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The Challenges and Rewards of 'Place-Shifting'

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the nobody-home dept.

125

Grooves writes "Ars Technica has an insightful look at the challenges facing place-shifting. The article talks about new European legislation that could require broadcast licensing for all place-shifting devices, and they review some of the fair use problems in the US and how they could hurt innovation." From the article: "A few cables here, a few networking adjustments there, and you can use a product like the Slingbox or the software-based Orb to watch your TV (or TiVo, or DVD player) from just about anywhere you can get a network connection, be it your office, your hotel room, or the other side of the planet. Yet what makes place-shifting devices so powerful also makes them appear very dangerous to established entertainment and media companies."

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SPACE shifting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15794095)

The term is *SPACE* shifting, not "place" shifting. Cripes.

Re:SPACE shifting (1)

popo (107611) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794461)


er... I thought it was "Time Shifting"

SPACE shifting is correct (5, Informative)

Aqualung812 (959532) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794575)

Time Shifting is changing the viewing time compared to the broadcast time. For example, watching a show at 8:00pm when you recorded it at 10:00am.

Space or Place Shifting is chaning the viewing location compared to the location that it is being received. Slingbox and others allow you to watch content over IP, regardless if your source is downstairs on your main TV or if it is a pal overseas who gets BBC.

Re:SPACE shifting is correct (2)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795212)

Funny thing in that the media companies are soo worried... example from 1985... Insert tape, record show, eject tape.. take over to friend's... *sigh* They just don't *get* it.

Law Review Article? (1)

RITMaloney (928883) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794111)

Has anyone seen a law review article on this?

Re:Law Review Article? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15794208)

Only one law review article mentions SlingBox and it's:

2006 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 6

Slashdot affected too. (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794115)

"Nothing for you to see here. Please move along."

If I pay royalties, can I see it here?

Re:Slashdot affected too. (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794493)

New technology: Subscription Shifting

I hope... (5, Funny)

silicon-pyro (217988) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794121)

...place shifting survives the storm.

In my opinion, my slingbox is the easiest way to watch the latest episode of Battlestar Galactica because my Mom has the only cable connection in the house, and its up there on the main floor.

Never mind that. I'm moving out soon. I just hope my sweet new invention isn't outlawed. A self-loading and self-ejecting VCR that prints mailing labels then calls a courier to get all new episodes to me anywhere in the world. Now just where am I going to find a huge cache of blank betamax tapes.

Re:I hope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15794173)

It is legal to record broadcasts that you subscribe to for personal use, but can you give them to people who aren't subscribed to the services?

Re:I hope... (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15796289)

/me scratches head ...

It's probably not legal, but is that really any different than "space shifting" using a VCR and a tape, and then giving the tape to a friend to watch afterwards?

I used to do a TON of analog taping -- and still do, truth be told (although programming a VCR is a bitch, I've found that most decent VHS VCRs have better TV tuners in them than any PC accessory, which are mainly built only to deal with the strong signals of cable TV) -- and I really don't get the hubbub. Okay, so there's the whole ease-of-use thing: it's easier to "space shift" using video-over-IP than it was using tapes, and it's easier to share; two people in two different places can't watch the same tape at the same time without time-consuming copying and quality degradation.

But I don't think it's really any sort of fundamental question: it seems like the old BetaMax issues all over again, except the media companies are hoping we'll all forget history and let them win this time.

What's ironic is that the "victory" that the media companies seek -- like the 'victory' Jack Valenti almost got over taping -- will really only hurt them in the long run. By trying to impede consumer choice at every opportunity, they only make themselves less relevant.

Use MythTV instead of a VCR! (3, Informative)

Guru2Newbie (536637) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795472)

Build your own DVR using an almost-foolproof Knoppix-based installation of MythTV, called KnoppMyth [mysettopbox.tv] . With the assist from Knoppix, it just works. And with MythTV, you can schedule recordings over the Web, as well as stream recorded content over the Web or across your LAN.

I started with a 1.33GHz Athlon, and:

  • bought a $110 Hauppauge PVR-350 card from Amazon,
  • threw in 512Mb ram, and an 80Gb hdd I had laying around,
  • downloaded and burnt the open-source software to CD,
  • set up a free schedule-downloading account at Zap2it,
  • plugged in the cable, rebooted...
...and 30 minutes later I was recording shows! I've since upgraded to twin 320Gb drives, added a 2nd PVR-350 hardware capture card, plus a 40Gb boot drive.
I'll never go back to a VCR. Well, actually there are some old educational videos...;-)

Solution (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15794143)

Simple solution.

Stop watching television. It works fine for me. I have no stake, whatsoever, in the outcome of issues like this. If you don't like the way something is, stop supporting it, directly or indirectly. (ala Walmart, McDonalds, Cable companies that still pipe advertising after you already pay, etc.)

Why care?

Re:Solution (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15794219)

Because some people enjoy watching TV. What if they started regulating and taxing self-righteousness? You'd be up in arms over that one, I bet.

Re:Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15794266)

How would you tax self-righteousness? (no, I'm not that square btw)

Anyway, you have a right to enjoy TV. I simply offered an alternative for your consideration. Would you have benefitted more if I'd not said anything?

Re:Solution (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794749)

Would you have benefitted more if I'd not said anything?

No. You would have.

Re:Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795995)

How?

Re:Solution (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15794908)

What if they started regulating and taxing self-righteousness?

With the amount of it here at slashdot, taxing self-righteousness would pay off the national debt in months.

When they came for ... (3, Interesting)

jonathan_95060 (69789) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794317)

When they came for the gypsies, I did not speak, for I am not a gypsy. When they came for the jews,I did not speak, because I wasn't a Jew. When they came for the Catholics, I did not speak, for I am not a Catholic. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak.


Sure, I don't watch TV either -- I watch DVDs of TV shows I want to see. None the less, letting the media companies rape and pillage the TV watching public sets a bad precedent for preserving the other fair use provisions that you might be interested in.

