MobiTV Has A Totally Unsecured Feed, Threatens To Take Down HowardForums For Pointing That Out

from the under-what-law? dept

If you follow the mobile communications world, you read HowardForums. It is, by far, the most comprehensive set of forums for anything having to do with mobile phones and mobile operators and applications. It's a fantastic resource... and MobiTV is trying to shut it down. MobiTV, if you don't know, provides a (fee-based) TV streaming service for mobile phones. It has partnered with various mobile operators to allow them to stream TV to mobile phones (a subject we were just talking about, noting how few people really are willing to pay). For some totally unknown reason, it appears that MobiTV actually broadcasts its television streams totally out in the open on a URL that anyone can access.

Someone noted this at Howard Forums and posted the information. There is no hacking going on. There is no encryption broken. There is nothing illicit whatsoever. The feed is a public URL. However, it appears that MobiTV thinks that because it did not properly secure its own feeds and left it on a public URL that somehow Howard Forums has broken the law. In a series of emails, MobiTV's corporate counsel has threatened to take down HowardForums and have contacted his web host (and are threatening to contact his registrar). It's difficult to see what sort of claim they have here. The URL is a public site. They did not attempt to lock it down in any way.

Broadband Reports has more on this story and thanks to reader CQD for pointing this out. You would think that with all the attention Julius Baer got last week for a similar situation, MobiTV's execs and lawyers would recognize how the Streisand Effect might come back to bite them.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Chicken, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 10:15am

    Web Browser

    Has this been adapted for a web browser that isn't on a mobile phone yet? I'm down with watching TV while in the office.

     

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    Noah Buddy, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 10:25am

    Idiocracy and Arrogance Strike Again

    I don't know what is worse. Not locking the feed or being arrogant enough to believe nobody would use your public feed without paying.

    That would be like putting a jumbo-tron in downtown Chicago and saying don't look at it unless you pay me first.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 10:35am

    You can see the streams with the Windows VLC player to. So should everybody spread the MobiTV link everywhere so it doesn't matter if Howard Forums are taken down?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 10:35am

    You can see the streams with the Windows VLC player to. So should everybody spread the MobiTV link everywhere so it doesn't matter if Howard Forums are taken down?

     

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    identicon
    Pete, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 10:56am

    this is what the furor is about - Well, I found this in the Sprint forums and here we go:

    qtv.mobitv.com/sprintTVlive.mcd

    1. Copy and paste that link into the address bar.

    2. Don't run it but save it to your computer.

    3. Find it on your computer and OPEN it up. Select to open it with Internet Explorer or the browser of your choice.

    4. There will be a whole bunch of links. Choose the channel you want to watch...

    5. Get your LG Voyager and start up the browser.

    6. Type one of the links into your Voyager and press OK!

    There you go, live TV...
    notice that it actually came from a sprint forum

     

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  •  
    identicon
    bubba, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 11:19am

    vlc

    can you tell us how you got this to work with VLC on a laptop?

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 12:01pm

      Re: vlc

      Use the VLC watch stream setting and paste the address of the channel you want to (the RTSP address) watch. That's it. Supposedly Quicktime works too.

       

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    Woadan, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 11:27am

    Having read a bit on this, I have to wonder if the URLs weren;t maybe hacked. MobiTV is saying they don't publish them. And it may be that when it is fed to your phone, there is no URL. So, as the lead counsel for MobiTV was saying, it may be that the URLs were hacked, and maybe they have a valid case.

    Having said all of that, once it's hacked, for better or for worse, it's toast. And yet again another reason why DRM will always fail.

    Woadan

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 12:02pm

      Re:

      When I had MobiTV on my Sprint phone it was just an application you ran. It came up like a cable box would. You could cruise through the channels and see what was on and pick what you wanted to watch. So you never used a browser or saw any URLs.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Network Admin, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 11:49am

    Hmmm

    I like how they still have the apache splash page up. When I hit the link above I get a forbidden notice.

     

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    •  
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      Chronno S. Trigger, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 12:16pm

      Re: Hmmm

      The page is for your phone. You have to have the rtsp:// URL to be able to run it in VLC (Can't get it to work) or quicktime (works for me).

      The video quality is really crappy. The video itself is 1/2" wide and is blockey even then. I can't watch it.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Hmmm, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 12:12pm

    If I keep my usernames and passwords in a file called UserInfo.txt in the root of my web server... but don't make that a public link... even go so far to disable spiders for that file... Is it "hacking" or illegal if someone points out that www.myserver.com/userinfo.txt contains a raw list of usernames and passwords for my web site!?

    Personally I think not... it's shitty security and poor implementation on my end!

    I tried VLC and the urls listed and it seems to not work at the moment, so maybe they actually did the correct thing and FIXED the hole instead of trying to hang the messenger!

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Hmmm, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 12:19pm

    Wow this is stupid

    If I keep my usernames and passwords in a file called UserInfo.txt in the root of my web server... but don't make that a public link... even go so far to disable spiders for that file... Is it "hacking" or illegal if someone points out that www.myserver.com/userinfo.txt contains a raw list of usernames and passwords for my web site!?

    Personally I think not... it's shitty security and poor implementation on my end!

    I tried VLC and the urls listed and it seems to not work at the moment, so maybe they actually did the correct thing and FIXED the hole instead of trying to hang the messenger!

