people have broken bones with those! You can't have a home loan because it would be unfair to make you pay interest!

Consumers don't have to do anything. Especially they don't have to buy a product they don't like, or agree to terms they find unfair. But if they accept an agreement without bothering to read it they are just plain stupid and deserve what happens.

On the other hand, Sonic blue can ask you to agree to anything they fucking like. If they make money out of it they'll keep doing it.

Re:Overreaction (5, Insightful)

Gleef (86) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637311)

Anonymous Coward:

Once again /. readers look at the issue backwards. WHY do you think a business is even remotely concerned with what is good for consumers?
Why should they be?


Because healthy, happy, non-screwed-over customers:
* Buy more products and services from them in the future; and
* Tell their friends and acquaintances how great the company is, and encourage other people to become customers; and
* Don't involve the company in expensive lawsuits.
Well-run businesses that take the long-term view realize this and treat their customers with respect. After all, the customers are the people who are feeding them.

The trouble is, poorly run businesses are rampant, and almost nobody cares what they're doing 20 years from now. Most companies don't seem to look much farther than next year (many no farther than next quarter).

Do you want the whole world to be looking out for you? Oh no, you can't have a car that goes too fast, you might crash! You can't have inline skates, people have broken bones with those!

This is off-topic fluff, we're not talking about laws designed to "protect" you whether you like it or not, we're talking about a company reserving the right to screw their customers royally, taking their money and withholding service, and hiding this fact in the fine print of a contract they expect less than 5% of their market to read.

You can't have a home loan because it would be unfair to make you pay interest!

This one is actually on topic. Many strict Christian (and I assume other religions) sects consider Usury (the charging of interest) to be a sin. In the early days of the US, many of the northeast states had laws written by strict Christian fundamentalists, and it was actually illegal to loan money for interest. As the population became less fundimentalist, the people made a conscious decision to allow limited Usury (there still are limits on how much interest can be charged) for the practical consideration of having a market for loans.

Consumers don't have to do anything. Especially they don't have to buy a product they don't like, or agree to terms they find unfair. But if they accept an agreement without bothering to read it they are just plain stupid and deserve what happens.

People have been conditioned (I suspect deliberately) to not read boilerplate contracts. They are long, hard to read, and often oddly worded to make them more confusing. More and more often lately, most people only have access to read the contract after they have already paid their money.

While this contract is actually accessible online, most consumers won't even see it until after they've already shelled out $450 for the product. Not agreeing to it means they will have to return their product, something that is anywhere from annoying to impossible depending on the circumstances.

On the other hand, Sonic blue can ask you to agree to anything they fucking like. If they make money out of it they'll keep doing it.

Actually, they can't. There are laws limiting what can be agreed to in contracts. In most states, there are laws further limiting what can be "agreed" to in a non-negotiated contract (such as a boilerplate terms of service). I am not a lawyer, but I suspect if they use this agreement to disable the device of a New York State customer within 90 days of the customer purchasing the product, they will be in violation of NYS law.

Re:Overreaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3637325)

Everything you have said is negated by this:

If they make money out of it they will keep doing it.

end of argument.

just in case the server becomes unavailable... (5, Informative)

Kargan (250092) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637034)

...like that ever happens!

---------
REPLAYTV 4500 Digital Video Recorder
Activation and Service Agreement

This Agreement applies to your use of the ReplayTV Service and is a legally binding agreement between you SONICblue Incorporated and its wholly owned subsidiary, ReplayTV Inc. (collectively "ReplayTV"). By clicking the button marked "I Agree" below or by otherwise communicating your acceptance to ReplayTV or by using the ReplayTV Service, you agree to all the terms and conditions in this Agreement. IMPORTANT NOTE: Your ReplayTV 4500 works only by receiving the ReplayTV Service offered and provided by ReplayTV. If you do not agree with all the terms and conditions of this Agreement, you are not authorized to use the ReplayTV Service, and you may return the ReplayTV 4500 to ReplayTV or the authorized retailer from whom you purchased the product for a full refund.

1. Use of the Service

A. Authorized Product. You may access and use the ReplayTV Service only with a ReplayTV 4500 product authorized to receive the ReplayTV Service and you agree not to tamper with or otherwise modify the authorized product.

B. Personal Use Only. The ReplayTV Service is for personal, residential, non-commercial use. Any other use is not permitted under this Agreement. You may not re-sell the ReplayTV Service in whole or in part, nor, except as part of your transfer of the ReplayTV 4500 unit as provided in this Agreement, may you transfer the ReplayTV Service.

C. Eligible Subscribers. You represent that you are at least 18 years of age. You may permit minors to use the ReplayTV Service under your account, but you agree that you are fully responsible for the minors' use of the ReplayTV Service.

D. Accurate Information. You must give us accurate and complete information when you activate and use your ReplayTV Service. If you do not, ReplayTV may terminate your account at any time.