Re:When they came for ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15794378)

When they came for the gypsies, I did not speak, for I am not a gypsy. When they came for the jews,I did not speak, because I wasn't a Jew. When they came for the Catholics, I did not speak, for I am not a Catholic. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak.

His apathy is OK. That list didn't mention TV watchers.

Re:Solution (5, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794343)

Why care?

Do you, perhaps, live in the same legal climate as your TV watching neighors?

KFG

Legal Climate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15794861)

If we ban hurricanes, only criminals will have them.

Re:Solution (2, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794568)

Cable companies that still pipe advertising after you already pay, etc.)

Yeah, sure. Most revenue for any given channel comes from advertising, they barely get anything from your cable fee. I think the portion they get from the cableco only pays for the uplink costs.

Re:Solution (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794577)

RMS covered this one a LONG time ago.

Once they successfully enforce such regimes for Films and Music, they will move on to EVERYTHING else.

They've already got numbnut consumers buying into the idea that DVD's and CD's all come with an implied licence. They can easily extend that to books.

you mean simple NON-solution (2, Interesting)

WebCowboy (196209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795294)

Simple solution.

Stop watching television. It works fine for me.


Heh. What a stupid idea. It's like saying that if you don't like the way your government works or the choice of candidates then stop voting. RIDICULOUS. That is letting the inmates run the asylum.

I rarely watch TV myself...I HAVE a TV but I tend to watch either rented DVDs or the news channels. As such I have little stake in the debate either. Thing is, there is a larger issue at stake here. By taking your apathetic stance you are giving tacit approval to the industry for its immoral behaviour. The entertainment industry is trying to create an artificial industry that relies on a contrived set of legislation so they can be lazy and keep doing business like they have for a century.

The entire entertainment industry is perverting intellectual property law. Patents and copyrights were meant to protect and promote innovation, and now they all seem to think such law is meant to protect the status quo and STOP innovation. This is ridiculous. Imagine if typewriter companies managed to make word processing software illegal, book publishers managed to make the photocopier illegal, RIAA or MPAA succeeded in outlawing the Record button on cassette or VCR decks illegal.

The whole reason the entertainment industry could work with its now-antiquated business model was becasue technology didn't exist to broadcast peer-to-peer or on-demand or across the globe, so big central distributors were essential. We first got communications sattelites, then videotape, fibre-optics, digital encoding/decoding, high-bandwidth global networks and now peer-to-peer technology, and all along they stuck to the crusty old business model and remarkably managed to get away with getting into government's pockets--and with their help they set up artificial, contrived business models and markets in order to maintain their obscene profits.

Don't you think in this day and age it is stupid to release a movie in the US first, then Canada a few days later, then the UK and Australia a few weeks later, all in theatres, then on DVD months after that in the same staggered fashion, when NOTHING technically prevents simultaneous release? (I mean they are all English speaking markets so even language isn't even a barrier!). The whole thing runs on protectionist laws, exclusivity contracts, captive markets, etc. to the point of absurdity.

That would be tolerable to a degree if it was limited to the Hollywood industry, but it isn't. Other lobbyists are seeing their success and are starting to try to emulate it. Witness unscrupulous "submarine patent" companies that are abusing patent law the way Disney abused "mickey mouse law" copyright--lobbying to extend the law to protect monopolies and abusing the system as it already exists. Now tech companies are even getting into copyright games themselves. The thought that a printer company could use DMCA COPYRIGHT law to even try to legislate a captive market for its printer consumables is absurd--if they succeeded it would be tragic.

So you can't just stop watching TV becasue, firstly, too many people couldn't bear to lead such a bland life as one without TV AND music AND movies AND professional sporting events etc. so it'll always be worth the effort for Hollywood to stifle innovation. Secondly it is false that you do not have a stake in this EVERYBODY has a stake in this because Hollywood is setting the stage to turn the economy into a bunch of coddled, corporate welfare cases without regard to the quality of life of society in general.

Re:you mean simple NON-solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15795961)

I am intriqued by your theories and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Sorry if:
1) The Simpsons post is a duplicate.
2) That I can't mod your well written post as "Insightful".

Challenges indeed (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15794147)

From TFA:
"When companies who don't exactly charge "minor fees" for high-speed mobile bandwidth start locking out high-bandwidth applications just so they can sell their own limited video entertainment options, something is seriously wrong."

Amen to that. These same clowns want a tiered Internet, too. Is it any wonder?

Video online is already proving to be the next big thing (think about the sitcom that was reborn via YouTube). I shudder at what idiocy the MPAA has in mind for the future.

Old Media is dead (4, Funny)

hsmith (818216) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794153)

I love how their obvious solution is to buy monopoly protection through legislation, instead of altering their business models to adapt to changing markets.

Re:Old Media is dead (4, Insightful)

the darn (624240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794230)

It's a business decision. Which do you suppose is cheaper and easier: changing the minds of those used to thinking what they're paid to think (that's legislators, for the inference-impaired) or changing the way a whole company is run?

Re:Old Media is dead (2, Insightful)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 8 years ago | (#15796228)

In reality, it might be cheaper, depending on the the changes in question.

In the case of online distribution, etc. it ends up being cheaper for them to go with the flow than all this stupid fighting.
It was the same way with cassette.
It was the same way with VHS.

Why is THIS any different- it was cheaper for them to capitulate and go with the new tech that torched off
old business models (because those two items above changed everything for the players just like the stuff
is doing now...). Of course, they fought it kicking and screaming, if memory serves (Jack Valenti was referring
to Cassette to being like Jack the Ripper back in the days of cassette...). It doesn't surprise me at all
that they're being stupid, yet again, about all of this. I just wish they were poorer like they were back
in earlier times- now they've got more cash to do more damage over a longer period of time before they
realize that they're wasting money and resources- and burning up mindshare (brand recognition- Sony, for example,
is not looking too rosy to anyone right now over DRM debacles...) capital at an alarming rate.

