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HBO Might Sue Slingbox
CTO suggests service violates copyrights
by Karl Bode 09:18AM Wednesday Apr 26 2006
Slingbox owners may be beaming their home TV content anywhere, but they are paying for that content at home, aren't they? That doesn't seem to register with HBO's CTO Bob Zitter, who at a panel this week lamented the place-shifting service. "Content owners don’t like it [Sling] because they think it violates their copyrights," he says. Asked by Light Reading if his company was planning legal action, he stated "I don’t think I want to say." HBO has been particularly busy the last year or so, fighting to prevent DVR recording of on-demand content, and allegedly poisoning Bit Torrent copies of their shows.

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caco
Premium
join:2005-03-10
Whittier, AK

How would they know?

Ok maybe I missed something but how would HBO even know if you have a Slingbox connected and transmitting their crap?

koam
Pink Pecker
Premium
join:2000-08-16
East Puddle
Reviews:
·Shoreham Telephone

1 edit

Re: How would they know?

good question....and you can only transmit it to one machine at a time, which is hardly re-broadcasting.

BTW, I was at the SlingBox community forums and received and email from the Forum. Both contained ads for alternatives to SlingBox - one was a software program, others were hardware that all did basically what SlingBox does. Anyone else notice these ads? They really seem to be competitors that I'd never know about if I wasn't looking at the email from Sling and at their own Forums. It was like going to Amazon and seeing an ad for Barnes & Noble. Is SlingMedia in trouble?
--
Danieli Consulting LLC, Strategy and Branding

»kdanieli.com

insomniac84

join:2002-01-03
Schererville, IN

Re: How would they know?

Windows has a media encoder for free. It's very easy to set it up to broadcast one channel, and with software you can change the channels remotely. But as an added bonus you can set it for many people to view the stream which is rebroadcasting.
Plus this lawsuit would be the same thing as suing cd-burner manufacturers because of illegal music downloads. If this lawsuit wins, anyone who makes anything that in any way can rebroadcast anything will be liable for a lawsuit. The RIAA will sue plastic cup makers and string makers for making the components needed to rebroadcast sound.

lordfly

join:2000-10-12
Homestead, FL

Re: How would they know?

Should we mention the free service Orb. Oh no.

dadkins
Can you do Blu?
Premium,MVM
join:2003-09-26
Hercules, CA
kudos:18

Re: How would they know?

Windows MCE! My freakin VAIO! All kinds of different solutions out there... I think even ATI has a capture card that can do it... ONOES!!!1
--
Think outside the Fox... Opera

qdemn7
Smurf in My Loop
Premium
join:2003-09-16
Fort Worth, TX

1 edit

Content Owners Again

Content owners think everyone is a thief. If you invite friends over to watch Subscription Anything, and THEY aren't paying for the service at their house they think that violates Copyright.
--
"Americans have this funny habit of confusing freedom, which they cherish, with choice, which can give them headaches." Professor Barry Schwartz
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

Re: Content Owners Again

said by qdemn7:

Content owners think everyone is a thief. If you invite friends over to watch Subscription Anything, and THEY aren't paying for the service at their house they think that violates Copyright.
this is sadly true, rumor is bar owners cant say buy a PPV of a boxing match in the same way you could at home.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports
older dog
Premium
join:2005-06-09

Re: Content Owners Again

said by Kearnstd:

said by qdemn7:

Content owners think everyone is a thief. If you invite friends over to watch Subscription Anything, and THEY aren't paying for the service at their house they think that violates Copyright.
this is sadly true, rumor is bar owners cant say buy a PPV of a boxing match in the same way you could at home.
I can understand a business not being allowed, since it would be a easy way to bring in customers, who would then be expected to purchase something.
Bars where I live stopped showing video tapes, HBO back in the early 80s for this reason. MPAA lawyers found even the smallest bar back then. The bars that gave free drinks to the local DA seemed immune though

As far as Slingbox lets hope the consumer wins.
DMWCincy

join:2004-04-27
Fairfield, OH
said by Kearnstd:

said by qdemn7:

