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Lakers New Regional TV Network - NOW ON THE AIR


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#921 OFFLINE   Beerstalker

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 03:19 PM

I agree, if he has a commercial account at home, and is paying for the rights to show it to the occupancy rating of his bar (that's how those usually work, you pay a different amount according to the Fire Marshall's occupancy rating for your establishment) then I would say he probably isn't breaking any laws, and probably not even any TOS with Time Warner. However, he better hope Time Warner doesn't start imposing bandwidth caps/overage charges :lol:
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#922 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 04:20 PM

I wondering why he doesn't just sign in at his bar and stream it directly from twc assuming he has a TV connected to a computer.


I wonder if we won't see this channel pop up as a roku channel. That would be great, as long as they sold it a La cart on roku. I don't care as much how I get it, I just want it.

#923 OFFLINE   TJNash

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 04:30 PM

Well... Assuming for a moment that he is paying for a commercial account with which he is allowed to show sports programs to the public.... which laws would he break if he receives the program on location A, and shows it to his customers on location B?

He isn't copying anything, he isn't stealing anything, he is just extending his reach. After all, the Slingbox device is perfectly legal as well - which is what he is using - if you as a residential customer wanted to watch the Lakers game from your hotel room in Toronto, Canada.

I'm not so sure he is breaking any LAWS here. And this is something that should be carefully understood: He might be breaking the TWC Terms of Service, and could be subjected to disconnection of his account per TWC's policy if this is the case, but I am not sure he is actually breaking a LAW at this point.



Would someone owning a Slingbox break the law? Nope.
Would someone owning a Slingbox, and using it to show a sports programming he is allowed to show to customers on a different location then where the cable terminates? I don't think so..... Again, not 100% sure, but I can't find any LAWS that he would break with it. Just, potentially, the TWC terms of service, which is something completely different.


You are missing the point. The NBA itself (and all major sports, especially the UFC at this point) control retransmission rights to their product. He might be skirting his TWC TOS, but he is definitely tempting fate with the NBA.

#924 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 05:37 PM

Well... Assuming for a moment that he is paying for a commercial account with which he is allowed to show sports programs to the public.... which laws would he break if he receives the program on location A, and shows it to his customers on location B?

He isn't copying anything, he isn't stealing anything, he is just extending his reach. After all, the Slingbox device is perfectly legal as well - which is what he is using - if you as a residential customer wanted to watch the Lakers game from your hotel room in Toronto, Canada.

I'm not so sure he is breaking any LAWS here. And this is something that should be carefully understood: He might be breaking the TWC Terms of Service, and could be subjected to disconnection of his account per TWC's policy if this is the case, but I am not sure he is actually breaking a LAW at this point.

Would someone owning a Slingbox break the law? Nope.
Would someone owning a Slingbox, and using it to show a sports programming he is allowed to show to customers on a different location then where the cable terminates? I don't think so..... Again, not 100% sure, but I can't find any LAWS that he would break with it. Just, potentially, the TWC terms of service, which is something completely different.


Lots of assumptions and isn't the slingbox legal because it is fair use, place shifting like time shifting. I don't know if they ever ruled on slingboxes for commercial use.

I'm not saying he is breaking any law but to assume he is not is pretty naive or awfully assumptive that he crossed all his t's and dotted all his i's.

Whatever, it is pretty dumb to announce it publically.


Edit to add:

From the Slingbox website terms of service:

"The license granted to you by Sling Media is solely for your personal, lawful, non-commercial use in connection with a Slingbox owned by you and connected to an audiovisual source that you are lawfully entitled to view."

Also, adding:

Cable systems are granted to geographic areas. Importing for commercial purposes a cable signal for an area that is not entitled to that service (not just that it is not installed) sounds a bit shady.

Can't imagine what he is doing is not fraudulent (which in itself is illegal but only to a point of liability) but may be criminal.

Edited by tonyd79, 16 October 2012 - 05:45 PM.

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#925 OFFLINE   DBSNewbie

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 09:43 PM

From the Slingbox website terms of service:

"The license granted to you by Sling Media is solely for your personal, lawful, non-commercial use in connection with a Slingbox owned by you and connected to an audiovisual source that you are lawfully entitled to view."


To further reiterate what the Slingbox can and cannot be used for.

Taken straight from the Slingbox SlingPlayer Software License Agreement...

"2. Restictions:

YOU AGREE THAT THE SOFTWARE AND THE SLINGBOX WILL BE USED SOLELY FOR YOUR OWN PRIVATE AND PERSONAL PURPOSES, AND YOU WILL NOT PUBLICLY SHOW OR OTHERWISE MAKE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC OR ANY UNAUTHORIZED PARTY ANY CONTENT DELIVERED THROUGH THE SOFTWARE OR THE SLINGBOX."