Re:Old Media is dead (3, Interesting)

CornfedPig (181199) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794311)

Unfortunately, legislating anti-competitive moats is something incumbents often do because they have the resources and political clout to do so (something small companies rarely have) and because it is, once large-company ossification sets in, easier than innovating. It is a rare company that will continue to innovate, even at the expense of its own current business, rather than deploying lawyers and lobbyists to string up razor wire around their market positions. Of course, Maginot Lines are no more successful in business than they were in keeping the Germans out of Paris; it just tends to take a lot longer for the forces of change to bypass market impediments than it took the French to fold.

Re:Old Media is dead (1)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794354)

I love how their obvious solution is to buy monopoly protection through legislation, instead of altering their business models to adapt to changing markets.

I couldn't have said it better myself. Consumers can be pretty dense about the effects of some of the idiotic wet-kisses-to-big-industry laws that get pushed through various nations' legislatures. Eventually the monopolies go away as consumers get mad enough to actually attract the attention of their elected officials.

Re:Old Media is dead (0)

stubear (130454) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794818)

How the fuck do you alter your business model to compete against free-loaders? Could you please explain that to me? Cable companies are already service companies who pay for the rights to broadcast (distribute) intellectual property so they can't shift from a product to a service (like software companies are slowly, and sadly, starting to do). How are they supposed to compete against one person taking the content and passing it onto others for free? If you can't provide a reasonable business model shut the fuck up and quit repeating this stupid fucking suggestion. it's getting very old hearing geeks spout "business model, business model, business model, business model" like they're fucking Steve Ballmer trying to rally developers.

Re:Old Media is dead (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794885)

All a cable company does is pass content along. If the customers can pass along the content for free, why does the customer need the cable company again? If cable companies add no value, it's time for them to die.

Personally, I feel that they don't in fact add any value, which is why I don't subscribe to cable. Netflix sends me all the movies and TV I have time to watch, and I can time-shift and place-shift the content without penalty.

Re:Old Media is dead (1)

stubear (130454) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795413)

They add value, you fucking moron, by paying the production companies. Television shows are NOT free to make and someone has to pay for the production and developmetn of these shows. Free-loading from someone already paying for the distribution rights which cover the cost of making the shows is not a "business model", period, end of story. Cable companies have to make up for their costs as well. Many people willfully overlook the right of distribution in this "war against copyright" and that's why the majority of slashbots are fucking idiots.

Re:Old Media is dead (2, Informative)

Comen (321331) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795602)

I don't know where you get "Free-loading" from, maybe you are just not informed.
A Slingbox captures what my cable box is watching at home, from my TV outputs of my cable box.
My digital cable box is encrypted to the box and the signal coming out of it is what I pay for.
I stream that signal across the Internet to work or vacation etc... and watch what that box has on it. If the Slingbox changes the channel, then the home TV on the box changes the channel.
I have friends that have a sling box that are thinking of paying the extra 5 dollars a month for another box just to put it in a closet and hook their Slingbox to it, so they don't disturb what their wives are watching at home.

I don't see how this is considered "Free-loading" since I do pay for that box and the right to watch certain channels on that box.
Maybe you can enlighten me, since I am such a "fucking idiot"

Re:Old Media is dead (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 8 years ago | (#15796047)

Well, then what if we cut them out as middlemen. People could pay production companies directly (e.g. you'd have an HBO bill, and a Showtime bill, etc., rather than a single cable bill), and cable companies would simply sell bandwidth.

Of course, do bear in mind that one entirely reasonable and acceptable answer is to allow people to freeload, and to have fewer shows get created. Copyright is meant to serve the overall public interest, and both freeloading and having more shows are equally in the public interest. We just have to decide on the relative proportions that serve us best overall.

Cable/Satellite Companies Will Try To Ban (3)

LaNMaN2000 (173615) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794190)

The cable and satellite companies will almost certainly throw a fit about products like the Slingbox. Now, they are able to ensure not only that each house can its own paid-for cable connection, but also levy per-TV fees for cable/satellite box rentals. The slingbox and its ilk attach to the cable box outputs so you could use a single cable box to broadcast video to all computers in your house. Furthermore, if you disable your router's firewall and use port forwarding, you (and your friends) could get cable stations outside your home. Unlike the PVRs, which only pissed off networks that were losing ad revenue, the space-shifting devices will anger all providers of video delivery services, from Comcast to Verizon to DishTV. The service will simply have too many enemies to exist without regulation in the long term.

Re:Cable/Satellite Companies Will Try To Ban (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794508)

The service will simply have too many enemies to exist without regulation in the long term. Slingbox isn't a place shifting service, it's a device.

Re:Cable/Satellite Companies Will Try To Ban (1)

klaun (236494) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794622)

The cable and satellite companies will almost certainly throw a fit about products like the Slingbox. Now, they are able to ensure not only that each house can its own paid-for cable connection, but also levy per-TV fees for cable/satellite box rentals. The slingbox and its ilk attach to the

I'm not sure this is an accurate description of why the cable companies would be against it. Cable companies don't like set top boxes because they are a significant liability and rental fees don't really cover the cost of ownership. That's why they created the cableCard standard to get out of the set top box business.

However they do charge a premium for extra TV's and part of that is dictated by deals with content providers. I'm not saying that cable companies are innocent of wrong doing but content providers often have draconian contract terms that cannot be addressed by the cable companies by themselves.

Re:Cable/Satellite Companies Will Try To Ban (3, Funny)

zotz (3951) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794932)

[The slingbox and its ilk attach to the cable box outputs so you could use a single cable box to broadcast video to all computers in your house.]

I plan to use strategically placed mirrors and speaking tubes.

