HBO Keeps Up Tradition Of Conveniently Forgetting About Fair Use

from the once-again dept

Poor Slingbox. They didn't get permission to innovate -- because they don't need it, and now they're attracting the legal attention of broadcasters, who have no qualms about trying to tell you what you can do with their content after you've brought it into your home. It's looking like HBO might sue Slingbox, based on the misguided belief that their product and service violates HBO copyrights. The issue here isn't copyright infringment -- not least of which because anybody place-shifting HBO with a Slingbox subscribes to it at home -- it's business model infringement. Slingbox has figured out a cool service to offer, one for which people are willing to pay, and HBO feels wronged, mostly because Slingbox could undermine their own competing services. Services which, of course, they've been too busy sounding out lawsuits to actually develop and offer. Remember, too, that HBO also poisons torrents of its shows and likes to flout fair use -- so figuring out ways to piss off customers it can't figure out how to address is par for the course.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    schmuck, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 4:59pm

    Hey

    First Post!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    idiot_hater, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 7:58pm

    Re: Hey

    whats with the first post crap. looser... grow up

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 8:23pm

    Re: Re: Hey

    What's with the poor spelling and punctuation, loser*?

    Oh yeah, and HBO's being ridiculous.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Jason Bently, Apr 26th, 2006 @ 10:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Hey

    recently, this is site's comments are almost as bad as the junk posted at BetaNews.

    Whatever happened to actually commenting on the article posted, and not bickering over spelling/punctuation and who posted "first"...etc.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 2:09am

    Excellenent discussion

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Dickface, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 2:26am

    Re:

    I concur

     

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  7.  
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    throbi, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 2:36am

    Who watches HBO anyway?

    Not me... :-)

     

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  8.  
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    Will Power, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 2:41am

    This is why I only watch anime, with subtitles, served in perfume and floating in a man's hat. Screw American TV with its gratuitous sex, violence, and.. um..

     

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  9.  
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    Fl_Gulfer, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 3:23am

    I pay for HBO to get the HD Content and watch Boxing on Saturdays when they have it. But that may stop after reading this.

     

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  10.  
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    Angry Rivethead, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 3:51am

    We need to create a word for these tactics.

    Someone! come up with a nice juicey word to appy to these companies and instances that sue when someone else has a better idea. These organizations and corporations are getting to sound like that annoying crybaby douchebag everyone wanted to stomp on in gradeschool.

    "Teacher teacher Billy had a better Idea than me but he can't use it cause I have lisdexia and ADHD so he has to wait for me to catch up cause I'm special!"

    If video providers drag arse like RIAA did with music, I figure we have another 10+ year wait on our hand before someone comes up with a business model that WORKS let alone is even any good.

    Itunes has the blessing (kind of) of the RIAA but it sucks and was 10 years late to the game.

     

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  11.  
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    Mr_Word_Guy, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 5:24am

    Re: We need to create a word for these tactics.

    How about "ludigation". That would be litigation by luddites.
    Example: "I'm to technically challenged to develope anything but I don't want you to either because I might not make any money from it."

     

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  12.  
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    KaB, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 5:31am

    Did CNN

    Didn't CNN attempt to try something intelligent in this field once? They were going to charge to see videos but got out foxed by Fox who showed video for free. CNN seemed to think people would pay for CNN content on top of cable (not smart). Smart would have been using that (worthless) partnership with Time Warner (Cable TV provider) they should have given each TW subscriber free access to CNN content, after all these folks were already paying TW. Thus achieving free quality video over the internet at anytime (pseudo Sling Box).

    We will be honest though; AT&T will be the first to integrate internet broadcasting into their packages. You will be able to subscribe to home use TV and eventually IP TV also. In the short future we will start to see cable TV 2 rooms and 1 computer packages. Wouldn’t be surprised if Ma Bell Reincarnate bought Sling Box to do this. Doesn’t solve this legal problem but it it’s sold as another package the profit could be redistributed as usual.

     

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  13.  
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    Jaymes, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 5:34am

    Re: We need to create a word for these tactics.

    Lexivator: One who lexivates.
    Lexivate: To use the law to hinder innovation. Also, informally, to innovate through legal proceeding rather than through creative thinking.

    From Latin “lex,” meaning law + French “novre,” to make new (see innovate word roots).

    Loosely synonymous with "lixiviate"; to extract one substance from another.

    ...remember you saw it here first. =)

     

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  14.  
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    MEoIP, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 5:40am

    Re: We need to create a word for these tactics.

    Couldn't we just say they pulled an RIAA, like we do with Enron. We could turn it into a verb "they are riaaing," maybe even pronounce it rye-ah-ing or rye-ah-ed

     

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  15.  
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    KaB, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 5:47am

    Re: Re: We need to create a word for these tactics

    Couldn't it be

    Lexavator - one who stops inovation using the law.

    The a being used to denote the negative or opposite as in greek and latin.

     

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  16.  
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    Billy, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 5:49am

    Remove the fscking blinders!

