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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Shouldn't copying software be allowed for personal home use?


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55 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   gman863

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 10:00 PM

What "we think" DirecTV should do, doesn't mean anything at the end of the day.


It may not mean anything today, tomorrow or even next year. Depending on how many people share this view, however, it could have a long-term negative effect on DirecTV's subscriber base and retention rate.

Companies that don't pay attention to what customers want (and are going to competitors to get) eventually shrink or die. Blockbuster, GM and Circuit City are examples of once dominant companies downsized or eliminated due to this. Ironically, major Cable TV companies are still trying to recover from the same mistake: In the infancy of both DirecTV and Dish, cable companies saw satellite as the alternative of last resort for hicks who couldn't get cable service. It wasn't until cable guys did a few million disconnects on homes with new grey frisbees on the roof that they figured it out. :scratchin

Streaming, downloading and file sharing (legal or illegal) are reaching a quality, quantity and ease of use on par with satellite. How long it takes DirecTV to realize this will impact their profit (or loss) in years to come.

"Bit for Bit" HD copying seems to be the holy grail to Hollywood.


What I'm ranting for is copy protected bit for bit copying. "Holy Grail?" Bit for bit copying is more like a drinking fountain: BitTorrent, eDonkey and hundreds of other sites offer anything and everything digital. Based on the small number of lawsuits filed against home users for copyright infringement, it appears tens of millions of P2P/torrent users feel comfortable with the risk every day.

I think Hollywood already knows copy protection is a dead horse. The decline in prices of DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs, the free "digital copy" included with most DVD purchases and even PPV DirecTV movies available on the same day as retail release are proof of this.

Without endorsing or providing a "how to" guide, I'll just state the facts: "Hackware" (although possibly illegal) is available for any DVR connected to a home network; removal of the internal HDD is not required. If Hollywood and DirecTV want to make such activity less tempting, a simple and legal licensed backup method might just do the trick.

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#22 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 10:55 PM

What I'm ranting for is copy protected bit for bit copying. "Holy Grail?" Bit for bit copying is more like a drinking fountain: BitTorrent, eDonkey and hundreds of other sites offer anything and everything digital. Based on the small number of lawsuits filed against home users for copyright infringement, it appears tens of millions of P2P/torrent users feel comfortable with the risk every day.

I think Hollywood already knows copy protection is a dead horse. The decline in prices of DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs, the free "digital copy" included with most DVD purchases and even PPV DirecTV movies available on the same day as retail release are proof of this.

Without endorsing or providing a "how to" guide, I'll just state the facts: "Hackware" (although possibly illegal) is available for any DVR connected to a home network; removal of the internal HDD is not required. If Hollywood and DirecTV want to make such activity less tempting, a simple and legal licensed backup method might just do the trick.

It's not that I'm trying to promote DirecTV's side on this, but only to suggest/point out what might be different here:
DirecTV has to provide assurances to their programing providers that this digital content stays "locked down", or at least they've taken "do diligence" to do so. If they can't do/show this, then the provider will stop providing.
DirecTV is merely the middle man here, but must comply with the current laws.
What an end user may do is beyond their control, but DirecTV has no interest in making it easy for them.
At some point in time, the laws may change or Hollywood may take a different view.
I may drive faster than the posted speed limit, but it doesn't make it legal. Maybe I haven't been ticketed, and maybe "everyone else" drives as fast, but this still doesn't change the law.
The real issue here is the draconian "digital millenium copyright act" that congress was bought & paid to pass so the Betamax "mistake" doesn't repeat. Since Sony now is a content provider, I don't think you'll be seeing them challenging this law either.
A.K.A VOS

#23 OFFLINE   gman863

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 07:35 PM

Maybe we need to stage a coup and take over the top spots on DirecTV's Board of Directors. Based on your posts, it seems like both of us have a better grasp on the issue than they do.

:rant:

#24 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 08:07 PM

Upgrading or replacing a defective receiver is the only reason I can think of.

You have to question whether there is enough of a call for this to code it into the firmware. IOW, what percentage of subs would make use of this feature?

Mike


I know it's been a few days since you asked, but saw this when the thread came up again.

How many normal subs really use TVApps?

#25 ONLINE   Mike Bertelson

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 06:53 AM

I know it's been a few days since you asked, but saw this when the thread came up again.

How many normal subs really use TVApps?

So you're going to answer a question with a question? :rolleyes:

Ok, I know a couple of people who use TVApps. That's a couple more than I know who want to move their recordings around.