As Tonyd79 had mentioned above, it is pretty clear that a Slingbox cannot be used for commercial purposes in any way (even if the bar owner had signed up for a TWC commercial account).
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#926 OFFLINE   maartena

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 10:13 PM

As Tonyd79 had mentioned above, it is pretty clear that a Slingbox cannot be used for commercial purposes in any way (even if the bar owner had signed up for a TWC commercial account).


I'm still questioning this. What Slingbox have put up in legalese is probably enforced by the industry, but is it legally enforceable? Are there specific LAWS broken to which this person can be arrested for and be prosecuted for, or is this a violation of terms of service which would result in cancellation of said service.

I see unauthorized use of equipment, as set by the equipment manufacturer. I do not see any evidence that the owner of this establishment can be arrested for breaking the law.

Furthermore, Slingbox does not have a service fee. It is a piece of electronics that cannot be revoked, cannot be taken away, and cannot be remotely disabled if Sling Media finds out it is being used for commercial purposes. The software license states that Sling Media retains ownership of the software license, but what legal recourse do they really have to disable the software? Can they even do such a thing?

I still do not see, however, a criminal offense for which this bar owner can be prosecuted under the fullest extend of the law. Sling Media might be able to sue the bar owner, and the bar owner would probably lose for violating the terms of service. But then again, anyone can sue anyone for any reason.

Still not sure which LAW is broken there.

Additionally, it would appear that - after you contact them - there are options for business solutions using Slingbox to deliver TV Anywhere to a business' customers:

http://www.slingbox....o/solutions-mso

Here is another thought..... the OC sports bar in question is HUGE. Dozens of televisions, many thousands of dollars of profit every night. IF indeed a law is broken here, it might be worth the risk, if the owner already knows the penalties. Again, I still don't quite know WHICH law is broken, but I will have to refer to someone with more legal expertise than me.

Edited by maartena, 16 October 2012 - 10:20 PM.

[Disclaimer] The definition of "soon" is based solely on DirecTV's interpretation of the word, and all similarities with dictionary definitions of the word "soon" are purely coincidental and should not be interpreted as a time frame that will come to pass within a reasonable amount of time.

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#927 OFFLINE   DBSNewbie

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 10:34 PM

Still not sure which LAW is broken there.


I would imagine that technically, it would be cable theft, which is punishable by law.

As I understand it, a sling box allows an individual to "place shift" his personal viewing sources to anywhere with an internet connection. As long as the intended recipient (in this case the bar owner) is the only one viewing the content (or other members of his household), then he is legally viewing TWC's cable services. If he was in his private office or back room in his bar viewing content from a PC or TV hooked up to a Sling Player, there is nothing wrong with that.

The instant he makes that content viewable to the public, he is in essence "broadcasting" TWC's signal. Because he is the only one authorized to have access to the content as the intended viewer, any other person not part of his household would be viewing unauthorized cable content that is not intended for them via the Sling Box. Basically, the bar patrons are the (unaware) cable content "thieves" in this instance.

Since the bar owner is knowingly assisting in the un-authorized rebroadcast and viewing of the content, it could be interpreted that he would be guilty of cable theft.

Edited by DBSNewbie, 16 October 2012 - 10:48 PM.

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#928 OFFLINE   DBSNewbie

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 10:46 PM

Additionally, it would appear that - after you contact them - there are options for business solutions using Slingbox to deliver TV Anywhere to a business' customers:

http://www.slingbox....o/solutions-mso


It appears to me that the "Business Customers" referred to are businesses which manufacture Set-Top devices who would like to integrate a sling box or player into their products (which in turn would be sold to their customers for personal use), not commercial establishments who wish to stream content for PUBLIC viewing.
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#929 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 11:28 PM

Furthermore, Slingbox does not have a service fee. It is a piece of electronics that cannot be revoked, cannot be taken away, and cannot be remotely disabled if Sling Media finds out it is being used for commercial purposes. The software license states that Sling Media retains ownership of the software license, but what legal recourse do they really have to disable the software? Can they even do such a thing?

Physically? Yes ... I believe they have the means to render their equipment useless. While the connection between the Slingbox and the receiving computer is direct (once established) making that connection requires an account on a Slingbox server. (I believe one can connect on the same subnet without the Internet connection but connecting between two locations requires Sling's servers for the client to find the Slingbox.)