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

How will they try to outlaw that??? [GRIN] [WINK]

all the best,

drew

Re:Cable/Satellite Companies Will Try To Ban (1)

sharkey (16670) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795646)

Net Neutrality, of course. It clogs up the tubes.

Location Location Location (5, Insightful)

AugustZephyr (989775) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794229)

This problem has been around for years and is now just taking higher profile forms. Since cable TV has been around all you need is a splitter and a friendly neighbor willing to split the bill with you to get cheaper service. Now that the technology is available to do essentially the same thing over network connections it has grabbed the attention of all the copyright organizations that have been fighting file sharing issues for years.
It seems to me that the concern here should be with the potential for people to store the data streams that are being broadcast (like a tivo located on your LAN) rather than the "place-shifting". Seriously, what is the difference between me watching a show in my bedroom v. living room and between my house and my laptop when working from a hotel with a broadband connection. If I am paying for the service I should be able to enjoy it where it is convenient and comfortable for me to do so.

Re:Location Location Location (5, Insightful)

uab21 (951482) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794405)

Since cable TV has been around all you need is a splitter and a friendly neighbor willing to split the bill with you to get cheaper service

Of course, that has also been illegal since cable TV has been around (one of the reasons that there are limited anti-tamper devices on cable pedestals). The cable co. provides service to an address, and displaying that signal at an additional address was stealing cable (which is what they are concerned about here). They also wanted you to pay for each TV, which mostly went away as TVs became 'cable-ready', but now that they have migrated most of their base to digital cable, you need a box for every TV again, and they can bump up the revenue stream (which is why you'll never see them really thrilled about CableCard).

We can talk until we're blue in the face about should be this or that, but until the political and legal clout of the content /distribution industry is broken, we are going to be stuck with what is.

Re:Location Location Location (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795051)

[but now that they have migrated most of their base to digital cable, you need a box for every TV again, and they can bump up the revenue stream]

See, the thing is, I only get cable TV becuase I want cable internet and they wont sell me a net connection unless I pay for basic cable. (The claimed reason is that they could not stop me watching the cable so I have to pay. At least that is what I hear.)

If they go all digital, there goes my need to buy TV to get internet and my bill should be dropping. And..... I should be getting a bit more of my life back. {GRIN}

all the best,

drew

Re:Location Location Location (1)

p!ssa (660270) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795449)

They can filter them now, I had TWRR and recieved the lowest tier of channels "free" on a cable ready TV (they didnt require TV service). I signed up for a free trial of digital cable w/HD when they first started pushing it. I cancelled it thinking I could just go back to the limited "free" lineup because the HD offerings sucked. After they disconnected the digital cable my free basic channels were gone and I noticed a new set of splitter/filers on the line after they left.

Ta30 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15794255)

fucKing numbeRs, [goat.cx]

governments trying to control information (4, Interesting)

drDugan (219551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794272)

thank god we have a bunch of different governments still that can't agree how to keep tabs everything

the idea that when *I* chose to privately send information to myself in a different place requires the PERMISSION of the state is completely absurd, to me. This is not what the state should be doing at all. I don't harm anyone, I pay for the service myself, and it's no one else's business what I do with information I already have (at least in my own idealistic view of the world). It seems clear actions like licensing these activities is a transparent attempt to prevent new methods of information exchange to maintain profits with outdated models.

the battle over information [access/ownership/control] will continue to get worse and worse and undermine "traditional" models of business and governments - and all of society. thinking about these issues far enough brings directly into focus questions of what 'property' and 'ownership' really mean and if humans are going to maintain the current conventions of property for very long. but that is a much longer discussion - but I'll seed with this...

we're already in a world where information is much more valuable than physical goods. the really amazing thing about information is that when we share it, we don't lose it - if fact the only way to maintain information over really long periods of time (eons) is to KEEP using it. So if all the most valuable things in the world can be copied and distributed nearly free, why do we need to own things? The answers are completely incompatible with capitalism and the current health level of most people -- but it's where we will eventually come to realize long-term stability and peace in the human race.

Re:governments trying to control information (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794437)

we're already in a world where information is much more valuable than physical goods. the really amazing thing about information is that when we share it, we don't lose it - if fact the only way to maintain information over really long periods of time (eons) is to KEEP using it. So if all the most valuable things in the world can be copied and distributed nearly free, why do we need to own things? The answers are completely incompatible with capitalism and the current health level of most people -- but it's where we will eventually come to realize long-term stability and peace in the human race.

or we have nano based printers connected to windows computers which are made to "print" anything from a child's toy to a ham sandwich.. the computers get a virus which causes the printer's nanites to replicate, and we end up eventually with the planet being turned into a single huge mass of quadrillions and quadrillions of nanites.

The problem isnt you (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15794438)

Its simple when the problem is just you sending *you* your own stuff... but in this case, you could be sending out a signal for *others* using the same equipment, which cuts profits and gets peoples panties in a bundle. And if the security on your network is lax like most of the wireless routers in the US, *you* could be giving *me* free TV and not even know it.

That is all Big Brother is worried about... that and screwing the common citizen out of a few more bucks, but that's another rant altogether.

Re:The problem isnt you (2, Funny)

drDugan (219551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794615)

you imply that losing profits is a resulting problem that must be adressed.

this mentality is somthing that must be addressed loudly and clearly - as it drives significant stupidity in legislation and mob thinking.

repeat ten times: "it is not the job of the state to maintain profits for any company or industry"
repeat ten times: "the state exists to protect our welfare and ALLOW lawful commerce"

the market will decide which companies fail. when the state steps in and trys to jig with the market, corruption and grift are the natural result. this is why we have absurd copyright length now (resulting in new market solutions like cc licensing) this legislation seems at first pass to be another example.