Mike

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Since it costs 2.4¢ to produce a penny, my 2¢ worth is really 4.8¢ worth.  That 4.8¢ is my own and not the 4.8¢ of DIRECTV, Dish, or anyone else for that matter.


#26 OFFLINE   CTskydiver

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 05:21 PM

So you're going to answer a question with a question? :rolleyes:

Ok, I know a couple of people who use TVApps. That's a couple more than I know who want to move their recordings around.

Mike


I don't use TV Apps, but understand there are people who do and don't begrudge them for it. (I used to use the sports score app, but it is so slow to respond I just use my iPhone these days).

I do, however, desperately want the ability to view my archived recordings on any future replacement or upgraded DVR.

I haven't had my box die yet (knock, knock), but both my mother and sister each had boxes die and lost recordings. My sister even pays a premium for MRV and leases FIVE DVR's but when her living room box suddenly died (the first of her HD boxes) none of that helped her view the year's worth of programming recorded to the external attached to that device.

We pay monthly DVR premiums to be able to indefinitely time shift our content. We do not get refunded a dime when we lose that ability due to a failure of leased hardware.

Logically, there is no reason for this. Recordings should have been DRM locked to the customer ACCOUNT from the very beginning, not a specific hardware ID. It wouldn't have cost DirecTV anything more to set it up that way in the beginning. Content providers wouldn't have cared one way or the other.

It might cost something to make the change now, retroactively, but it is a change that should be made. And is worth making. I suspect it wouldn't even be that difficult a change to make.

#27 OFFLINE   sbl

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 05:47 PM

A commonly misunderstood piece of the "Betamax" decision is that it applied to broadcast (OTA) TV only. There has never been a case brought before the Supreme Court regarding programming not delivered OTA. As noted earlier, it was about time-shifting, not copying or place-shifting.

Since then, though, other laws, such as the DMCA, reduce what rights you might have had regarding recordings of programs, no matter what the source.

Steve

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#28 OFFLINE   bear263

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 06:28 AM

Most households now a days have more than 1 DVR, wouldn't it just be easier to have the ability (through MRV) to move the recordings to another DVR, replace the bad reciever, and then move the content back? This seems like a simplier solution and easier for D* to add to the software. :scratch:

#29 ONLINE   Mike Bertelson

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 08:18 AM

Yeah, but how often do DVR's fail? Are the number of failed DVR's, on a percentage basis, so large at to need this?

I think it would be pretty cool to be able to transfere eSATA drives between DVR's on an account but there's got to be a better argument then failed receivers.

Mike

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If you don't want to do sub-models at least do the new equipment...I'm just sayin'
Since it costs 2.4¢ to produce a penny, my 2¢ worth is really 4.8¢ worth.  That 4.8¢ is my own and not the 4.8¢ of DIRECTV, Dish, or anyone else for that matter.


#30 OFFLINE   CTskydiver

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 11:21 PM

... but there's got to be a better argument then failed receivers.


Isn't that enough? You might think the odds are so low of your receiver failing that it doesn't matter, but imagine if you were one of the unlucky ones. How would you feel to loose hundreds of hours of premium content you paid a small fortune for and spent a ridiculous amount of time collecting and maintaining?

...Because of a silly DRM restriction that is totally unnecessary?

#31 OFFLINE   Joe C

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 10:49 AM

Most households now a days have more than 1 DVR, wouldn't it just be easier to have the ability (through MRV) to move the recordings to another DVR, replace the bad reciever, and then move the content back? This seems like a simplier solution and easier for D* to add to the software. :scratch:


That's exactly how unsupported MRV on the DTivos works.

#32 ONLINE   Mike Bertelson

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 11:04 AM

Isn't that enough? You might think the odds are so low of your receiver failing that it doesn't matter, but imagine if you were one of the unlucky ones. How would you feel to loose hundreds of hours of premium content you paid a small fortune for and spent a ridiculous amount of time collecting and maintaining?

...Because of a silly DRM restriction that is totally unnecessary?

No, that isn't enough.

My point was to question whether or not there are enough failures to make it priority for DirecTV.

Like I've said a couple of times in this thread, I think it's a good idea. However, what would it take to make it a priority on DirecTV's part?

I doubt there are enough failed DVRs to make DirecTV to implement something.

There needs to be something else to bring it to the limelight. Otherwise it's a non-starter. :shrug:


Mike

Edited by Mike Bertelson, 18 October 2010 - 11:08 AM.

µß
If you don't want to do sub-models at least do the new equipment...I'm just sayin'
Since it costs 2.4¢ to produce a penny, my 2¢ worth is really 4.8¢ worth.  That 4.8¢ is my own and not the 4.8¢ of DIRECTV, Dish, or anyone else for that matter.


