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In Aereo’s wake, Fox targets Dish’s TV streaming service


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#21 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 12:01 PM

Sling seems perfectly fine from the aspect of me seeing my own recordings, just as it is okay to make a self copy of music or video to take along with me on a mobile device. I have already paid (through my TV provider) for the product.

 

Where I still have a problem with the sling from a legal viewpoint is the blackout rules for sports. Believe me, I am no fan of those rules but I cannot resolve the conflict in my mind that arises from potentially watching out of market live. For example, via Sling, I can watch the Orioles broadcast live in Chicago while the Orioles are playing the White Sox or the Cubs. I cannot do that by any other means (EI, MLB.tv) as the Chicago based station(s) own the live rights.

 

Yes, I know that it is MY programming from MY home, but it just opens up loopholes. With a solid connection, I can have a setup in my friends home in LA and watch LA programming.

 

I understand the value of local rights but personally would rather see anyone being able to watch anything anywhere (for a price that is fair to all) but I just cannot reconcile the legal portion of the sling remote viewing versus the other mechanisms.

 

And, yes, I know that it has been ruled legal. It just makes no sense. But neither does the SCOTUS ruling today on for-profit business religious beliefs when held against other recent rulings against discrimination for religious reasons by those same entities.

 

This isn't the loophole that you think it is.

 

If you are the one doing the streaming while away from your home, then it is fair use of your own programming that you pay for.  IF, however, you let your friend watch in his home and you are not there... then you are violating the terms of service (though maybe still not technically a law violation).

 

Think of any object...  A knife is legal to cut meat and spread jam on toast... but if you stab someone with it you have broken the law.  That doesn't make the knife an object that needs a supreme court ruling to suspend operations.  Existing laws cover inappropriate and unintended uses of things.

 

So... you using sling as intended for your own use is fine... unintended uses and you are on your own with the copyright law process if someone comes after you.  As long as Dish/Sling does not encourage unauthorized use of their product, Dish has no liability if you choose to use it for something that you shouldn't.


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#22 OFFLINE   Satelliteracer

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 12:02 PM


DIANA C:  "I don't recall anyone ever challenging the legality of Slingbox or Vulkano, and certainly no one has challenged DirecTV's GenieGo or TiVo's Stream (AFAIK, all except Vulkano offer both streaming and/or downloading options).  Dish and TiVo have already built their streaming products into their DVRs and I expect DirecTV wil do the same in the next iteration of the Genie DVR line."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry, I mangled the quote function.

 

Back in 2007, MLB was going to go after Sling, but I don't think it materialized.   http://news.cnet.com..._3-6187915.html


Edited by Satelliteracer, 30 June 2014 - 12:03 PM.

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#23 OFFLINE   Jtaylor1

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 02:40 PM

Now this is going to be the end on how we watch TV.  Viacom could now use the Aereo decision to shut down Youtube, Dailymotion and cloud storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive.



#24 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 02:47 PM

Now this is going to be the end on how we watch TV.  Viacom could now use the Aereo decision to shut down Youtube, Dailymotion and cloud storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive.

 

I know some people have said this, but it is unlikely.  All of these are curated services (i.e. the service operator can monitor and delete infringing content where required - YouTube does this frequently),  In all cases, the networks only have standing with regards to their property.  Unlike Aereo, and for that matter Napster, these sites are used to share all manner of data, the vast majority of it perfectly legal.  When asked to remove content that was uploaded without permission these service operators, for the most part, comply.  So these services will very likely not be shut down as a result of this case.  As repositories, they were already liable for what was stored and downloaded from their servers - this case changes nothing for them.


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#25 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 02:50 PM

...Back in 2007, MLB was going to go after Sling, but I don't think it materialized.   http://news.cnet.com..._3-6187915.html

 

 

Yes, I remember that...it was specifically on the issue of watching a game in an area where that game was otherwise blacked out.  However, given the fact that the viewer could have watched that game legally if they had not traveled, MLB decided it was not worth the bad publicity and dropped the case, IIRC.


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#26 OFFLINE   tenwinecans

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 02:59 PM

If you are streaming from Dish you have payed for the programming. If Fox wants to get payed twice then its time to let me drop Fox.

 

true...

 

how does that excuse the cell phone company from charging me $30 a month for hotspot tethering on my smartphone? I'm already paying $30/month for the data plan.   Asking me to pay $30 to do hotspot for the same phone is the same as asking to pay twice for the same service.    Or is it different?



#27 OFFLINE   tenwinecans

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 03:02 PM

This isn't the loophole that you think it is.

 

If you are the one doing the streaming while away from your home, then it is fair use of your own programming that you pay for.  IF, however, you let your friend watch in his home and you are not there... then you are violating the terms of service (though maybe still not technically a law violation).