Content owners think everyone is a thief. If you invite friends over to watch Subscription Anything, and THEY aren't paying for the service at their house they think that violates Copyright.
this is sadly true, rumor is bar owners cant say buy a PPV of a boxing match in the same way you could at home.
Bars and sports themed resturants can buy PPV but the price is crazy. Last time the resturant I worked at during HS and college years wanted to do something like that it was too high to even consider especially since we wouldn't turn the tables over alot due to people sitting and watching the event.
jebba2005

join:2005-01-13
Portland, ME
Are bar owners charged per person or something ridiculous like that? I seem to remeber when Tyson was in his prime, this was the issue for all his ppv fights.

qdemn7
Smurf in My Loop
Premium
join:2003-09-16
Fort Worth, TX

Re: Content Owners Again

said by jebba2005:

Are bar owners charged per person or something ridiculous like that? I seem to remeber when Tyson was in his prime, this was the issue for all his ppv fights.
I think they're charged by the maximum number of people allowed by the Fire Dept. Ot maybe not.
--
"Americans have this funny habit of confusing freedom, which they cherish, with choice, which can give them headaches." Professor Barry Schwartz

CrzyCrakr
Premium
join:2005-06-24
Edgewater, MD

Re: Content Owners Again

said by qdemn7:

I think they're charged by the maximum number of people allowed by the Fire Dept. Ot maybe not.
Yes that is correct. When I used to run a Gentleman's Club in Baltimore, I put up Pro Sports on the TVs and that is how Direct TV charged the club.
nozzer

join:2004-06-25
Waltham, MA
Certainly for big soccer events carried only on Setanta PPV (e.g. some of the world cup qualifiers), Setanta pays an agent to stand at the door and take $25 off everyone entering the bars showing the game!! This is the same price you pay to watch the game in your house on PPV.

noz
amungus
Premium
join:2004-11-26
America
Reviews:
·Cox HSI
·KCH Cable
yes, and your eyeballs must also be rebroadcasting the images into your brain.

so lame. slinboxes only place shift to one place right? with 1/2 a megabit or so of upload, how great can the quality be anyway? it's not like you're getting "broadcast quality" out of it unless you have some real upload... even then, it isn't being "broadcast" anywhere if it's only to one other location.

the cat is already out of the bag with technology.
these "providers" can either sell their services online themselves, or some enterprising individuals will probably figure out how to do it themselves. where's the 'vongo' for other premium channels? Is Starz the only one to have any brains regarding this?
pabster

join:2001-12-09
Waterloo, IA
True enough!

What is it with these "execs" and their infinite stupidity?

These industries could have reaped BILLIONS had they embraced the technology, instead of spending BILLIONS trying to fight it.

Toadman
Hypnotoad

join:2001-11-28
Ex Ohioan
kudos:1
Reviews:
·AT&T Midwest

Re: Content Owners Again

I agree, HBO and most of these "upper Tier" providers need to rethink their approach.
I would be more likely to subscribe back to HBO if they offered one channel streaming on line. Then when I am at a hotel in Taiwan, I could watch HBO there. Makes more sense to me.
CSU

join:2002-10-21
Lagrange, GA

1 recommendation

Stop fighting technology!

I thought technology was supposed to make things easier and more efficient. All I ever read is how someone develops a new technology and someone else sues because of the new innovation.

tapeloop
Not bad at all, really.
Premium
join:2004-06-27
Airstrip One
kudos:1

Re: Stop fighting technology!

said by CSU:

I thought technology was supposed to make things easier and more efficient. All I ever read is how someone develops a new technology and someone else sues because of the new innovation.
Welcome to 21st century America.
--
"On the whole human beings want to be good, but not too good and not quite all the time."
--G. Orwell

N10Cities
Premium
join:2002-05-07
Fort Smith, AR
Reviews:
·Cox HSI
said by CSU:

I thought technology was supposed to make things easier and more efficient. All I ever read is how someone develops a new technology and someone else sues because of the new innovation.
AND possible competition.... Here is a quote from the last paragraphs of TFA....