E. ReplayTV's Privacy Policy. ReplayTV respects the privacy of your information and will not disclose any of your information except as permitted in ReplayTV's Privacy Policy. A current copy of ReplayTV's Privacy Policy is included in the Privacy Policy section of the main menu in the ReplayTV software included on your ReplayTV 4500 and on the SONICblue website www.sonicblue.com. Please read it carefully before using your subscription for the ReplayTV Service. By using the ReplayTV Service, you understand and agree with how ReplayTV handles your information as described in our Privacy Policy. ReplayTV will use commercially reasonable efforts to notify you of any substantial and material changes to the Privacy Policy. However, you are responsible for viewing the latest Privacy Policy which can be accessed through our website at www.sonicblue.com.

F. TV Programming. The ReplayTV Service gives you the ability to see and record televised programs. However, ReplayTV exercises no editorial or programming control over these programs ("Third Party Content"). You understand that (a) ReplayTV does not guarantee the access to or recording of any particular program, (b) programming is not under ReplayTV's control, (c) ReplayTV is not responsible for and has no editorial control over any Third Party Content, and (d) ReplayTV has no control over the distribution of programs. You also understand that television programs, films, videotapes, and other materials may be copyrighted. Unauthorized recording and sending of such material may be contrary to the provisions of the United States copyright laws. The rights of copyright holders are subject to limitations when persons are engaged in "fair use" or are protected by other provisions of law. You are responsible for complying with these laws.

G. Changes to ReplayTV Service. At its discretion, ReplayTV may automatically add, modify, or disable any feature or functionality of the ReplayTV Service or on the ReplayTV 4500 when your unit connects to our server or at other times with or without notice. In addition, ReplayTV may modify the terms and conditions of this Agreement from time to time (and will notify you of these changes to the Agreement)

H. Software. ReplayTV provided certain software with the ReplayTV 4500 unit you purchased, and may provide replacement (for example, bug fixes, updates or upgrades) and additional software to you from time to time (which may include by automatic downloads to the ReplayTV 4500 unit), in order for you to access and use certain features of the ReplayTV Service. Your use of all such software is subject to the terms of this Agreement. However, if a software license agreement is included with any such software, then those terms (and not this Agreement) will govern your use of that software. You have a limited, non-exclusive right to use the software only with the ReplayTV 4500 unit with which the software was provided or for which it was downloaded. You may make one copy of the software you download for backup purposes only, provided that such backup copy must include all copyright and other proprietary information and notices contained on the original. You acknowledge and agree that the software is copyrighted and contains material that is protected by copyright, trademark, trade secret and other laws and international treaty provisions relating to proprietary rights. You may not remove, change or hide any of ReplayTV's or its licensors' or suppliers' proprietary rights notices on or in the software or on output generated by the software. Except and only to the extent permitted by applicable law and this Agreement, you may not copy, decompile, reverse engineer, disassemble, modify, rent, lease, loan, distribute, assign, transfer, or create derivative works from the software. You acknowledge and agree that any unauthorized use, transfer, sublicensing or disclosure of the software may cause irreparable injury to ReplayTV, and under such circumstances, ReplayTV shall be entitled to equitable relief, without posting bond or other security, including but not limited to, preliminary and permanent injunctive relief.

I. Ownership; Certain Rights. ReplayTV and its licensors and suppliers retain title to and ownership of all the ReplayTV software. ReplayTV and its licensors and suppliers own the intellectual property rights in and to the ReplayTV 4500 unit and the ReplayTV Service, including the copyrights and trademarks associated with the ReplayTV 4500 unit and the ReplayTV Service.

2. Fees and Term of the ReplayTV Service

A. Subscription Fees. Your use of the ReplayTV Service is subject to your payment of the subscription fee in advance. The subscription fee covers only the basic ReplayTV Service, and does not include charges or fees (a) for premium or other additional services offered as part of or through the ReplayTV Service for which ReplayTV charges additional fees, or (b) to third parties for telephone service or broadband access, if applicable. You are responsible for any such telephone or broadband service charges and acknowledge and agree that you shall be solely responsible for all disputes with any third party related to the same.

B. Lifetime Service. Subject to the terms of this Agreement, once you have paid the Service Activation Fee for your ReplayTV 4500 you will not incur any additional charges to receive the basic ReplayTV Service during the lifetime of that product. The ReplayTV Service will be provided only to that particular ReplayTV 4500 unit for which you paid the subscription fee and cannot be transferred to any other units you may purchase. However, the ReplayTV Service will still apply to that unit even if you give it or sell it to a friend or family member. Thus, any service that is activated follows the ReplayTV 4500 unit and not the person.

C. Termination of Service; Your Indemnity Obligations. Notwithstanding any term of this Agreement, ReplayTV has the absolute right to immediately suspend or terminate your account, and terminate this Agreement, if you (a) breach any provision of this Agreement (including but not limited to altering the ReplayTV 4500 unit or related software), (b) misuse the ReplayTV Service, or (c) infringe (or are alleged to infringe) upon the intellectual property rights of ReplayTV or any third party in your use in any way of the ReplayTV Service. You further agree that you will defend, indemnify and hold harmless ReplayTV and its affiliates from and against any and all claims, actions, suits, liabilities, losses, costs and expenses (including reasonable attorneys' fees) arising out of or relating to any of the actions described above that would entitle ReplayTV to terminate this Agreement.