Legally? If Sling started disabling accounts they would probably be hit with a class action suit. Their "illegal activity detector" would need to be finely tuned ... and I do not know in the example given, a business owner streaming from home, how Sling would know the difference between someone who fed the output to a public TV and someone who was watching on a PC in a back room. Even with a public admission, the "Sling police" would need to identify the correct account to be disabled. The content is not passed via Sling's server ... so they don't know what their customers are watching - they just know a connection was made.

Sling has spoken out against customers who violate their TOS but I do not believe they have physically enforced their TOS ... even where an "illegal activity detector" would work (such as a site that hosts multiple Slingboxes for distant use). It is not their designed purpose and even before they were owned by DISH they made it clear that they did not want their device used in that manner.

If there is enforcement it most likely would come from the content provider ... TWC and the network. The business needs to pay for a business account.

#930 OFFLINE   maartena

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 09:19 AM

I would imagine that technically, it would be cable theft, which is punishable by law.

As I understand it, a sling box allows an individual to "place shift" his personal viewing sources to anywhere with an internet connection. As long as the intended recipient (in this case the bar owner) is the only one viewing the content (or other members of his household), then he is legally viewing TWC's cable services. If he was in his private office or back room in his bar viewing content from a PC or TV hooked up to a Sling Player, there is nothing wrong with that.

The instant he makes that content viewable to the public, he is in essence "broadcasting" TWC's signal. Because he is the only one authorized to have access to the content as the intended viewer, any other person not part of his household would be viewing unauthorized cable content that is not intended for them via the Sling Box. Basically, the bar patrons are the (unaware) cable content "thieves" in this instance.

Since the bar owner is knowingly assisting in the un-authorized rebroadcast and viewing of the content, it could be interpreted that he would be guilty of cable theft.


Still not convinced there was a law broken.

If I own a Slingbox device, and I use a laptop on a visit to my dad across the other side of the nation to watch my Lakers games, would I be guilty of cable theft? Nope.

But what if I invite my dad's neighbor to watch the game with me? Am I NOW guilty of cable theft because I am showing content to a viewer who isn't even in my family, lives in another house, and isn't paying for NBA League Pass, but since I decided to share the game with him while visiting my dad on the East Coast..... did I just break a law for which I could be arrested?

It is my understanding that cable theft laws apply in situations where you, the TV viewer, receive cable without paying for it. For instance, when you and your neighbor share 1 cable account and the account has 2 DVR's and 2 HD tuners, divided among the two neighbors.

I think the distinction here is that the bar owner did not use Sling technology to show the Lakers game to "my dad's neighbor on a fishing trip", but to a commercial establishments with customers that provide revenue for the business.

It has become obvious this bar owner has violated the terms of service that Sling Media has imposed on him. There might also be issues with the NBA itself as utilizing this technology could be used for a sports-bar-on-the-cheap to show games outside of their NBA market by utilizing a slingbox that is inside that market, which is probably the main reason why Sling Media has put this in their TOS to prevent major league operators from suing them.

But still not convinced he actually broke a law for which he could be prosecuted.
[Disclaimer] The definition of "soon" is based solely on DirecTV's interpretation of the word, and all similarities with dictionary definitions of the word "soon" are purely coincidental and should not be interpreted as a time frame that will come to pass within a reasonable amount of time.

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#931 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 09:56 AM

Still not convinced there was a law broken.

If I own a Slingbox device, and I use a laptop on a visit to my dad across the other side of the nation to watch my Lakers games, would I be guilty of cable theft? Nope.

But what if I invite my dad's neighbor to watch the game with me? Am I NOW guilty of cable theft because I am showing content to a viewer who isn't even in my family, lives in another house, and isn't paying for NBA League Pass, but since I decided to share the game with him while visiting my dad on the East Coast..... did I just break a law for which I could be arrested?

It is my understanding that cable theft laws apply in situations where you, the TV viewer, receive cable without paying for it. For instance, when you and your neighbor share 1 cable account and the account has 2 DVR's and 2 HD tuners, divided among the two neighbors.

I think the distinction here is that the bar owner did not use Sling technology to show the Lakers game to "my dad's neighbor on a fishing trip", but to a commercial establishments with customers that provide revenue for the business.

It has become obvious this bar owner has violated the terms of service that Sling Media has imposed on him. There might also be issues with the NBA itself as utilizing this technology could be used for a sports-bar-on-the-cheap to show games outside of their NBA market by utilizing a slingbox that is inside that market, which is probably the main reason why Sling Media has put this in their TOS to prevent major league operators from suing them.

But still not convinced he actually broke a law for which he could be prosecuted.



When people start to make money on things they are not legally entitled to, things change.

You keep using the personal model as your strawman. That is not the issue. It is the making of money that may elevate the issue to law breaking and stealing services.