"HBO's Zitter noted that Sling is not the only company doing time-shifting and place-shifting of video content.

Zitter says HBO has an exclusive mobile distribution deal with Cingular Wireless LLC and also distributes its content to cell phones in nine countries outside the U.S. "

Sounds like HBO doesn't want any competition in the place-shifting field and will litigate any competitors out of the market.

Doctor Four
My other vehicle is a TARDIS
Premium
join:2000-09-05
Dallas, TX

Re: Stop fighting technology!

said by N10Cities:

said by CSU:

I thought technology was supposed to make things easier and more efficient. All I ever read is how someone develops a new technology and someone else sues because of the new innovation.
AND possible competition.... Here is a quote from the last paragraphs of TFA....

"HBO's Zitter noted that Sling is not the only company doing time-shifting and place-shifting of video content.

Zitter says HBO has an exclusive mobile distribution deal with Cingular Wireless LLC and also distributes its content to cell phones in nine countries outside the U.S. "

Sounds like HBO doesn't want any competition in the place-shifting field and will litigate any competitors out of the market.
And this is why the DMCA is in desperate need of being
reformed (and not strengthened like the content cartels
are lobbying Congress to do so right now). If HBO uses
the DMCA to shut down Slingbox, they are clearly abusing
it. The law was never intended to foster anti competitive
behavior among corporations.
--
"Kayura or Badamon, whichever you are, you should know that I will never give up this battle. By the will of the Ancient, I shall succeed!" - Shuten (Anubis) from the Ronin Warriors. Taking the 'L' out of Play: the Big Music/Hollywood Mantra
ksuderman

join:2001-10-21
Poughkeepsie, NY
said by CSU:

I thought technology was supposed to make things easier and more efficient.
It does... for the people that are trying to make your life more difficult.
--
In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

jjoshua
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Scotch Plains, NJ
kudos:3

Ramblings from a dinosaur

HBO? Are they still around?
ricep5
Premium
join:2000-08-07
Jacksonville, FL

Re: Ramblings from a dinosaur

said by jjoshua:

HBO? Are they still around?
I haven't had a need nor desire to watch HBO in over 10 years.

It originally was a movie channel, they couldn't compete there so they moved to movies with limited sports like boxing and football commentary, they couldn't compete there, so now they move to documentaries (mostly about sex habits), can't compete there, so now its original programming (ie: Sopranos, Six Feet Under). They can't compete there because current technology trumps captive programming.

The current cash cow is the Sopranos and I know some people have 'at home' parties around the new episodes. Some simply wait for a torrent to appear. The DVD's come out within a month or two at the end of the season.

No one expects McDonald's food to stay fresh for more than a few hours, so why does HBO think their programming can be kept in a can for more than 6 months? Cable TV is the McDonalds of entertainment.

djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO

Re: Ramblings from a dinosaur

quote:
They can't compete there because current technology trumps captive programming
They can compete there, because they can offer uncensored shows. The Sopranos wouldn't really fly on network TV. Even shows like Six Feet Under which could technically work on network TV are just so much better with "natural" swearing and nudity instead of the stifled stuff we get on primteime networks.

Having Video On Demand really makes the premium networks shine. Unlesss you want shows in HD, you don't even need a DVR. If they could get HBO HD content in VOD it would rock. I can honestly say that VOD has finally made premiums worth the monthly price. We really use HBO a lot that way.