 

Think of any object...  A knife is legal to cut meat and spread jam on toast... but if you stab someone with it you have broken the law.  That doesn't make the knife an object that needs a supreme court ruling to suspend operations.  Existing laws cover inappropriate and unintended uses of things.

 

So... you using sling as intended for your own use is fine... unintended uses and you are on your own with the copyright law process if someone comes after you.  As long as Dish/Sling does not encourage unauthorized use of their product, Dish has no liability if you choose to use it for something that you shouldn't.

 

Knives don't kill people.  Guns don't kill people. Cars/planes/trains don't kill people.

They are just objects made of metal or plastic or wood.

 

The human using the knife/gun or operate the car/plane/train kill people.



#28 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 05:42 PM

how does that excuse the cell phone company from charging me $30 a month for hotspot tethering on my smartphone? I'm already paying $30/month for the data plan.   Asking me to pay $30 to do hotspot for the same phone is the same as asking to pay twice for the same service.    Or is it different?


Are you paying $30 for 2GB of data? If so, I agree that it is no business of the company how you use that 2GB ... whether on the phone itself or on a tethered device. The local gas station charges me the same for gas whether I use it in my car or in my lawnmower. But if the deal was $30 for all the data I could consume on my phone (one device) then attaching other devices would be wrong without an additional fee. It would be like taking a family of four to an all-you-can-eat buffet, paying for "one person" and sharing the meal.

Even if the deal for the data isn't "unlimited" they can charge extra for the feature. DISH and DirecTV charging $10 to watch the same content in HD. There is a benefit to the better picture, but didn't we already pay for that content? DISH and DirecTV charging extra for the use of a DVR. DISH and DirecTV charging extra for the ability to share content within a home (whole home). All of these are features that are beyond the basic service we pay monthly for ... so there is a fee. And in a fee for service arrangement we should expect to pay.

We may WANT to get HD, DVR service and whole home (and away from home) for free. But that isn't the deal being offered.


In today's world content is rarely sold ... it is licensed. One buys permission to consume content ... and pays more if they want to have a copy of what they consume for later use. The buyer doesn't get the rights to do what they want with the content ... they get limited rights based on the contract they agreed to when they obtained the content.

That is where Fox stands. Their claim is "we licensed that content for in home viewing - not for streaming" but they can't go out and track down millions of people who may or may not be streaming some of Fox's content because they own a Genie Go or a Hopper w/Sling. It is much easier to attack the company that sells the device. Even though those millions of people are doing nothing wrong under copyright law (it is all for personal use), Fox attacks the easy target.
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#29 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 06:37 PM

It's also a little goofy when you consider that FOX (and other networks) let you stream their content from their Web site and either have you authenticate with them OR authenticate as a subscribe to your cable/satellite service provider... so they themselves are facilitating the streaming/place-shifting of their content that they don't want you to be able to do with Sling.

 

Pretty sure FOX and others would lose this battle if it goes for very long.


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#30 OFFLINE   Jim5506

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 10:12 PM

This isn't the loophole that you think it is.

 

If you are the one doing the streaming while away from your home, then it is fair use of your own programming that you pay for.  IF, however, you let your friend watch in his home and you are not there... then you are violating the terms of service (though maybe still not technically a law violation).

 

Think of any object...  A knife is legal to cut meat and spread jam on toast... but if you stab someone with it you have broken the law.  That doesn't make the knife an object that needs a supreme court ruling to suspend operations.  Existing laws cover inappropriate and unintended uses of things.

 

So... you using sling as intended for your own use is fine... unintended uses and you are on your own with the copyright law process if someone comes after you.  As long as Dish/Sling does not encourage unauthorized use of their product, Dish has no liability if you choose to use it for something that you shouldn't.

This is a strawman argument - totally outside the approved use.  You construct a false narrative to argue against something that is not related to your argument.

 

You could also run a cable from your Dish receiver to your neighbors house and provide him with free cable TV.

 

Renting DVDs enables those who would to make illegal copies of them, so is renting DVDs therefore a copyright infringement - I think not!

 

If you provide your buddy with your username and password to your Dish account he can "break" into your DVR and watch it, that act itself is aviolationof your contract, but the method of doing it is not, the problem is the unauthorized sharing of usernames and passwords.


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#31 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 11:45 PM

This is a strawman argument - totally outside the approved use.  You construct a false narrative to argue against something that is not related to your argument.
 
You could also run a cable from your Dish receiver to your neighbors house and provide him with free cable TV.
 
Renting DVDs enables those who would to make illegal copies of them, so is renting DVDs therefore a copyright infringement - I think not!
 