No one is declaring he is breaking the law. We are just wondering if he is...asking if anyone knows for sure. You seem so sure without any proof other than your own reason (which included that slingboxes are not limited to personal use, which we have shown to be false).

Does anyone know the answer?

And Sling may have put the wording in to avoid lawsuits, but most of the searches I found basically say that the provider or the instrument is not liable; that just because a device CAN do something does not mean that it is responsible for its use.
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#932 OFFLINE   billsharpe

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 11:05 AM

Here in la, from what I understand, twc is still trying to fix all the stuff adelphia did wrong and screwed up. That's just sad IMHO.


Adelphia's been gone for over five years and TWC is still trying to fix things?

I switched to DirecTV shortly after TWC took over from Adelphia. Then I switched to FiOS a year ago because of the slow remote response on my HR20 and also to save some money.

I still remember Theta cable and the Z channel that showed most of the Oscar-nominated movies many many years ago.
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#933 OFFLINE   DBSNewbie

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 11:25 AM

As Tonyd79 mentions, the examples given by maartena are still considered "personal and private use". It would be no different than anyone (legally subscribing to cable or satellite service) inviting friends over to watch television. There would be nothing wrong with that and any persons viewing the content would be entitled to it legally (as they are an extension of the legal, authorized and intended viewer)

Technically, if a person (who owns a bar, for example) would use his place of business to host a PRIVATE party to view TV programming, that too would be okay.

However, once any programming is accessible to the public (especially for financial gain), the "authorized viewer" argument no longer applies. They are no longer private guests of the intended viewer.

I browsed online and I found a couple of federal regulations that pertain to unauthorized reception of cable services and unauthorized publication or use of communications. Any violation of those codes are subject to fine and/or imprisonment.

USC Chapter 47, Subpart 605

USC Chapter 47, Subpart 553

To the casual reader, such as myself with no background in law, it would appear to me that the only way for a bar owner to legally "transmit" his cable services from his home to his bar is if he had prior authorization from TWC to do so. If he signed up for a commercial account, then perhaps that could be interpreted as legal authorization.

However, by using a slingbox, he is assisting in the unauthorized reception of communications (via wire). A sling box is a device that scrambles (encrypts) audio/video communications and and is solely intended for authorized viewers/recipients de-scrambling the content on the user end. Patrons of the bar are not authorized viewers/recipients (according to slingbox).

Perhaps someone here with some legal knowledge can chime in and give his or her opinion as it pertains to using a slingbox to place shift cable services for public viewing to a commercial establishment for financial gain.

Edited by DBSNewbie, 17 October 2012 - 11:38 AM.

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#934 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 01:10 PM

Adelphia's been gone for over five years and TWC is still trying to fix things?


Comcast is still struggling with Adelphia crap in Maryland, so I am not surprised. The options are slow fix or rip up and redo.
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#935 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 04:12 PM

And Sling may have put the wording in to avoid lawsuits, but most of the searches I found basically say that the provider or the instrument is not liable; that just because a device CAN do something does not mean that it is responsible for its use.

Generally speaking, yes. It helps if the instrument has a legitimate use. If the primary use of the equipment is to perform an illegal act there can be liability.

Too many places use the wink-nod "don't use this device illegally to - hint hint - do this function". Those places tend to get shut down and prosecuted.

#936 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 04:48 PM

Generally speaking, yes. It helps if the instrument has a legitimate use. If the primary use of the equipment is to perform an illegal act there can be liability.

Too many places use the wink-nod "don't use this device illegally to - hint hint - do this function". Those places tend to get shut down and prosecuted.


I would think that those are devices that have no legit use. And they specifically can be outlawed/regulated in their own right. You don't sue a cigarette company if someone uses the cigarette to burn your face.
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#937 OFFLINE   mreposter

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 06:07 PM

So, have all the Lakers fans gotten their Time Warner cable hookups installed? ;)
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#938 OFFLINE   maartena

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 09:01 PM

So, have all the Lakers fans gotten their Time Warner cable hookups installed? ;)


Cable can usually be installed within a few days, so they still have a week or so to pull the trigger.
[Disclaimer] The definition of "soon" is based solely on DirecTV's interpretation of the word, and all similarities with dictionary definitions of the word "soon" are purely coincidental and should not be interpreted as a time frame that will come to pass within a reasonable amount of time.

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#939 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 09:41 PM

Around here... I've asked and I've yet to find anyone who is planning on getting TWC. They all think directv will pull it together.
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#940 OFFLINE   Rob

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 11:07 PM

No TWC here. I can get Dish, Direct, Cox, or U-Verse.
It's only tv!




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