-- Rob
--
\\ROB - a part of the SCB local network

dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
Premium
join:2001-04-27
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4

Re: Ramblings from a dinosaur

said by djrobx:

quote:
They can't compete there because current technology trumps captive programming
They can compete there, because they can offer uncensored shows. The Sopranos wouldn't really fly on network TV. Even shows like Six Feet Under which could technically work on network TV are just so much better with "natural" swearing and nudity instead of the stifled stuff we get on primteime networks.
It works in other countries, they have full frontal nudity on over the air T.V.
We are just far too prudish here in usa. look at the problems a view of 5secs or less of a tit at the superbowl caused.
here if we want to hear "fuck", "shit" or the other 5 words you cant say on OTA TV, we have to pay ~$15/month for premium channels.
--
You can never be too rich, too thin or have too much Bandwidth

Transmaster
Don't Blame Me I Voted For Bill and Opus

join:2001-06-20
Cheyenne, WY

4 edits

Re: Ramblings from a dinosaur

The censorship in this country sometimes is sometimes ridiculous. I am huge fan of Hayao Miyazaki. In his anmie movie My Neighbor Totoro there is a scene in this absolutly charming story where the Father is bathing with his daughters in the Japanese style. But because it shows animated and naked 11-year-old Satsuki and her sister 4-year-old Mei Kusakabe it is gone from the Walt Disney version. I can understand why Disney did this there would be some group out there that would see evil in this, and to Disney it just isn't worth the hassle. This is one of the reasons why I purchase my DVD's of anmie directly from Japan I pay more but I get Miyazaki's works as he intended them to be seen. This holds true with the other anmie studios in Japan a well.

DISH NETWORK ARE YOU READING THIS I WANT THE ANMIE CHANNEL AND I WANT IT NOW!!!!!!!!!
--
Low voltage Tech's are wimps, Real tech's use 45 pound filament transformers, plate voltages no less then 2400 volts with at least 10 amp's lighting 8877 triodes...BPL I'm coming to get you.
Expand your moderator at work

Transmaster
Don't Blame Me I Voted For Bill and Opus

join:2001-06-20
Cheyenne, WY

1 edit

2 recommendations

I can see this happening

MPAA has launched a massive lawsuit against all manufactures of coaxial cable. In this law suit the MPAA contends companies such as Belden are encouraging rebroadcasting of copyrighted content because of their encouragement of sales of coaxial cable to consumers. Debbie Dumasaposta spokes person for the MPAA complains it is a copyright infringement to use coaxial cable to rebroadcast a program to another television in a the house without paying for it.
--
Low voltage Tech's are wimps, Real tech's use 45 pound filament transformers, plate voltages no less then 2400 volts with at least 10 amp's lighting 8877 triodes...BPL I'm coming to get you.
apollo80

join:2002-01-31
Richmond, VA

1 recommendation

Re: I can see this happening

As silly and far fetched as your joke is...it will only be a matter of time before thinking like this actually happens. Ah, the irony of truth...

Transmaster
Don't Blame Me I Voted For Bill and Opus

join:2001-06-20
Cheyenne, WY

1 recommendation

Re: I can see this happening

said by apollo80:

As silly and far fetched as your joke is...it will only be a matter of time before thinking like this actually happens. Ah, the irony of truth...
I know it can happen. These clowns do not live on the same planet we do.
--
Low voltage Tech's are wimps, Real tech's use 45 pound filament transformers, plate voltages no less then 2400 volts with at least 10 amp's lighting 8877 triodes...BPL I'm coming to get you.
moonpuppy

join:2000-08-21
Glen Burnie, MD
The RIAA already gets royalties on blank music CDs.

Transmaster
Don't Blame Me I Voted For Bill and Opus

join:2001-06-20
Cheyenne, WY

1 recommendation

Re: I can see this happening

said by moonpuppy:

The RIAA already gets royalties on blank music CDs.
which you can avoid by purchasing CD that are for data. There is no difference except for the packaging which is another illustration of just how stupid these RIAA types think we are.
--
Low voltage Tech's are wimps, Real tech's use 45 pound filament transformers, plate voltages no less then 2400 volts with at least 10 amp's lighting 8877 triodes...BPL I'm coming to get you.
moonpuppy

join:2000-08-21
Glen Burnie, MD

Re: I can see this happening

said by Transmaster:

said by moonpuppy:

The RIAA already gets royalties on blank music CDs.
which you can avoid by purchasing CD that are for data. There is no difference except for the packaging which is another illustration of just how stupid these RIAA types think we are.
Already do that except for one set of Verbatims that look like old 45's.