3. DISCLAIMERS AND LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY

A. Warranty Disclaimer. THE REPLAYTV SERVICE IS PROVIDED "AS IS," "WITH ALL FAULTS," AND "AS AVAILABLE." REPLAYTV AND ITS SUPPLIERS DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND REGARDING THE REPLAYTV SERVICE (INCLUDING THIRD PARTY PROGRAMS), WHETHER EXPRESS, IMPLIED, OR STATUTORY, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ANY IMPLIED WARRANTY OF TITLE, MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. ReplayTV makes no warranty that (a) the ReplayTV Service or its content will meet your requirements, be uninterrupted, error-free, secure or timely; or (b) that the information obtained through the ReplayTV Service (including but not limited to Third Party Programs) is accurate, current, complete or reliable. Some jurisdictions do not allow the disclaimer of implied warranties, so the above disclaimer may not apply to you. You may also have other legal rights that vary from state to state.

B. NO INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES. IN NO EVENT WILL REPLAYTV OR ITS LICENSORS OR SUPPLIERS BE LIABLE TO YOU OR ANY THIRD PARTY FOR ANY INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, INDIRECT, OR SPECIAL DAMAGES OF ANY KIND (WHETHER FOR LOST PROFITS, LOSS OF DATA OR OTHERWISE) ARISING FROM OR RELATING TO YOUR USE OF THE REPLAYTV SERVICE OR THIS AGREEMENT, EVEN IF REPLAYTV HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

C. LIMITATIONS OF REPLAYTV'S LIABILITY. IN NO EVENT SHALL REPLAYTV'S AGGREGATE LIABILITY TO YOU (AND ANYONE ELSE WHO USES THE REPLAYTV SERVICE THROUGH YOUR ACCOUNT), FOR ANY AND ALL CLAIMS ON ANY BASIS, WHETHER IN TORT, CONTRACT OR OTHERWISE, EXCEED THE TOTAL AMOUNT YOU PAID TO REPLAYTV FOR THE REPLAYTV 4500 UNIT AND THE REPLAYTV SERVICE. YOU UNDERSTAND THAT THESE LIMITATIONS OF REPLAYTV'S AND REPLAYTV'S SUPPLIERS' AND LICENSORS' LIABILITY ARE A FUNDAMENTAL PART OF THIS AGREEMENT, AND REPLAYTV WOULD NOT ENTER INTO THIS AGREEMENT WITHOUT SUCH LIMITATION. Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitation or exclusion may not apply to you.

4. Miscellaneous

This Agreement (including referenced documents) constitutes the entire agreement regarding your use of the ReplayTV Service and supersedes any and all prior statements, agreements or understandings with respect to the ReplayTV Service. This Agreement is governed by and will be interpreted in accordance with the laws of the State of California without regard to its conflict of laws principles. If any provision of this Agreement is invalid, illegal or unenforceable, such provision will be deemed changed only to the extent necessary to make it valid, legal and enforceable; all other provisions of this Agreement will continue in full force and effect. Any failure by ReplayTV to strictly enforce any provision of this Agreement will not waive ReplayTV's right to later enforce that provision or any subsequent default or breach of the same or a different kind.

BY CLICKING ON THE "I AGREE" BUTTON BELOW, I REPRESENT THAT I HAVE READ, AND I UNDERSTAND AND AGREE TO, THE TERMS STATED ABOVE.

Re:just in case the server becomes unavailable... (-1)

TrollBurger (575126) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637124)

Thankyou for generating Slashdot autoresponse #64

Re:just in case the server becomes unavailable... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3637129)

Do it anon karma whore!

Loophole in the first paragraph (4, Insightful)

Technician (215283) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637149)

If you do not agree with all the terms and conditions of this Agreement, you are not authorized to use the ReplayTV Service
They are selling the service with the restriction, not the box. Use what is in the above quote to not agree to the service, then modify the hardware to suit your needs. Remember to not use their service, that would be theft of service since you did not agree to the terms.

Re:just in case the server becomes unavailable... (1)

klapaucius (35483) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637184)

You know something, I would pay good money to be able to do what the hell I want with a PVR. Make it expandable, so I can add extra drives, or larger drives, set it up so I can skip over the damn commercials, whatever. Make it programmable like a vcr, use VCR+, if that's what it takes. I don't need or want the service, if I'm too lazy to check the TV listings in the paper, on the cable guide, or on the web, that that is *my* fault, and not anyone elses. *Why* is there a service needed for this thing? Make it broadband connectable, and let me send shows to my brother in Vegas over our broadband connections, and I'd be willing to pay over 2-3 times what the Tivo's and Replay's cost. Give me the option of using FireWire or USB2.0 to transfer the show to my computer, so I can burn the show on DVD, if I want to keep a copy of it, and free up space on my PVR.

That is what I want, as a consumer. Why can't these companies understand that?

Re:just in case the server becomes unavailable... (1)

paganizer (566360) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637252)

Why not just make your own? I've got a Matrox Marvel G200 hooked up to cable; whenever I want to record something, I just tell it when, and it does. No problems whatsoever. It doesn't automatically cut out the commercials, but who really cares? we've all learned to tune those out anyway, right? Video Capture card + Computer with lots of hard drive = tons of hours of recording.