Re:The problem isnt you (0)

stubear (130454) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794775)

It is, however, the role of government to enforce that nation's laws. In the U.S. and most countries who are members of the Berne Convention, people do not have the right to distribute intellectual property without consent of the copyright holder. Your straw man about governments securing profits for corporations purposefully overlooks what government is really doing. You incorrectly frame the argument so people will be less likely to argue against it even though you are clearly wrong. The state is merely clarifying existing copyright laws to cover emerging technologies which more easily allow broadcasting (distribution) of intellectual property without the copyright holder's consent. Ease of which something can be done is not a good measure of whether or not a law should be reconsidered. Semi and fully automatic weapons make it much easier to go on a killing spree then using an old musket loader. Does this mean we should relax the laws concerning killing others?

Re:The problem isnt you (3, Interesting)

ratboy666 (104074) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794868)

Stubear

You are overlooking what is going on. In fact, copyright law ALLOWS me to make a copy, if making that copy is necessary to the process of making use of the information.

Consider if that is not the case in a digital world. A copy of the information is made when reading from a CD or DVD, that, in turn has to be converted to be display. An Analog signal is not present on the CD or DVD.

If there was no dispensation to copy the material to make use of it, copyright would be violated by simply playing the CD or DVD.

That is a "ludicrous" result (and yet some people have been prosecuted for making such an illicit copy -- of licensed material. There is precedent here.)

So, you are allowed to copy, if that copying is in the ordinary use of the material. I will now attest that my TV tuner is a digitizer attached to a computer; and further that my normal use of cable tv is to record the shows temporarily, and then to play them back on a playback device when I choose to.

Again, this was upheld, and precedent is set. This would be "distributing to myself". The fact that this can also be used to "distribute to others" has no bearing on the argument.

Of course, the cable provider could attempt to "license" material -- but, remember, boys and girls, the backhoe solution!

YMMV
Ratboy.

Re:The problem isnt you (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 8 years ago | (#15796084)

In fact, copyright law ALLOWS me to make a copy, if making that copy is necessary to the process of making use of the information.

No it doesn't, except in very limited circumstances, which almost never apply.

If there was no dispensation to copy the material to make use of it, copyright would be violated by simply playing the CD or DVD.

Correct. And the dispensation is not in the law. It may be in an implied license, but of course, depending on circumstances, it might not be.

This would be "distributing to myself".

No, it wouldn't be. I encourage you to read 17 USC 106(3) carefully. Then read 106(1) for the actual issue at hand.

Re:The problem isnt you (1)

ratboy666 (104074) | more than 8 years ago | (#15796657)

Unfortunately, I am not that up on US law (being Canadian). In Canada, C-42 allows that explicitly.

Sorry for the misunderstanding -- its been a few years since I've looked at US Copyright.

Ratboy.

Re:The problem isnt you (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795951)

Well, I'm not sure murder is the best analogy, and in fact I believe using it is the definition of the "straw man" term you were throwing around in the first half of your rant, but nonetheless: Laws are about the balance of interests; mainly society's interests vs. the individual's. In considering society's interest, one must also factor in the expense and feasibility of enforcement versus the benefit of lowering the undesired behavior, including expected effectiveness and the cost of having otherwise productive people in jail. If a law is difficult to enforce, then we have two options: First, we can spend a lot of money and manpower to enforce it, or second we can tacitly allow the behavior. Neither option is particularly palletable, however in the case of murder, it's clearly worthwhile to spare no expense in the attempt to deter such acts. When it is not worthwhile, then we are doing society a disservice by expending a disproportionate amount of resources in an attempt to combat a certain behavior. Additionally, if we tacitly allow an illegal behavior, then we're making a mockery of the law. It sends the message that law is more of a suggestion than a rule, and as long as you don't break them "too badly," you're okay. Unfortunately, there are quite a lot of laws which fall into that category, however that's no reason to introduce even more of them into the system.

So that's one part of it. The other question is: How much does it harm society to allow the unchecked distribution of intellectual "property?" Does it discourage the creation of new content, and if so, to what extent? These are the questions that should be answered in order to determine what, if any, effort is put into further regulation. I believe the grandparent is of the field of thought that copyrights (in their current form) provide little benefit for society as a whole, and in fact are balanced in favor of corporate interests.

Re:The problem isnt you (2, Interesting)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 8 years ago | (#15796065)

Of course, there's nothing sacrosanct -- or even tolerable -- about the Berne Convention. Getting the US out of it, and other international copyright treaties, is on my agenda.

In any event, your argument is wrong. It is not the government's job to enforce the law, so much as it is the government's job to create and enforce laws for the benefit of the people. If the people are better served by different laws, then it is the government's duty to change the laws accordingly, not to enforce the bad laws.

Re:The problem isnt you (1)

stubear (130454) | more than 8 years ago | (#15796310)

But what people? Aren't artists people served by the same government? Or are they second class citizens, slaves to the whims of the online masses simply because you have decided they make too much money and you don't make enough? Why are they not equally protected?

Re:governments trying to control information (2, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794446)

we're already in a world where information is much more valuable than physical goods.

Until you run out of food.

KFG

Re:governments trying to control information (1)

drDugan (219551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794535)

hmm, last time I checked, food grows on trees. (It really does! ... and each tree makes lots of food)

BUT MOST IMPORTANT: the food supply defines our population, not the other way around.

see
http://media.anthropik.com/pdf/hopfenberg2003.pdf [anthropik.com]
http://www.potluck.com/offerings/increase.shtml [potluck.com]
http://www.ishmael.com/Education/Science/index.sht ml [ishmael.com]

Re:governments trying to control information (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794584)

last time I checked, food grows on trees.

And trees grow on real property. Mine spent some time this year trying to grow underwater. They didn't like it.

the food supply defines our population. . .

And nothing proves this better than running out of it.

KFG

Re:governments trying to control information (-1, Offtopic)

drDugan (219551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794716)

many societies, (like the american indians) existed for long stretches without any concept of owning land.
the idea of owning land is a modern invention by people, and, as a species, we would be much better off getting rid of it. Such a change would take considerable revolution in the way people think and function, but the resulting system would be much more peaceful and more productive.