If you provide your buddy with your username and password to your Dish account he can "break" into your DVR and watch it, that act itself is aviolationof your contract, but the method of doing it is not, the problem is the unauthorized sharing of usernames and passwords.


That is Stewart's point --- there are many way a customer can break the law. But the intent of DISH's product is to perform a perfectly legal and protected task: Personal Use. If one uses a DISH or DirecTV or any other company's legitimate product to break the law the guilt falls on the person actually breaking the law.

If I use the cloud to copy legally obtained copyrighted videos for my personal use I'm fine. If I share my files with other it is I who broke the law, not the cloud service or whomever provided me the videos.


Fox has it wrong. Apparently they did not read the SCOTUS decision which specifically excluded anything else other than the question before them: Aereo. SCOTUS did not rule DISH's or DirecTV's or anyone else's streaming equipment was a violation of copyright. SCOTUS ruled that Aereo's system should be considered the same as a cable system and their scheme violated copyright law. Nothing more.
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#32 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 05:56 AM

how does that excuse the cell phone company from charging me $30 a month for hotspot tethering on my smartphone? I'm already paying $30/month for the data plan.   Asking me to pay $30 to do hotspot for the same phone is the same as asking to pay twice for the same service.    Or is it different?

 

It is different, because if you use a hotspot, you are far more likely to use large amounts of the data, compared to the cell phone.  In other words, the data plan price assumes the average user won't come close to the cap.  Users who hotspot are far more likely to do so, so they raise the price.

 

Or you could just switch to Ting, which doesn't charge anything for the hotspot feature.

 

The only foot Fox/broadcast networks et al have room to stand on is that people can retransmit the programming out of the viewing area.  In other words, if you're in a hotel in Atlanta, streaming the Fox programming from your home in LA means you don't watch the local commercials in Atlanta and are thus less likely to learn about a great restaurant you could visit while in Atlanta.  But this isn't likely to be the case most of the time, and it really is anti-viewer to fight this.  More likely, Fox wants to have other negotiating fodder and this is just a chip in the bigger game of retransmission consent.



#33 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 08:09 AM

...Even though those millions of people are doing nothing wrong under copyright law (it is all for personal use), Fox attacks the easy target.

 

While I agree with everything else you said, this assumes facts not in evidence.  The license granted to you via you cable or satellite subscription, or via the statutory provisions of OTA reception, is for personal in-home viewing, the streaming of content outside the home may or may not be a violation of copyright law.  If the OOH streaming is considered by the court to be no different that taking the recording with you (either by download, burning to a disc, or taking the entire DVR with you) then it is very likely covered by existing fair use provisions.  If the court sees OOH streaming as a new and previously unconsidered activity then they will need to extend fair use to cover it, otherwise it is unlawful.

 

While the Aereo case sets no precedent that is applicable to OOH streaming it does provide some glimpse into the Judges' thinking and that is what has emboldened Fox to take this cause up at this time.  Even if they are reading the court correctly (which I don't think they are) the circumstances are so different that I doubt it is a predictor of how they would rule here.  For one thing, ruling for Aereo would have had huge, far reaching, consequences for the industry - and the SCOTUS tends to avoid disrupting established business practices unless forced to do otherwise.  In this case, it is ruling for Fox that would be highly disruptive.  I'm not even sure how somebody like Sling could even comply with a ruling in Fox's favor.  They can't very well send agents to people's homes to sieze Slingboxes. 

 

In the end, I doubt very much that Fox will prevail...but I think it will be less because OOH streaming is a right and more because it is the least disruptive course.

 

In any event, since the court is now off for the summer, and this will have to get through the 9th Circuit first, it will be next spring before the SCOTUS could rule, if it ever gets that far.


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#34 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 08:12 AM

...so they themselves are facilitating the streaming/place-shifting of their content that they don't want you to be able to do with Sling...

 

That is precisely their point, though.  Their position is they are the ONLY ones that can legally stream their content since they never gave you such permission.


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#35 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 12:22 PM

That is precisely their point, though.  Their position is they are the ONLY ones that can legally stream their content since they never gave you such permission.

 

Yes... but they (in many cases) are requiring you to authenticate via your cable/satellite provider in order to stream that content from their Web site... which tends to imply that having that provider agreement does in fact include streaming permission, does it not?

 

Ex...  I am ABC and I say you can stream if you login via your satellite provider.  I can't then turn around and say your satellite provider doesn't have permission to allow you to stream without explaining why I am using their login to determine your permission to stream.... can I?  It seems weird.

 

Worth noting here that I think FOX is one of the networks that requires its own login and does not authenticate through your cable/satellite provider... so FOX is not part of this particular point of my conversation as it turns out.