BTW, I wonder if they will want a fee on 52ohm coax?

dadkins
Can you do Blu?
Premium,MVM
join:2003-09-26
Hercules, CA
kudos:18
They going to come after my wireless router too?
I can slam HDTV to #2laptop anywhere in or around the house at ~22mbps. Plenty of speed for HDTV, or anything else I wish.

Since laptop #1 has Media Server software on it... are the asswipes coming after me?
With a little creative compression, buffering, and my 768k upload... I can send programming anywhere.

As soon(if ever) ISPs start delivering more horsepower, the xxAAs are a memory!
--
Think outside the Fox... Opera
Techman21

join:2005-04-14
Richmond, VA

This is all easily solved by one word:

...greed.

This country has slipped into it so much that our laws aren't even for the people anymore. Many laws are passed for big business...what we need is reformation both in the legal system AND in government. We need to clean house and start anew...but I already know this will never happen...its seen in history...the wealthy gain power keep it then are overthrown by the upset masses....Rome fell, who says the US won't? Its part of the cycle of things. But by that time I'll be long dead.

Nanoprobe
Looking for cures in memory of Mom
Premium
join:2003-05-11
Crab Nebula
kudos:2
Reviews:
·magicjack.com
·Skype

Re: This is all easily solved by one word:

said by Techman21:

...greed.

This country has slipped into it so much that our laws aren't even for the people anymore. Many laws are passed for big business...what we need is reformation both in the legal system AND in government. We need to clean house and start anew...but I already know this will never happen...its seen in history...the wealthy gain power keep it then are overthrown by the upset masses....Rome fell, who says the US won't? Its part of the cycle of things. But by that time I'll be long dead.
BINGO!! History is full of sagas like this. All the great nations of history past slipped into decadence, where wealth and possessions ruled. They all passed away and I see America headed down that same path.Will we ever learn from our past?
--
Never look back.Something might be gaining on you.
denzilla74

join:2005-11-02
Anderson, SC

Can we have nothing ?!!

I knew this would happen the day I read about Slingbox. Its just to nice a product for a greedy corp not to screw up. Pfft....

RWild
Them Or Us
Premium
join:2003-09-15
Cary, NC

Re: Can we have nothing ?!!

If they sue SlingMedia, THEY will have none of my business. I am away from home alot and would have cancelled HBO/Cinemax (and the rest of Dish Network) if I had not gotten a Slingbox and found it to work well.

The software only allows one connection at a time and it does not record content. What is the problem with these idiots?

2lazy2register

@pacbell.net

2 recommendations

H B O F U

People need to stop wasting their time watching TV

go to school,
build something,
find some other constructive hobby,
do something useful instead of just wasting ur life away watching the boob tube, especially all that damn UN-reality TV

WileEC
mindtaker, macky cat, etc.

join:2002-02-07
Yonkers, NY

I hope Slingbox fights this

Aside from the method of transport, how is this any different than recording something to your VCR and taking the tape to another location (maybe even another room in your home) to view? Since when is THAT not allowed? I hope HBO loses this fight. Things are starting to progress in the wrong direction. I hope Slingbox fights this.
--
Experience one of the most beautiful women on earth at PetraCentral!
mglunt

join:2001-09-10
Fredericksburg, VA

SlingBox to not pay for Sports Subscriptions


I am surprised someone has not brought this up.

I could very easily set up a slingbox at my parents house in Pa to avoid having to pay for the NFL Sunday Ticket to see Steeler games.
tbeckner

join:2004-03-20
Bend, OR

Re: SlingBox to not pay for Sports Subscriptions

said by mglunt:

I am surprised someone has not brought this up.

I could very easily set up a slingbox at my parents house in Pa to avoid having to pay for the NFL Sunday Ticket to see Steeler games.
But of course, you and your parents have to have a fast internet connection (Parents have to have at least .5MB up speed), and you have to watch a small picture (320 x 240 max) on a PC and with football you miss most of the plays because the action pixelizes the picture.