Not Whining (1)

jchawk (127686) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637050)

I'm not bitching about Tivo or ReplayTV. I silently vote for neither by keeping the money in my pocket.

Re:Not Whining (3, Insightful)

hagardtroll (562208) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637235)

Same here, and...

I am stillllll waiting for someone to come up with a generic programmable VCR like PVR device that doesn't come with all those strings and monthly payments attached.

I thought free markets were supposed to provide what is in demand. It must just be the two of us then.

section 3A (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3637052)

Using this product will void your warrantly, and we can disable everything and screw you of your hard earned money so you can by the next version of our product. MWAHAHAHA!

Easy way out (4, Interesting)

alexburke (119254) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637056)

The solution is simple: Instead of reading the agreement [replaytv.com] and agreeing to it, don't [replaytv.com] !

Re:Easy way out (1, Insightful)

SillySlashdotName (466702) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637066)

Except that, by using the service (which is required to use the ReplayTV - also in the agreement - you HAVE agreed to the agreement.

Your choices seem to be agree (and be able to use the device) or don't agree and not be able to use the recorder - a very expensive paper weight! - in which case you are told you may return the PVR for a refund.

Or have I missed something?

Re:Easy way out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3637143)

You haven't missed anything. It's a simple choice, but some people want everything on a plate. Nobody is forced to have a ReplayTV - but it's so unfair! Time to get some bloated geek cottage cheese ass out of the living room... alternatively where's the Free PVR? For all the grandiose claims you see here it looks like people who want a PVR would rather just drool away in front of a TV than create one that doesn't require objectionable agreements.

Allowing return of the device is absolute generosity and an unfair burden on the company. It would be better to require the customer to sight and agree to the conditions before receiving the unit.

Re:Easy way out (5, Interesting)

alexburke (119254) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637151)

It's quite simple, really -- not once did you ever see the agreement, and therefore you couldn't possibly have agreed to it.

Need it spoonfed to you? Okay, keep reading.

By beginning the activation of your new ReplayTV unit here [replaytv.com] , you will be activating the unit without agreeing to the agreement that seems to have Slashdotters up in arms -- in actual fact, you won't even have seen such an agreement, period.

In some jurisdictions, click-through agreements are legally binding -- but I've yet to hear of a jurisdiction which would consider you bound to an agreement you didn't see or agree to whatsoever.

Re:Easy way out (2)

DarkEdgeX (212110) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637175)

but I've yet to hear of a jurisdiction which would consider you bound to an agreement you didn't see or agree to whatsoever

Tell that to American Medical Response (AMR) when they pick you up and take you to the hospital, then send bill collectors after your ass to get their fees when you manage to live. No kidding, they charge $150/mile, and a minimum of around $300 ('location fee') to start the journey. I'm still amazed they can run a business when they're taking people who aren't even conscious to the hospital, without having signed a contract. (Or worse, signing a contract while still in a barely lucid state.)

Of course, to claim that defense in court you'd probably have to assert that the retailer you bought your ReplayTV from beat you unconscious with a baseball bat, then threw you out the door with ReplayTV in hand.. then, I've seen a lot of Circuit City employees with Louseville Sluggers recently.

DMCA (2, Funny)

stud9920 (236753) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637244)

I assume you clicked the "I agree" button for us. Therefore, you are a circumvention device and illegal under the DMCA. Your mother will bue sued.

Copies of the contract?? (2, Interesting)

lrohrer (147725) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637060)


This contract is almost a Ferenge contract "...If you read this document you violate the terms of the contract..."

So with a a bit of html magic one could submit the form with a different contract -- one the is more user friendly to the consumer. Does thier software check that it is the original contract??? If it does not then THEY will then have aggreed to "our" obnoxious terms.

If you user their service and it works does this not violate the agreement?

Today a contract should actually state all of the details that each US state applies to such agreements and to each country as well. It should be a nicely format XML contract with all of the details downloadable to your machine. If they can't give you a copy automatically it should not be enforceable.

If you sue them and win it seems you still have to pay their costs or am I wrong?

Re:Copies of the contract?? (1)

Winterblink (575267) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637072)

Uh, the contract itself probably isn't saved as part of the agreement. Changing it doesn't make a difference, what's probably being saved is your agreeing to whatever they put on that page on said date and time. Nice try though! :P

Why NOT get one? (4, Insightful)

Winterblink (575267) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637065)

I really don't see why this should affect the poster's take on getting one of these. The manufacturer's covering its ass in all ways possible. If you say you agree to it and hack the machine, pirate programs, whatever, you're at fault not them. They're simply making that clear. Get the machine, hack it, do what you want. Why would the license agreement change your mind, when you're going to do it anyway? :)

Re:Why NOT get one? The EULA - that's why (2, Insightful)

jmichaelg (148257) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637202)

Because the EULA says they can turn the damn thing off if THEY decide to. Moreover, the EULA says if they decide to, they don't owe you anything.

In the pre-EULA days, when you bought something, you owned it. Now both Sonic and TIVO are saying that despite you giving them money, they still own the device and can do whatever they want with it, including disabling it.