As for food, on a very short term horizon (weeks) I agree. But the relation also holds on all time scales (months and years and generations) - meaning that the population will adjust to available food levels (up or down) over long periods of time. This understanding eliminates the scarcity arguement for food. By definition, living people will always have enough food over long time scales.

Re:governments trying to control information (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794759)

This understanding eliminates the scarcity arguement for food.

Unless you are the one for whom it is scarce.

KFG

Re:governments trying to control information (1)

masterhibb (965014) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794607)

That comment reminds me of an old Mad Magazine cartoon that featured a hippie talking about how he doesn't need all of your cars, your fossil fuels, your pollution, your nuclear energy, or any of that rot. All he needs is his guitar...and an outlet to plug it into.

In your face MAD magazine! (1)

LunaticTippy (872397) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794796)

I know an actual hippie who lives "off grid" with a bizarre assortment of solar, wind, marine batteries, inverters, and 12v appliances. He also has an electric guitar that runs on his hippie-power.

Re:governments trying to control information (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794897)

Thanks for the DQ link though, which had a dead link on it, which I went and tracked down:

http://www.harpers.org/TheOilWeEat.html [harpers.org]

'Cause I've been posting about this issue the past few days.

KFG

No way to stop it. (5, Interesting)

jimbogun (869443) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794299)

They can legislate all they want, but enforcing is a different issue. Just as there is no evil bit to stop terrorists, there is no bit that can be easily detected to see if someone is broadcasting media. True something could be created to detect if mpg files or other standard video files are being played, but that takes a lot of work and can be easily encrypted.

The devices they legislate could easily be identified if it comes as a box (Slingbox). The software versions will be impossible to legislate without the software creators cooperation, and without it they will have to turn to computer hardware vendors. They will need to legislate computers with capture devices and a network interface. This could be simplified by legistaling all capture devices, like how HD tv capture cards have to have the broadcast bit. The capture cards would have to encrypt it to something only a licensed software product could read (and of course the encryption would eventually be broken). This encrypting could be worked around with a video/audio capture program because you have to play it somewhere for a capture device to be useful, but this would be a huge deterrent.

My two cents: Accept the reality that it is. Crack down on pirates (unlicensed distributers of copyrighted materials), but let people who just want to watch something they've legally recorded anywhere they want.

naive argument. (1)

jonathan_95060 (69789) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794441)

Your argument is naive.

Consider the analogous case of DVD pirating. Sure, it is not possible to prevent all DVD pirating but there is a big different to the level of DVD piracy that occurs in the U.S. compared with what happens in the 3rd world (e.g. Russian, China).

The point of legislating slingbox out of existence is that many fewer people will be doing space shifting than would if the slingbox appliance was available to the purchasing public at large.

If outlawing activity X reduces the occurence of activity X by 50% and the media companies don't have to bear much of the cost of enforcing the law then this is a win for them even if 10 million people are still doing activity X.

By your reasoning there is no point in existing laws making murder illegal since these laws have not reduced the incidence of murder to 0 occurences a year.

Re:naive argument. (3, Interesting)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794707)

No.. they dont work, prohibition didnt work, drug laws (enacted by nixon because everyone protesting him used them), and now filesharing laws dont work, but selective enforcement of laws against X provide the state with options for legitimizing campaigns of terror against dissidents--- i mean "criminals".

Re:naive argument. (2, Insightful)

jimbogun (869443) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795063)

Considering the analogous case of DVDs, true you bring up a brilliant point that legislation can reduce the occurence of something by outlawing it, but I was merely stating that you can't eliminate it. BTW, I think you'd be amazed at how many people do pirate movies in the U.S., or at least the movie industry thinks it's a possible huge problem, if it isn't currently. Why else would I see a huge add before every movie that states that pirating hurts movies?

They tried to make reading DVDs impossible without an authorized player. The encryption was broken and DVDs can be read in computers through unlicensed software, the fact that this did not catch on (widespread) in the U.S. is due to the low price of DVD players. Most people will pay for something thats easy to use and cheap, rather than steal it through complex technical means that requires a degree of computer know-how. If the price of DVD players was $5000 and DVDs cost $200 dollars, you would see a huge change in the way people reacted to it, hence the large piracy in 3rd world countries that aren't able to enjoy the same luxuries on as large scale as the United States.

3rd world countries are also more relaxed towards piracy. This may be because they don't have companies that produce the products that are being stolen and don't have lots of money in reserve to higher lawyers to prosecute pirates. The fact that you are sticking it the the U.S is always a bonus in the eyes of other nations.

In the end, you can legislate all you want on boxes like slingbox or DVD players, but you can't enforce it once it goes to the software world. If people want it bad enough, they will get it by hook or by crook.

Re:No way to stop it. (3, Funny)

FirstTimeCaller (521493) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794486)

I'm from the government and I'd like to hear more about this evil bit of which you speak.

Re:No way to stop it. (2, Funny)

wronzki (989396) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795002)

I'm from the government and I'd like to hear more about this evil bit of which you speak.
RFC3514 http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc3514.html [faqs.org]

Re:No way to stop it. (1)

jimbogun (869443) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795033)

How do you weed out the good from the bad?

Wouldn't it be nice if they just came out and said it? Wouldn't it be nice if criminals wore signs that said they were criminals before they even did anything wrong, but they intended to commit a crime? If terrorists coordinated there attacks in emails with an evil bit turned on so that we knew we should monitor them. Yeah, it would be nice, but is it possible? No.

You cannot force an evil person to reveal their intentions without coercion and if you try to coerce, what if you are wrong and they are innocent? You can trick, you can convince, but you cannot force without impacting innocent lives. Only God has the power to passively know the intents of the human heart.

Re:No way to stop it. (1)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795068)

I'm from the government and I'd like to hear more about this evil bit of which you speak.

I just sent you one, with an Internet attached. Wait five days, then go sit by your tube.