I really doubt that anyone is going to buy a Slingbox to watch a football game with a small bad picture, just so they don't have to buy NFL Sunday Ticket.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

How is this different...

than subscribing to HBO in your home, recording a favorite show to DVD and taking that DVD and your laptop on your next out-of-town business trip?

I completely understand the rebroadcasting issue and that would be a violation of copyright. HBO has every right to ensure that their subscription content is only viewed by rightful subscribers. However, if Slingbox is being used by a valid HBO subscriber to view previously recorded content, time-shifted content or live content, where's the beef?

One could use Slingbox to send video to a laptop on the back porch or 1,000 miles away. Either way, if the subscriber is the viewer, they still get their money and seemingly nothing illegal is taking place.

The only negative I see is that some revenue could evaporate if such viewing becomes pervasive and causes hotel owners to cancel their contracts with content providers. I don't know how much revenue this represents. Regardless, to become this pervasive would likely take a generation where today's kids would grow up with the technology and then carry it with them everywhere. There are also bandwidth challenges although these limits should be eliminated in the coming years. (At least I hope most of us aren't still stuck with 256K upload for the next 30 years!)

dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
Premium
join:2001-04-27
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4

Re: How is this different...

said by rradina:

than subscribing to HBO in your home, recording a favorite show to DVD and taking that DVD and your laptop on your next out-of-town business trip?

I completely understand the rebroadcasting issue and that would be a violation of copyright. HBO has every right to ensure that their subscription content is only viewed by rightful subscribers. However, if Slingbox is being used by a valid HBO subscriber to view previously recorded content, time-shifted content or live content, where's the beef?

One could use Slingbox to send video to a laptop on the back porch or 1,000 miles away. Either way, if the subscriber is the viewer, they still get their money and seemingly nothing illegal is taking place.

The only negative I see is that some revenue could evaporate if such viewing becomes pervasive and causes hotel owners to cancel their contracts with content providers. I don't know how much revenue this represents. Regardless, to become this pervasive would likely take a generation where today's kids would grow up with the technology and then carry it with them everywhere. There are also bandwidth challenges although these limits should be eliminated in the coming years. (At least I hope most of us aren't still stuck with 256K upload for the next 30 years!)
Because HBO wants you to pay extra say if they offer HBO in your hotel room. just like MPAA wants you to pay for different formats of the same movie or RIAA with different forms of the same track of music.
--
You can never be too rich, too thin or have too much Bandwidth
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: How is this different...

said by dvd536:

Because HBO wants you to pay extra say if they offer HBO in your hotel room. just like MPAA wants you to pay for different formats of the same movie or RIAA with different forms of the same track of music.
You already pay extra. It's rolled into your daily rate. As I said, unless or until this method of using an existing HBO subscription becomes pervasive, there's no lost revenue for HBO.

If I had to guess, HBO doesn't give a hoot about their subscriber watching the show. Like the RIAA and MPPA, they are afraid you'll allow a non subscriber access to your subscription.

This reminds me of 30 years ago growing up in rural America. The nearest rock station was 40 miles away with a 15,000 watt transmitter. A clear signal required a pole-mounted external FM antenna. To get other than country music in my tree house, I taped the transmit button down on a walkie talkie and placed it next to the inside stereo. Within about a half mile, I could listen to the rock station using a matching walkie talkie. The quality sucked but it was better than nothing.

Come to think of it, is there a SlingBox for radio? I think it's ridiculous that MLB charges to listen to the game on the Internet when it's freely broadcast on AM radio. The problem is that most AM won't penetrate office buildings. If I used a SlingBox-like product to send the AM signal my home receives to my office desktop, will the FBI bust into my home and confiscate my equipment even though I'm the only one listening to the feed?
roachxp

join:2004-05-26
Milford, MA

Dish to buy out Sling?

Also Dish Network might be buying Sling, or patnering on the new Dish receivers with network ports for streaming live feeds.