An example of where this will get unpleasant is if they start using the machine in some way that you hadn't anticipated. TIVO just force fed their UK subscribers a show the subscribers didn't ask for. What if the machine starts forcing you to wacth an ad before they'll let you see what you bought the machine for? What can you do? Not a thing according to the EULA.

What if a competing service that doesn't monkey around with the basic service springs up and offers their wares at a lower price? Can you switch to them? Nope - the EULA forbids modifying the software. If Sonic or Tivo figure out that you switched, they can legally turn off your machine.

The really ridiculous thing about all of this is there isn't enough worthwhile stuff on TV to warrant watching TV in the first place. How many times have you gotten up after watching TV and thought "That was a waste?" Maybe deleting the ads would have improved the signal to noise ratio but now the machine you bought to skip the ads is beginning to force ads down your throat.

Not a worthwhile purchase in my book.

New twist on planned obsolecense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3637074)

Is this scenario too far fetched?

Goal: To get consumers to continually buy ReplayTV products.

Plan:
1. Nuke their box
2. Blame it on a reported infringment violation
3. Offer customer a small discount on a trade-in for the latest unit.
3A. Customer threatens legal action, hide behind terms of service.
4. Spy, gather, and sell customer information.
5. Actively promote Video-On-Demand to bait potential victims.

Just a cinical brain fart.

Happy Tivo User (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3637075)

Umm...

You know I was prepared to post something sly or witty, when I realized that this does not matter, it is status-quo, normal, above-board!!

A small (albiet popular) hardware company is covering itself in the event that the content industry brings to bear heavy legal muscle... what is the problem with that?

ReplayTV doesn't even run on an open operating system (not linux), so why would you have any right to hack at it?

Most of the how-tos and information I have read on what the various hackers are doing doesn't even involve hacking the RTV software, it involves hacking the hardware to get more space. (Alright, I saw some hacking to get a serial port into the thing.)

What ReplayPC and ExtractRTV seem to do is set up a secondary point of entry so that you can get the Mpeg files off the RTV unit and onto your hard drive... which isn't hacking the unit per se, just fooling it into sending you the files.

This is the same thing as anything else dealing with copyright works...they don't want to be liable for you posting mpg files of TV shows, movies on the internet.

What do I care? I got a TiVo!

Read Tivos agreement lately? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3637078)

Of course not, that would be balanced research, and Slashdot editors/authors don't have time for that what with keeping so busy being liberal reactionaries.

I can't stand Replay for a myriad of technical reasons, but read Tivos license agreement [tivo.com] - it says all the same things, sometimes in nearly the exact same words.

"Using the TiVo Service. You may access and use the TiVo Service only with a product authorized to receive the TiVo Service and you agree not to tamper with or otherwise modify the authorized product..."

"TiVo retains the absolute right to immediately suspend or terminate your account, and terminate this agreement, if the charges to your credit card for the fees described in the "Subscription Fees and Payment Authorization" paragraph above are refused for any reason, if you breach any provision in this agreement, if you misuse the TiVo Service, and/ or if you alter the Recorder or use the TiVo Service in such a manner as to infringe upon the intellectual property rights of TiVo or any third party."

They have to say those kinds of things to keep their legal options open should someone do something they feel they have to respond to. Until they give some sign of enforcing their agreement more rigidly than Tivo getting your panties in a wad over what some standard legal disclaimer says is a bit premature. Of course premature and uninformed ranting is what Slashdot is all about these days, isn't it?

Re:Read Tivos agreement lately? (4, Funny)

echucker (570962) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637167)

Well, I guess you're at least one step ahad of the rest of us- you actually read them! ;-)

Wolcott (4, Funny)

Graymalkin (13732) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637083)

Section 4B: Do not taunt ReplayTV 4500.

Section 4C: If you hack ReplayTV 4500 and it begins to smoke, get away immediately. Seek shelter and cover head.

Geez, talking about infringement.

Bad Press for Microsoft competitors (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3637086)

Interesting coincedence that we are getting so much bad press on Microsoft's competitors these days. Newgroups are flooded with TiVo = SPYWARE FUD and of course, the TiVo forces it's customers to watch programs they don't want to watch FUD and Replay is changing it's licensing --ohh it's so bad... looks like the only place to go for real choice and quality is Microsoft!

Well, I'll keep my Dtivos as long as I can, I am one of those extremely satisfied TiVo owners that is in the 90% customer satisfaction group TiVo talks about. Furthermore I recomend TiVo to everyone I know.

Of course I do believe TiVo days are numbered. Alas , even though TiVo is great, the best by far, with the highest customer ratings, it all means nothing....

The merger gets approved, Echostar already announced it's alliance with MOXI and Moxi was sold to Microsoft's Paul Allen,....don't you just love it when a plan comes together to to allow a corporation to use it financial gains from one monopoly to create another....

Microsoft takes two loosing products, Ultimate TV and Xbox , combines them, Paul Allen buys a company called Moxi and controls it all....

Re:Bad Press for Microsoft competitors (0)

NimrodMCSE (560652) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637291)

Why would you point the finger at Paul Allen? If you look at him and his companys, he's nowhere near the tyrant Gates is, that's one of the reasons he left M$. He also donates to a lot of cool and very geek worthy causes. But then what should we expect from an anonymous coward?