#33 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 12:07 PM

How would you feel to loose hundreds of hours of premium content you paid a small fortune for and spent a ridiculous amount of time collecting and maintaining?

I would feel like an idiot for using the wrong device/medium for this.
"Hundreds of hours"?
DVRs were never made for archiving long term.
DVD & Blu-Ray disks are what to use.
A.K.A VOS

#34 OFFLINE   CTskydiver

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 11:34 PM

I would feel like an idiot for using the wrong device/medium for this.
"Hundreds of hours"?
DVRs were never made for archiving long term.
DVD & Blu-Ray disks are what to use.


Blank blu-ray discs are so expensive, and the process of archiving via disk so labor and TIME intensive that this is not at all a practical solution.

If DVR's weren't meant for archiving, why put a hard drive bigger than 120 GB in one? A 1.5 TB disk holds well over 300 hours of content. I could (and have) copied that to an equivalent replacement drive costing about $100 and the process takes just a few hours.

To archive to disc would take well over 300 hours, and cost an ungodly fortune.

No one has yet explained to me why it would be either difficult or expensive for DirecTV to rewrite their DRM so that recordings are tied to the User Account and not the DVR.

I'm sure any cost incurred would be more than recouped by offering customers a flat, one-time fee to free their existing content from their current box when the time for an upgrade (or a DVR failure) comes around.

Edited by CTskydiver, 18 October 2010 - 11:35 PM.


#35 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 12:21 AM

What exactly would these do that MRV doesn’t already do? :scratchin

Facilitate a much larger, easier to access and much more readily organized library of content than is currently afforded by the existing EHD switching scheme.

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. -- JFK


#36 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 12:42 AM

Blank blu-ray discs are so expensive, and the process of archiving via disk so labor and TIME intensive that this is not at all a practical solution.
[...]
To archive to disc would take well over 300 hours, and cost an ungodly fortune.

Are you sure? Blank 25GB Blu-ray discs can be had in quantities of 10 for about $1.40 each. The computer homed burners are getting dangerously close to passing under the $100 mark. As for the time required, I shouldn't take much longer than sum of the the run times of all of the programs to send them to a computer.

This is about what it cost (in time and money) to store a movie or two a few years ago on a DVD recorder or 20 years ago on VHS.

No one has yet explained to me why it would be either difficult or expensive for DirecTV to rewrite their DRM so that recordings are tied to the User Account and not the DVR.

Nobody can explain it. It is just something DIRECTV hasn't seen fit to offer their subscribers.

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. -- JFK


#37 ONLINE   Mike Bertelson

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 07:01 AM

Blank blu-ray discs are so expensive, and the process of archiving via disk so labor and TIME intensive that this is not at all a practical solution.

If DVR's weren't meant for archiving, why put a hard drive bigger than 120 GB in one? A 1.5 TB disk holds well over 300 hours of content. I could (and have) copied that to an equivalent replacement drive costing about $100 and the process takes just a few hours.

To archive to disc would take well over 300 hours, and cost an ungodly fortune.

No one has yet explained to me why it would be either difficult or expensive for DirecTV to rewrite their DRM so that recordings are tied to the User Account and not the DVR.

I'm sure any cost incurred would be more than recouped by offering customers a flat, one-time fee to free their existing content from their current box when the time for an upgrade (or a DVR failure) comes around.

MTBF of 1.5 million hours doesn’t mean a hard drive will last for 171 years before it fails.

What kills hard drives is, well running them. In a DVR the hard drive is running 24/7. This is about as poor a system for long term archiving of video as you could possibly have. Anyone who believes that a DVR is a good means of archiving their video is just plain wrong.

A couple of guys working for Google studied hard drive failures (they’ve got a few of drives over there) and found that...

...once SMART found that a drive was having scan and reallocation errors, that drive was 39 times more likely to fail over a two-month span than a drive that reported no such errors. So, "first errors" are a good sign of failure.

Link

The point is that once it starts to go it will go pretty quickly. This means if you’re using you DVR as your primary source of video and also as the sole means of “backup” you will need to be very diligent in testing the drives to ensure your “archive” is still viable.

However, rule number one of backing up your data has always been to never use the primary working system as your backup. This is an incredible foolish thing to do and saying that since they have a large drive in them means they are meant for archiving is just as foolish. You never, never use the working system as the backup. You know what that called? It’s called not having a backup.

