I don't understand what the networks arguments are with the cable company Apps....

Discussion in 'iPad' started by DougFNJ, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. DougFNJ macrumors 65816


    Jan 22, 2008
    I'm a little confused. We can only use these apps on our home networks. These apps are free as an add on to our already ridiculously inflated cable rates. It is basically adding a small flat television set to my household using software for the remote.

    What is the gripe the networks are pitching? This to me would be the same as them complaining if I gave my step son or daughter a TV in their room, are the networks entitled to a piece of the money I paid for the new TV???

    And with all this, why are they not feeding the same problems to Slingbox and Tivo?

    Just a thread for interesting discussion.....curious on other members thoughts.
  2. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    Both of your questions have the same answer. They are interpreting their existing agreements to mean that they deserve money because the cable company is "delivering over a different medium." In other words, they are breaching their contract.

    While I'm sure this fight is coming, the networks are not going after Slingbox etc yet because they are not breaching any agreements. It'll be interesting to see how that one plays out.
  3. master-ceo macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2007
    The SUN
    SONY, Viacom, Vevendi, Time Warner = (d) Evil
  4. racer1441 macrumors 68000

    Jul 3, 2009
    Some cable companies want paid per hookup. Basic service + number of TV's.

    The best thing that can happen to this industry would be for them to break apart delivery and content.
  5. rworne macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2002
    Ultimately it comes down to:

    "We haven't figured out a way to charge more money for that, so no".
  6. DougFNJ thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 22, 2008
    Let me correct you.....

    SONY, Viacom, Time Warner = STUPID

    You would think they would learn from the mistakes the music industry made.

    One more thing I have been learning....

    Paying Customer = Ultimately....Victim
  7. Axiem macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2011
    Disclaimer: I am not actually a lawyer, though I have spent a considerable amount of my life reading up on IP issues in law.

    It is a legal thing.

    Sony v. Betamax only established the legality of time-shifting as an application of fair use in copyright. It did not establish the legality of place-shifting.

    Remember, under modern copyright law, the thing that is under the jurisdiction of the law is the act of making a copy. Whoever owns the copyright on an artifact literally has a government-granted and government-enforced monopoly on making any copies of that artifact. (I use the word "artifact", because of the large number of things that copyright applies to, including music recordings, maps, fiction text, and video)

    What this means is that it is illegal to abridge that monopoly by making a copy--without the legal permission of the person who owns the copyright. Each and every copy made needs to be cleared by the copyright owner (although it generally is clearance in large swath, like "you can print copies of the book"), by law.*

    To stream a video to a device requires, by implementation, a copy of that video to be created, which puts it under the purview of copyright law. This is exacerbated by the fact that in order to stream video generally means keeping a local copy (for at least some time).

    The question fundamentally thus becomes: is the copying that occurs to a computer device considered the same from a legal perspective as the copying that occurs to a cable box and then from there to a TV set. The broadcasters say no, the cable company says yes. Or at least, whether the fact that customers are already paying for the service grants them a fair use provision to place-shift the content.

    My sense is that if this were to come to the Supreme Court in the same way that Sony v Betamax did, that the Court would rule similarly: namely, that place-shifting falls under the purview of fair use. But this is just my sense, and who knows what the Court would look like by the time this got there, if it did, and whether my sense is accurate at all.

    * Footnote: there is a set of exceptions to this monopoly power, which is called "fair use". While not a definitive list, there is, legally-speaking, a bright-line test for determining if a certain instance of copying constitutes fair use. An example of this would be citing a passage while writing a review of a book. The Wikipedia page describes this well.
  8. Axiem macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2011
    Secondary footnote: the reason Tivo isn't gone after is because of Sony v. Betamax. Tivo is just time-shifting, which has been declared legal.

    I imagine the reason they don't go after Slingbox is that they are too small to really matter, and that they don't have a significant enough revenue stream.

    TWC and the iPad, on the other hand, represents a significant chunk of the subscriber population, and a significant revenue stream. From a cost/benefit analysis, that's worth going after.
  9. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    Why on earth would any network take issue with MORE screen time?

    Viacom, e.g., to advertisers...

    "Look at us, we're now on 2 million iPads, in 2 million bathrooms/basements/back porches, etc...all these new places around the house that TV doesn't go. Now, please pay us an additional $10,000 for your 30 second commercial".

    The networks are being complete idiots. Let the cable cos. plant the seeds and then they'll be able to harvest the new ad income.
  10. brayhite macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
    N. Kentucky
    Well yeah, but if it's unauthorized or unlicensed screen time, that's the issue. Otherwise no one would have a problem with YouTube showing unlicensed and copyrighted material since free viewing on YouTube = more screen time = more viewers.

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