Does hacking include upgrading the hard drive? (1)

NeuroPulse (524779) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637096)

Does hacking include upgrading the hard drive?

Re:Does hacking include upgrading the hard drive? (1)

cat_jesus (525334) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637118)

yes. In fact those were the first hacks.

who wants it that bad? (2, Interesting)

slaida1 (412260) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637110)

Even if they gave those boxes free, they would be useless in a world where everybody everywhere would follow The Rules and The Laws by the book. I mean have they even bothered checking if any of those cross any laws in all the countries they're selling?

What good is it if they give 50 pages of utter, complete bull in 5 different languages if even one rule is conflicting? Why should I care about papers where they have apparently copypasted everything even remotely affecting rules and demands from all laws they could find? It surely seems like it.

Is competition really this fierce that bare products with only kind suggestions of how to use it are impossible? Can't they just sell their things and be happy that people even buy them? Are these the symptoms of too broad rights given to businesses?

oh the money! (2)

DarkHelmet (120004) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637119)

And Term 2C says that if someone even alleges you are infringing on copyright, you can be shut down with no notice, no recourse, and there's nothing you can do about it--the agreement indemnifies them completely.

And of course, for $49.95, we can look past this injunction and set you back up again. Of course, in doing this we take no responsibility for the system kicking you off again.

But that's okay. 49.95 gets you back up and running again... For a while.

Legally binding or not, that is the question (4, Insightful)

fisman (66079) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637127)

Generally people are quick to indemnify themselves from everything that may ever happen but usually these statements are not worth the paper they are printed on in a court of law.

Now I am no lawyer but would Microsoft for example be indemnified from the antitrust allegations if they put a clause to that effect in their licence agreement?

More often than not copyright notices and licence agreements are there purely for FUD purposes. I have always seriously doubted the legal grounds a company has to stand on if they claim things in a license agreement which nobody really reads, seeks legal council on or sign.

I would go out and buy one and claim that I never received the licence agreement! Would they then have to prove that I received, read and agreed to it before they can take further steps?

Come-on you Law-infested-geeks out there! What is the answer?

Re:Legally binding or not, that is the question (3, Interesting)

cyril3 (522783) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637163)

To activate you have to click through the agreement. To do that you accept the terms. It's legal if the terms are legal.


Do you really think any court is going to accept a defence of "oh I really didn't read the licence thing. I didn't think it was legally binding if I didn't read it."

In Australia and other common law countries I think you'll find that shrink wrap licences and post purchase licences are quite legal and enforcable where the terms and conditions aren't illegal.

I often use the example of car parking stations. You generally just drive in and get a ticket and there are no terms obvious. Somewhere just inside the carpark will be a big sign with the terms of use displayed. If you don't like the terms you can generally go back out without payment but continuing on implies your acceptance of the terms. That's settled law in Australia at least.

As for Microsoft, the licence agreement is irrelevant to the question of whether they infringe an anti trust law. And in any case you generally can't indemnify yourself from consequences of an illegal act as a matter of policy.

tick tock tick tock (2)

drDugan (219551) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637130)

you see... companies are figuring out that it's
way LESS profitable to actually sell you something
compared to makign you licence it, and
then controlling how you use it. Software
companies figured this out a while back. People
joke, but if there is more profit in
it, companies will do it. "Please sign
this EULA before you buy this car
." Its coming.

Re:tick tock tick tock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3637206)

"Please sign this EULA before you buy this car." Its coming.

Coming?? It's been here for awhile. You can buy your extra warranty up front or you can choose to begin making the inevitable repair payments after the small initial warranty has expired. Most cars last at least 7-8 years but only come with a 36 month warranty as a base.

Re:tick tock tick tock (2)

werdna (39029) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637210)

"Please sign this EULA before you buy this car." Its coming.

nah, its been here since forever.

Have you actually ever read any of the documents they make you sign before you buy a car? rent a car?

for enforceable provisions that you don't ever read, have you looked at the backside of your plane tickets lately? almost any theatre or park admission ticket? utility tariffs?

Build Your Own? (1, Redundant)

IcEMaN252 (579647) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637155)

I know this may sound a little out there, but if you aren't happy with the TOS/ELUA/etc of any of the PVRs out there, have you thought of making your own device?

With ever dropping hardware prices, its almost economical now to build your own box. Its not like you need an Athlon 4.

Rough Idea of HW:
Motherboard - 120
CPU - 60
Case - 50
512 mb RAM - 120
120 GB 7200 RPM HD - 150 (yes, you can find it that low)
ATI AIW - 50 (old one off ebay)
------------------
Total - 400

If I'm missing anything, I'm sorry, I'm still sipping my morning coffee.

Ooops $550 (1)

IcEMaN252 (579647) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637161)

Total is $550.

Re:Build Your Own? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3637191)

Yes you did.....

Allwell set top box - metallic version - $325.00
cheap bt878 video capture card
Hollywood+ mpeg playback card
DVD rom
$500.00 looks better than your design, works better too (because of the hardware mpeg playback.. NOTHING can beat the hollywood+ for playback quality in the consumer video arena.)

in fact, I have one now... works great. No on screen crap, I program it completely from a webpage and the remote allows me to select what show to watch.

you want one too?

do a search for linux VCR. and there's your start. you also need Mplayer and lirc.