A DVRs sole purpose is to time shift TV programming and nothing more. Expecting DirecTV to give you tools to make it also an archiving system is never gonna happen. Nor is it a very smart way of creating a "backup" of important data. Heck, a Blu-Ray burner can be had for ≈$125-ish and disks are < $2/each. Now that's a backup system.

Mike

Edited by Mike Bertelson, 19 October 2010 - 07:07 AM.

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Since it costs 2.4¢ to produce a penny, my 2¢ worth is really 4.8¢ worth.  That 4.8¢ is my own and not the 4.8¢ of DIRECTV, Dish, or anyone else for that matter.


#38 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 08:24 AM

If DVR's weren't meant for archiving, why put a hard drive bigger than 120 GB in one?

The largest stock DirecTV drive can hold 100 Hours. Seems like this might cover someone going on vacation.
Yes, archiving to disk is time consuming, so one would need to do this much more frequently than to wait until you have "hundreds of hours" to archive.
How much time and effort do you spend here:

How would you feel to loose hundreds of hours of premium content you paid a small fortune for and spent a ridiculous amount of time collecting and maintaining.


A.K.A VOS

#39 OFFLINE   Steveknj

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 12:12 PM

It's not that I'm trying to promote DirecTV's side on this, but only to suggest/point out what might be different here:
DirecTV has to provide assurances to their programing providers that this digital content stays "locked down", or at least they've taken "do diligence" to do so. If they can't do/show this, then the provider will stop providing.
DirecTV is merely the middle man here, but must comply with the current laws.
What an end user may do is beyond their control, but DirecTV has no interest in making it easy for them.
At some point in time, the laws may change or Hollywood may take a different view.
I may drive faster than the posted speed limit, but it doesn't make it legal. Maybe I haven't been ticketed, and maybe "everyone else" drives as fast, but this still doesn't change the law.
The real issue here is the draconian "digital millenium copyright act" that congress was bought & paid to pass so the Betamax "mistake" doesn't repeat. Since Sony now is a content provider, I don't think you'll be seeing them challenging this law either.


And again we run into the conundrum of allowing content providers and content owners to be one in the same. When Sony provides both the means to copy and the restriction to NOT copy, it means that they control what and how to do the copying. You also run into the fact that in many cases the cable and satellite companies also control content, so it's in their best interest to lock down what the individual can do. Copyright laws are being "winged" as they cannot keep up with the advances of modern technology. And since the money is not with the consumers but with these content providers, it is easy for them to control regulation. Really does it make any sense that you can copy analog, but not digital? A copy is a copy is a copy. The fact that it's easier to proliferate illegal copies digitally should have no bearing on the decision. The sale of said copies is illegal, even if it was on tissue paper. If you can copy via analog, you should be able to copy digitally FOR PERSONAL USE.

Now as far as backing up your HD. That should be allowed, and there's no reason that they couldn't back it up into a format that is incompatible with anything than the host equipment. So, for instance, you back your DVR drive to some external media. They could create something that puts it into a format that the file can only be read from a drive connected to your DVR (either internally or eSata). Or, perhaps a better solution, once bandwidth issues are eliminated, back it up on some server "in the cloud" owned by DirecTV, so that if you have an equipment swap, it will download your content back to the new equipment. Then D* can control your content fully and still provide a backup service. As someone who had a faulty eSata cable and would lose content every time my DVR rebooted, that would have been a godsend.

#40 OFFLINE   CTskydiver

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 11:30 PM

Yeah, this is getting a bit off topic. I have backed up my DVR's hard drive on occasion (which is easy enough to do with a Gparted disc), and having two working hard drives with basically the same long-term data set on them is fine enough a backup solution for me.

The problem comes with the part I CAN'T control. The DVR itself. If it blows a capacitor, or it's power supply fails, or anything else in it's hardware decides to stop working ... it doesn't matter that I've backed up the hard drive. If the DVR can't boot, I can't watch my content. DirecTV will happily replace the bad DVR, but you still can't watch your content - it is all encrypted and DRM tied to that specific piece of hardware.

It could just as easily be tied to the customer account. If it was, it could be played back on any DVR authorized on that account. No content providers would have had any problems with that, as any subscriber could have ORIGINALLY watched and recorded their content on any of the other DVR's on their account anyway (if they had any).

So basically, this was just a simple lack of foresight by whoever wrote the original encryption controls. I'm still convinced it would be an easy oversight to correct. DirecTV pushes software updates all the time. I don't see why this simple change couldn't be included in one of them.

Edited by CTskydiver, 19 October 2010 - 11:32 PM.





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