Bemopolis

Yeah, I'm familiar with that technique. (0, Flamebait)

Ivan Matveitch (748164) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794321)

When I encounter a television, I make haste to shift my place. And I carry a can of insect repellant for in case I meet an American. It's a challenging world out there, and to survive one must be well prepared.

Re:Yeah, I'm familiar with that technique. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794371)

And I carry a can of insect repellant for in case I meet an American.

what a lovely xenophobic and derogatory statement.

I absolutely despise what my government has been doing, just like the other 64% of the population in the last poll, but since you hate us so much, I guess that's one less disenfranchised person to feel guilty or angry about when it comes to my government being abusive to other nations.

Re:Yeah, I'm familiar with that technique. (1)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794379)

And I carry a can of insect repellant for in case I meet an American.
I'm an American you insensitive cl....Um, wait a minute...

Where can I get this repellant that you speak of?

Re:Yeah, I'm familiar with that technique. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15794451)

And I carry a can of insect repellant for in case I meet an American.

Too bad for you that we've got guns, and we know how to use them.

#irc.7rolltalk.com (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15794358)

man walking. It's dying' crOwd -

What's the next step, regulating remote desktop? (3, Interesting)

ChoppedBroccoli (988942) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794362)

Seriously, with a fast LAN or WAN, I can remote desktop to my main computer and watch TV channels using its onboard TV tuner (it works decently with a reasonably sized window, i.e. not TOO big, on my LAN). This is a slippery slope, do they want to legislate remote desktop or VNC as well as 'place-shifters'?

Problem Solved (4, Informative)

rickett81 (987309) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794386)

Make the slingbox only allow 1 connection at a time. Then, only one person can view the content at a time. You would have to assume that the one person is the owner.

Under fair use, you cannot tell me that I can not view something that I have paid for. In the same way it is not illegal to back up your CDs and store them on your computer in MP3 format. (Even if sony tries to make it difficult) The problem is the sharing.

Only one connection allowed solves this problem.

Re:Problem Solved (0, Flamebait)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794651)

first off.. one can assume a limit to the hardware's ability to support adequately connections over a significant number with streaming video of all things.

second.. since when have you had fair use rights! those were from the analog age.. now youre a serf and have to get used to your new role.. that of glorified and slightly more cushily housed corporate slave.

Re:Problem Solved (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15794772)

Actually, that is exactly how it works. One user at a time per slingbox.

Re:Problem Solved (1)

Comen (321331) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795623)

Ditto that, only one person at a time can use a Slingbox!

Free Trade - Do it properly. (2, Interesting)

graystar (223824) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794612)

It is funny how corporations which are in bed with state prance about singing free trade, hang out at the WTO, so long as it is free trade for their supplies and inputs.

When it comes down to consumers getting rid of articficial territories, eg region coding dvd - these were only done so they could price discriminate, place shifting etc they run back from free trade into the arms of the state for regulations.

You will never get consistency when the state is concerned.

Must be tired... (1)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794619)

Anyone else read that as "Place Sniffing"? I need a vacation.

Mod Focus? (1)

idfubar (668691) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794623)

Seems like most of the modded up posts are political; I'm surprised that no one has commented on the fact that WindowsCE is required for the SlingPlayer mobile (which, IMHO, would be the easiest setup for a non-technical person like myself)...

Place shifting is uncontrollable (2, Interesting)

quokkapox (847798) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794667)

Just like I can invite my neighbor upstairs to mosey on down and watch my cable TV, I can also invite him to SSH in and stream whatever I can capture live with my devices. There's no way to prevent that unless you allow the government to come in and regulate what I can and cannot do on my own LAN in my own home. I can thwart this easily with encryption. The only thing that will stop me from sharing my data is if I cannot buy hardware that will let me do what I want. At that point, I quit buying altogether. The media and distribution cartels would love to control the hardware, but guess what? If you make it so I can't keep a copy of what I watch on TV, I'lll quit subscribing to your service. Anyone who wants to control how culture and media spread between individuals can go fuck themselves. I don't need their content and I won't pay for it. And I won't buy hardware that constrains my fair use.

The media cartels can have the sheeple and their money. There will always be a significant chunk of people who don't mind missing out on the garbage they distribute. Bring it on, the broadcast flag, the HDMI ports, the DRM, all of it. There's nothing really compelling on TV anymore anyway.

vlc does it cheaper (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15794675)

Time for some fun kids....

use vlc (www.videolan.org) to watch AND at the same time stream a TV channel from your TV card equipped computer (winderz or linux) to your IP address. Then tell your best friends to also download vlc and have them "Open Network Stream" pointing to your IP address where they can then watch the TV channel stream AND at the same time stream it out to their IP address where THEIR best friends download vlc to watch the stream and forward....

keep going until everyone in the world downloads vlc, watches and "forwards" the TV stream.

vlc kicks ass!!!

slingbox sucks cuz you need a special proprietary program/codecs to view the stream. vlc uses industry standards. And it's Open Source. Runs on a lot of platforms.

Re:vlc does it cheaper (2, Informative)

Comen (321331) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795649)

I love VLC and use it alot at work for multicast video network tests.
But I own a sling box, mostly cause it allows me to control my cable box and watch what is on any channel at any time, and get to the DVR functions of my cable box also, so I can watch anything on DVR also.
(my digital cable box is a DVR also)

I call BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15794688)

The article claims that "despite the fact that their recent firmware significantly improved their product's performance."

Err ... NO.

I, and others, have clearly seen that with the newest beta - the one with encryption - the image quality is in fact worse. Previous beta did allow faster, and thus better, streaming on the LAN, but, that is not the case with the most recent firmware.

Also, I ca no longer record MY security camera streams. How is this helping me, as the content producer, copyright holder?