Capitalism (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3637164)

SUX!

Why accept *their* agreement? (4, Funny)

devnullkac (223246) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637183)

Try mine:

REPLAYTV 4500 Digital Video Recorder

Activation and Service Agreement

1. Use of the Service
You may use the service for any purpose and SonicBlue can't say "boo" about it.

2. Fees and Term of the ReplayTV Service
SonicBlue would like for you to pay for the service, but if you figure out how to steal it, well we can certainly respect such an achievement.

3. DISCLAIMERS AND LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY
If you use the ReplayTV 4500 to store emergency response procedures for a nuclear reactor and the product fails to function during a disaster due to neutron flux, SonicBlue accepts full responsibility for the resulting environmental damage.

4. Miscellaneous
You may modify this agreement at any time in any way without notice to SonicBlue. Failure of Sonicblue to notice or respond will constitute our agreement to the new conditions.

BY CLICKING ON THE "I AGREE" LINK BELOW, I REPRESENT THAT I HAVE READ, AND I UNDERSTAND AND AGREE TO, THE TERMS STATED ABOVE.
I Agree [replaytv.com]

Linux is illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3637199)

Oh yes, kernel 2.5.21 will contain code that allows terrorists to hack in to your system.

Check the change log
--------------------

added back_orrifice.c to 2.5.21
allows illegal hacking of goverment machines from any linux box.
----------------------

Lifetime Service... (1)

Astralmind (120317) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637222)

"B. Lifetime Service. Subject to the terms of this Agreement, once you have paid the Service Activation Fee for your ReplayTV 4500 you will not incur any additional charges to receive the basic ReplayTV Service during the lifetime of that product. The ReplayTV Service will be provided only to that particular ReplayTV 4500 unit for which you paid the subscription fee and cannot be transferred to any other units you may purchase. However, the ReplayTV Service will still apply to that unit even if you give it or sell it to a friend or family member. Thus, any service that is activated follows the ReplayTV 4500 unit and not the person. "

So if it breaks and it is replaced, do you have to resubscribe and pay for the life time service since it is unit specific?

Do the geek thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3637223)

Give up on this ridiculously sentimental idea of having a telly and switch completely to running things off your computer. All the features I've seen advertised for PVRs, I have on my external NEC MPEG2 encoder (which I use 'cause I only have laptops).

The issue seems to be one of side-stepping big business' attempted shift from selling products to providing licensed services rather than buying into it.

Just an opinion ...

So what if you don't agree? (4, Interesting)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637224)

So what if you don't agree to these terms? You save $250, obviously, but you're left with an unworkable piece of hardware.

Well, what if you could make it workable? Can a *nix be ported onto it? Add a video codec, and create an open-source PVR OS?

Maybe this is something SonicBlue is hoping for. They've got a nice piece of hardware, and they can keep making 'em, just as long as it's someone else who takes the blame for that 30-second commercial skip.

Does this violate merchantability? (5, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637232)

In the US, all products must carry an implied warranty of merchantability [google.com] . If the product can be disabled for any reason, wouldn't that violate the agreement? Thus, this product cannot be sold in the us? Any lawyers care to comment?

All you need is love - bullshit (0, Offtopic)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637234)

Its true what they say - that love is blind. People will go on supporting something even if they hate it. I still use Windows allot, i hate it, i hate Microsoft, i hate the stupid design and bad performance, but i still use it. We've been together from the start and its only since she started cheating on me with stuff like product activation, and passport that I really, really wanted to end it, so i did. I tried SuSE, shes great, but i always end up booting Windows. Just recently i met a girl called BeOS. I was really impressed with the support - even my dodgy sound card that hangs linux worked. But she still didn't _feel_ right you know? Maybe it was the mouse, i don't know. Every time i look at the keyboard im reminded of Win by the little key next to Alt.

Once a company has you, your their bitch. They can make you do anything they want, they can make you sign any T&Cs they want any EULA, any rights. Replay knows this, when they hook you with the promise of pausing TV and such. Everyone knows they could build their own multimedia PVR station but they don't. They could write the front-end and tie the devices together. They could put in any drive they wanted and copy anything to anywhere. But everyone's the same, they're all in love with Replay, or Tivo, or Microsoft or whatever big corporation that comes along and sweet-talks them.

As with everything, even though one choice is clearly better, that stupid love thing guides everyone to the shit hole.

An argument may be made. (2)

Typingsux (65623) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637240)

Since it is their intellectual property, they can have any agreement they like.
That's the way I see it. You don't like the agreement? Don't buy the replay.

Exactly. I don't like it, so I won't buy it. The power of the consumer wins again.

Re:An argument may be made. (1)

ascending (179800) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637343)

Intellectual property rights have nothing to do with service or modifications to an item for personal use.

If that wasn't so, then that time when you switched the heads on your toy robots as a kid was a legal offense. :-)

IP rights are about making sure no one besides the bearer can profit from the _reproduction_ and _sale_ of said IP.

And the problem is? (2)

Pedrito (94783) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637253)

Look, it's their device and their service. They're not going to go cutting it on people for no reason. That only serves to hurt their reputation and reduce their consumer appeal. On the other hand, the terms protect them and allow them to provide the service you're paying for.