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#36 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 12:24 PM

This is a strawman argument - totally outside the approved use.  You construct a false narrative to argue against something that is not related to your argument.

 

You could also run a cable from your Dish receiver to your neighbors house and provide him with free cable TV.

 

Renting DVDs enables those who would to make illegal copies of them, so is renting DVDs therefore a copyright infringement - I think not!

 

If you provide your buddy with your username and password to your Dish account he can "break" into your DVR and watch it, that act itself is aviolationof your contract, but the method of doing it is not, the problem is the unauthorized sharing of usernames and passwords.

 

As James followed up... that was exactly my point.  The only hedge is...  making sure that as a company Dish doesn't encourage the illegal use.  Like for instance, when Dish lost their rights to provide distant networks because they were improperly encouraging and allowing customers to subscribe to local channels that they were not legally entitled to receive.

 

So... in this, Dish has to stay on course and only encourage Sling for personal use... Dish can't say "share with your friends" in their promos or if you call them up or anything.  Dish has to be firm that the Sling place-shifting is only for your personal use.  As long as they do that, then they have no liability if the individual user does something illegal.


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#37 OFFLINE   KyL416

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 12:50 PM

Ex...  I am ABC and I say you can stream if you login via your satellite provider.  I can't then turn around and say your satellite provider doesn't have permission to allow you to stream without explaining why I am using their login to determine your permission to stream.... can I?  It seems weird.

The networks don't have streaming rights to everything so the streams that come from them is only the content they have cleared. i.e. WatchESPN and WatchABC have to black out NFL games on mobile phones because of the NFLs exclusive deal with Verizon wireless (while ABC doesn't have NFL anymore, some of their affiliates like WPVI are the local OTA station for Monday night football). The same deal that prevents NFL Network's authenticated streams from being available on mobile phones unless you have Verizon wireless. WatchESPN had to blur the screen anytime MLB highlights appeared during SportsCenter until they struck a new deal with MLB. Some syndicated shows are replaced with alternate programming on WatchABC, and all the ads are replaced because of contract/talent issues when it comes to broadcast vs online/digital. Up until last year ABC didn't have the streaming and on demand rights to Warner Bros produced shows like Modern Family. For other networks that have authenticated live streams like USA, Syfy and mun2 they have to blackout all WWE programming and most movies.

Edited by KyL416, 01 July 2014 - 12:55 PM.


#38 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 05:00 PM

While I agree with everything else you said, this assumes facts not in evidence.  The license granted to you via you cable or satellite subscription, or via the statutory provisions of OTA reception, is for personal in-home viewing, ...


Perhaps that is what Fox and the broadcasters want you to think. They may even label their content that way. But it is important to look at the law. Just because Fox says you can't doesn't change the law. If it did then Fox could say you can't record at all - or license home viewing of shows only if attached commercials are viewed in their entirety. While Fox is free to offer a LESS restrictive "license" to use their content than the law, Fox cannot be more restrictive than the law.
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#39 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 07:40 AM

Yes... but they (in many cases) are requiring you to authenticate via your cable/satellite provider in order to stream that content from their Web site... which tends to imply that having that provider agreement does in fact include streaming permission, does it not?

 

Ex...  I am ABC and I say you can stream if you login via your satellite provider.  I can't then turn around and say your satellite provider doesn't have permission to allow you to stream without explaining why I am using their login to determine your permission to stream.... can I?  It seems weird.

 

Worth noting here that I think FOX is one of the networks that requires its own login and does not authenticate through your cable/satellite provider... so FOX is not part of this particular point of my conversation as it turns out.

 

Maybe, maybe not.  They may be authenticating that you have a cable or satellite subscription to make sure that you have access to the content involved at all.  Nothing in that process implies any grant of a license other than one that allows you to stream from their server.


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#40 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 07:48 AM

Perhaps that is what Fox and the broadcasters want you to think. They may even label their content that way. But it is important to look at the law. Just because Fox says you can't doesn't change the law. If it did then Fox could say you can't record at all - or license home viewing of shows only if attached commercials are viewed in their entirety. While Fox is free to offer a LESS restrictive "license" to use their content than the law, Fox cannot be more restrictive than the law.

 

Licenses are permissive...any permission not explicitly granted in the verbiage of the license is not granted by the license.  The term "all rights reserved" has legal weight.  Ultimately, this is what the court will decide:  Is the streaming of content from a user's identified point of reception to another location limited by copyright law or is it a protected form of fair use of the content.  If it is limited (and copyright law is restrictive - if the right is not explicity stated then there is no protection) then a license must be granted before it is legal.


Dish Network Customer from 9/1998-11/2001
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