    What is wrong with these people? (HBO, RIAA, BellSouth, etc...) Sure, HBO could stop slingbox from making money indirectly from their content. But what they ignore, for some reason, is the benefit they get. Making their content more accessible would likely get more subscribers. And while HBO isn't making money from the transaction directly, they sure as hell are making money from the subscription fees (not many people are going to pay any extra money on top of their existing cable bill just to watch selected HBO content on their phone). Same thing with the RIAA and filesharing. There have been several independent reports showing that CD sales were UP during the heyday of napster. And BellSouth crippling the services of those who won't pay? WTF? How the hell is Tech Support going to explain to my mom that Google's video service is slow because Google won't pay them. She'll just dump their service.

    If these short sighted jackasses making these decisions remove their fscking blinders and realize the long term benefit to themselves of the services they are trying to squash, they would be in a much better position. They would have established subscriber/customer bases that aren't waiting to jump ship the instant any kind of alternative service/provider/company that gets it rides into town.

     

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  17.  
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    Biker John, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 6:36am

    idiot_hater...you need to sit in the corner for a time out. it works. i love my bike.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    derfaust, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 6:49am

    a word....hmmmm....a word to....

    how about....

    jerks

    jerks: those who jerk.

    jerks: Those jerks need to quit jerking us off.

     

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  19.  
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    Chris H, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 6:54am

    We cancelled HBO a couple months ago. Lousy selection of movies and the Sopranos just isn't what it used to be since they tried to super-impose his Mother into the chair after the actress died.

    The only show I'll miss is Rome, and I can live without it for $15 a month more in our pocket.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    A Network Admin, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 6:56am

    Cable is Groosly expensive anyhow

    It should be, if you pay for tv you get just that, all the channels on the TV. This whole packages shit, come on, as if the people on top need more and more money anyhow. I can get Dish for 29.99, but if i want showtime i have to pay 12$ more, christ thats half the cost of my 200 channels just to get 4 more. Please. Ill pass and just download the one show i actually want to see on HBO than pay 15$ for 200 shows i dont want to see and 1 show that i do. If the movie industry and music applies here as well, were half as smart as they think they are, they would come up with an idea to get people what they want, and not all the bullshit they dont want. If they could do that, they would see a pretty drop in pirating i bet. But noone in their right mind buys a cd for just one song, and noone will buy a premium channel for one series. GET WITH THE PROGRAM MPAA AND RIAA. Its like that great movie Storm of the Century. GIVE US WHAT WE WANT, AND WE'LL GO AWAY! :O)

    So simple a concept

     

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  21.  
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    Yakov, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 8:24am

    Every one send HBO a nasty email.

    I have been a paying HBO customer for almost 10 years and my folks have had hbo for another decade before -- paying for it. I just sent them an e-mail saying that I will cancel my service if something comes out of the Slingbox case. If they get enough e-mails they will get the message. These companies care about public's response to their actions -- RIAA doesnt, but TV networks do. They cancel shows and rework plot lines when they get only a wiff of public disaproval. HBO exists because people may monthly fees. If they sense that this stuff will hurt them more than it will help, they'll wisen up.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 8:57am

    Yeah, I was thinking about switching from my Stars on Demand to HBO on demand. Forget it now, I'll stick with Starz..

    I think soon all these media companies will be like this - thank God for the internet and video games - TV is becoming less fun by the day...

    I'll keep watching movies until it gets to the point where it's completely stupid - then I'll just stick to the stuff I already have. Luckily, I can rip and store all those current movies I have on my Hard Disk and write to media later, or at least play it through a Linux box - I'm sure the DRM will make Windows fairly useless in the near future, unless you want to PAY PAY PAY - and then, like my energy company (Duke/Cinergy) they'll start charging you 4 bucks to pay your friggin' bill.

    That's just got to take the cake - gotta pay a fee to pay your bill. These utility companies need a smack down just as much as the media industry...

     

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  23.  
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    Bob, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 9:16am

    You can download all HBO shows for free

    All HBO shows can be dowloaded for free an hour or so after they air for the first time (Using Bittorent). Why pay for HBO when you can get most of their shows for free?

     

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  24.  
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    Yakov, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 9:51am

    Follow up

    Only thing I watch on HBO now days is Bill Maher -- odd how they dont mind getting rich of a Liberatarian, but have the most arcain views on media themselves. I'm gonna send Bill a little note, see if he can take his own network to task for being so stupid.

     

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  25.  
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    Chris, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 9:52am

    > All HBO shows can be dowloaded for free an hour or so after
    > they air for the first time (Using Bittorent). Why pay for HBO
    > when you can get most of their shows for free?

    Because there are some of us that actually try to be honest and pay for the services we recieve. If nobody paid then there would be no contact for you file leachers to share.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    HBO Lover, Apr 27th, 2006 @ 10:10am

    I love HBO

    After all of the great series, some of the best on television, I, for one, will not stop watching HBO. Sure, The Sopranos have had better seasons, but it's starting to pick up. And The Wire rocks, too! I can't wait for the next season to come out. With hits like Sex and the City (over) and Six Feet Under (over), I don't see how it can be so underappreciated. They should fight for what they feel is rightfully theirs. After all, they have some of the best, creative, dramatic shows on television.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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