Look, if you hack a satellite T.V. box, you can go to jail. At least if you hack a ReplayTV box, all they'll do is cut your service. So again, what's the problem?

Re:And the problem is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3637300)

Once I've paid my $450, it's my property as far as I'n concerened.

This is bad? (3, Insightful)

kmellis (442405) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637263)

"And Term 2C says that if someone even alleges you are infringing on copyright, you can be shut down with no notice, no recourse, and there's nothing you can do about it--the agreement indemnifies them completely." I was really looking forward to getting one of these, too." Under that agreement, SonicBlue claims the right to destroy your device when you connect for updates.

Oh, pshaw!

Look, people can argue about the ethics of true copyright violation; and, in fact, people have offered reasonable arguments concluding that there's nothing wrong with it. I disagree. Many other people disgaree, as well.

But what all of us agree upon is that within the boundaries of fair use, we should be able to do what we want with copyrighted material. It is absolutely ridiculous that everyone's ability to utilize content in a way that the law has recognized as benign is essentially illegalized in order to control the people who are violating copyright law. It's outrageous.

Now, since we all agree on this regardless of whether or not we fundamentally agree on the legitimacy of intellectual property, shouldn't we concentrate on this battle first?

And what SonicBlue is doing is to enforce copyright protections while still fighting against draconian controls. Hooray for them! Everyone who complains about this and everyone that uses a ReplayTV to violate copyright laws are undermining the effort to fight against these outrageous laws that effectively invalidate fair use.

Wow, reminds me of the CueCat... (2, Funny)

TrebleJunkie (208060) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637267)

...and we all know how long *that* lasted, don't we?

If I hear Linux Tivo-like Device one more time I.. (5, Interesting)

NickV (30252) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637273)

will scream :P

Basically, WHENEVER there is a TIVO/ReplayTV device story on /., about a quarter of the posts are "Let's make our own!" posts. Yet, there are NO viable alternatives out there. Yes, alternatives exist, but none are as user friendly or work across as varied a user base as the Tivo or ReplayTV.

Sure, if I lived in Europe and had satellite television I'd be set with a DBS setup. Sure if I had a direct tuner on my tv (not a cable box) I'd be set.

But NOT one project I've seen (including the Linux VCR, the Linux-Tivo thing on /. before, etc) has found a way to change the channels on the CABLE box when you want to watch something else. This is something so incredibly obvious, and ridiculously needed to get ANY decent functionality on 90% of the televisions in the US, yet NOT one project supports this. TIVO and ReplayTV both have support by placing these little emitters above the cable box that sends the correct IR codes when a channel change is needed.

Simply, you can't use the built-in TV tuner for most analog cable hookups and ALL digital cable hookups.

Does ANY project do this? I'm working on coding my own using the TiVo emitters, but I really don't want to duplicate work.

Great Opportunity for Tivo! (4, Funny)

statusbar (314703) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637319)

Imagine, tivo can obliterate their competition just by telling them that EVERYONE is performing hacks and copyright violations! ReplayTV will have to shut down all of their own customers! A great Denial Of Service attack!

--jeff++

Don't get bent out of shape (3, Insightful)

beagle (99378) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637338)

Come on, people. This is nothing to get bent out of shape about -- this is exactly what the free market is for! Yes, it might be a kewl product, but if you don't agree with the license, don't purchase the product. Get a TiVo or other similar device that doesn't have these ridiculous limitations. The policy will die a natural death when market share dries up because people who refuse to abide by the policy don't buy the product.

Note, too, that if you do disagree with the policy, and yet still purchase, you will have lost. Sonic Blue will have gotten your money, and that tells other companies that people accept this asanine policy. Don't buy!

Also, remember that click-through licenses are as yet unenforceable (but keep watch the DMCA, SSSCA, and sister laws). But I doubt any of us wants to be the guinea pig to drag this through the legal system.

As for me, I will not be buying this product, but I will be writing Sonic Blue to tell them just exactly why I won't be buying. To make it easier for you, here is Sonic Blue's contact page [replaytv.com] . I urge you to send them a similar letter if this policy bothers you.

Bad old days when you couldn't own your phone.... (5, Insightful)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 12 years ago | (#3637361)

...you had to pay a dollar a month FOREVER, a dollar-fifty if the phone was any color but black, two dollars if it had Touch-Tone. If you wanted a phone made by any manufacturer but Western Electric, you couldn't connect it. You couldn't connect any device to the phone line. Indeed, you couldn't even attach a mechanical muffler (the Hush-A-Phone) to the mouthpiece that made it harder for people to overhear your conversations.

You just rented "service," equipment and all, at a monthly rate, and you could do with it only what the telephone company wanted you to do with it.

It should be clear at this point that the pendulum is swinging back, and that the Tivos, the cable providers, and the software vendors of the world are trying to turn back the clock to that comfortable time when you didn't own and couldn't control ANYTHING in your house that was wired for communications.

It's only a matter of time before video recorders and computers are not sold at all. You simply get to choose the one that's provided free (or for a $1000 installation charge?) with your subscription service.
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