Re:I call BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15794781)

>

How true you are my friend. On one end it's, "Buy our software to make your OWN DVD movies!!".
On the other, its "Our DVD players only play copy-protected DVD's"

Looks like the device makers have locked out innovators like yourself under pressure from hollywood. I guess ONLY hollywood can make a movie. It's very sad. Cuz hollywood is really stinkin lately. The world needs fresh innovative ideas. Those ideas come from people like you. Not hollywood. I feel for you.
eff-in media whores.

its just data (5, Interesting)

gsn (989808) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794880)

"...a cable subscriber in San Francisco who watches a Giants baseball game from his or her laptop during a visit to Chicago is stealing from the Chicago cable operator who paid to transmit MLB games in that city."

I really don't get the MLB guy's argument that I'm stealing from the guy in Chicago. Does he expect me to pay some cable operator in Chicago to watch one game while I'm visiting? If the game is playing in a bar I could just watch it free, and my watching it doesn't add to their revenues.

The only way this makes sense is if they can sell me the rights to watch the game while I'm travelling over the web or PPV. But I've already bought the right to watch the game in SF... I paid for access to the *content*. THats where the difference in thinking is - Buisness wants me to pay for the content on a particular delivery system or a different media. Wouldn't it be just wonderful if they could charge you $5 for content on your iPod and $10 if you want your game streamed over the web to your laptop in your Chicago hotel room, $15 if you want a DVD of it.

But the whole point is irrespective of what the content I paid for is its still just data and if you put data and a computer and a network together then you are simply not going to be able to keep control over it...unless you can control what users can do with their computers and what what networks can do. Out of curiostiy whats happening with network neutrality and does anyone remember that Trusted computing/TCPA/Palladium thing...

Re:its just data (4, Interesting)

ratboy666 (104074) | more than 8 years ago | (#15794968)

Thank you.

And, I'll go just a bit further (being a "tech layoff" survivor). Companies can outsource; why can't we?

If the cable operator in San Francisco offers, say, $5 per month less than Chicago, why can't we subscribe to SF, and place-shift? Isn't that pretty much the same as "outsourcing"?

Ratboy

Transaction costs, services forgone, competition (1)

Geof (153857) | more than 8 years ago | (#15796168)

I really don't get the MLB guy's argument that I'm stealing from the guy in Chicago. Does he expect me to pay some cable operator in Chicago to watch one game while I'm visiting?

He wants you to pay a fee to watch that one game in Chicago. Now if you're watching it on Chicago cable, you're not watching it on SF cable. In aggergate, services provided cancel out the services forgone and it's a wash.

Perhaps the SF cable company should provide a discount, or forward part of your cable payment to the Chicago company in proportion to how much TV you watched in each place. Or hey, why not set up something like the phone system where every system that processes the content you watched gets a cut.

All of these set-ups show the extreme idiocy property systems can produce if allowed to go to far - like the apartment doors in Philip K. Dick's Ubik that charge users a nickle to open them. Transaction costs go through the roof. Incumbents, however, are protected because the high infrastructure costs discourage competition.

Place-shifting (1)

olego (899338) | more than 8 years ago | (#15795901)

I, for one, am in favour of place-shifting. I learned that trick a couple of years ago - it was tough, and the classes at the teleportation [wikipedia.org] school cost me a pretty penny, but it sure beats the morning commute!

space shifting and ringtones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15796015)

Another area where this is also getting interesting is with space-shifting and ringtones. Companies like http://www.tonethis.com/ [tonethis.com] , allow you take music you own and convert it into a ringtone - sounds a lot like Betamax to me. EFF predicted this would be an area that may blow-up this yr or the next.

Bull (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 8 years ago | (#15796219)

"Content owners don't like it [Sling] because they think it violates their copyrights," HBO CTO Bob Zitter said during a panel here Tuesday. Zitter's comment came in response to a question from the audience.


Think of the slingbox as a coax extension. If I run coax to my kitchen and leave the cable receiver where it is, is that a "copyright violation?" (you mean infringement, you boob! a network exec ought to know better. Copy protection and DMCA are copyright violations because a copyright is a temporary monopoly and there are fair use exceptions to copyright law) No? Good answer.

Now, what if I extend that coax a little further out into a garage, or the back yard? is that a "copyright violation?" No? Good answer.

Now, say I am housesitting for a neighbor my neighbor does not have cable, but I want to watch cable TV I pay for. I add 50' more to that cable, keeping it attached to my own television, When I leave that cable is disconnected. Is that a "copyright violation?" No? Good answer.

Now, say I connect the cable receiver to an appliance which acts as a virtual coax cable (let's say it's made of pixie dust). This virtual coax cable allows only ONE connection at any given moment, and since I pay for the cable, I want to watch it and not get bumped out by some freeloader, so I keep the credentials to access it to myself. Now, I'm in my backyard connected to that virtual cable by the virtue of WiFi. Is that a "copyright violation?" No? Very good.

Now, what if I take that "virtual coax" to my office, and use my work PC as the television. Is that a "copyright violation?" No? Very good.

You now agree that the slingbox is NOT a tool copyright infringement. By the way, even if it were a tool which could facilitate copyright infringement, too farking bad because legitimate stated uses indicate it is primarily designed for non-infringing uses, and it is single-user (as designed anyhow).

I am so fucking sick of media companies screaming "OMFG the sky is falling!! The sky is falling!!" every fucking time new technology comes out, all the while posting record revenues. Assholes. I'm almost mad enough to cancel my HBO subscription.

Pah! (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#15796240)

Yet what makes place-shifting devices so powerful also makes them appear very dangerous to established entertainment and media companies.

So who cares. I wouldn't shed a tear if the whole corrupt entertainment "industry" vanished from the face of the Earth. Sure, they have some value, but that value is not worth the sacrifices they wish us to accept in order to guarantee their cash flow. The truth of the matter is that all incumbent industries, large and small, face threats from change, from the new. They just do, and nothing will change that unless these corrupt, greed-ridden fools manage to halt progress entirely.
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