     

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  •  
    identicon
    bob, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 1:08pm

    channel name="MSNBC" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/1-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="FOX News" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/8-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Discovery" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/3-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="TLC" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/4-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Animal Planet" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/63-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="NBC Comedy" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/1500-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="ESPN Mobile TV" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/4103-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="NBC Sports Mobile" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/1513-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Lipstick Jungle" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/1508-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Maxx Look" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/48-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Toon World TV" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/28-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Access Hollywood" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/1515-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Love Laffs" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/4104-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Bloomberg" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/52-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Tim Gunns Guide to Style" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/1519-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="The Mic Hip Hop" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/910-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="V40 Hot Hits" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/911-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Totally 80s 90s" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/96-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Double Z Country" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/72-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="RandB Jamz" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/425-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Ritmo Caliente" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/97-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Chaos Extreme" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/913-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Shift Alternative" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/912-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="USA Mobile" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/1503-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Bravo To Go" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/1502-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="SCI FI Pulse Mobile" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/1501-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Oxygen" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/58-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Discovery Mobile" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/53-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="A and E Mobile" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/17-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="The History Channel Mobile" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/19-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="NBC News Mobile" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/2-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Fashion TV" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/22-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Comedy Time" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/21-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="MAXX SPORTS" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com/50-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="IGN" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/59-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Bombones" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/74-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="CNET" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/23-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="CSPAN" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/30-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="CSPAN2" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/31-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Soulja Boy Tell Em TV" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/4100-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Ataku" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/83-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="D40 Digital Camera" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/1346-CDMA.sdp" type="video/3gpp"
    channel name="Bank of America" href="rtsp://live.mobitv.com:554/4101-CDMA.sdp" type=

     

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  •  
    identicon
    bob, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 1:09pm

    ^^^^Those links still work^^^^

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Brandon, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 1:53pm

      Re:

      "^^^^Those links still work^^^^"

      Now you've done it. They're going to have to threaten to shut TechDirt down now, too! Oh wait. Those links are also posted at least on Google and Digg as well, plus who knows how many other places. I guess they'll be threatening to shut down the entire internet!

       

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  •  
    identicon
    James, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 2:10pm

    Patent

    You have infringed on my patent for displaying other people streaming media links.

    Please pay me 10 million in royalties or I will sue you.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    TB, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 4:05pm

    MobiTV has been free without any real hacking for a while if you use the trial. The app creates a timestamp file in it's directory. Just go in and erase it and your trial starts again and you can keep using it for free.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    mike allen, Mar 8th, 2008 @ 12:40am

    why

    would any one want TV on a mobile phone? screen is too small signal quirky even for text messages now a reciever on a usb stick and a laptop works great.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    pedro, Mar 8th, 2008 @ 11:35am

    backing down

    Looks like the voices of protest forced the hand of these jokers. MobiTv is backing down on this one: http://www.news.com/8301-13578_3-9889025-38.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2008 @ 12:37pm

    free tv.. yay

     

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    identicon
    trial-out, Mar 9th, 2008 @ 3:31pm

    Is this only work in cell phone?

    I have tried to copy and paste the rtsp to both my VLC player and Quick Time on my laptop and both doesn't seem working. Is it only work in the cellphone or I am doing something wrong? Any advise would be appreciate. Thanks.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Peter, Mar 10th, 2008 @ 9:56am

    I think they plugged the hole?

    They must have plugged the hole. I tried the links last night and though i didnt receive a picture i got more of a response then i am today.

    Has anyone had these work and STILL sees them working today?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    willmax, Mar 12th, 2008 @ 11:12am

    if you are looking for multi-lingual tv, online tv social community, social tv network, internet tv stations, tv channels, free global internet tv, broadband channels, live webcast, customized tv programmes, After testing various TV software and visiting loads of sites. most of them offer a free trial or preview and then they make you pay to sign up, or are cluttered with ads. I think that is ridiculous... so ive done my research and have found a couple of really decent sites. The first one Id like to draw your attention to is (http://www.viewmy.tv) This site has almost 1300 channels from around the globe and counting. it is free to register and they dont ask for stupid details, just your username and email address. It actually streams live channels so you dont have to download any and they have a pretty easy way of finding the channel you want. You can search through genre, country, region or name of the channel. oh and there are no ads either. Check this one out. With over 1300 channels from hundreds of countries, loads of features like channel rating, user recommendations, live chat, profile pages and much much more.


    Now there is viewmy.tv Vista Gadget Created by (http://www.viewmy.tv) , this TV gadget gives you access to free Internet TV channels from around the world ! With this gadget you can play online TV right on your PC! Viewmy.tv provides access to thousands of free streaming TV channels from over a hundred countries. Viewmy.tv members simply add their username and password to the gadget to access all their saved channels from their personalised profiles. (http://www.viewmy.tv) provides access to free internet television with social networking and community features. They have also XP application for windows XP users which you can get from here -->(http://www.viewmy.tv/help/pc_desktop_tv.aspx). For the MAC widget and facebook application downloads go here (http://www.viewmy.tv/live-web-tv-help.aspx)

     

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  •  
    identicon
    derrick1, Mar 19th, 2008 @ 3:17am

    I agree...

    this is totally absurd! How can they try and do this when these streams are widely available to everyone! Yes, these streams are available, on the net via URLS. There are loads of sites that show these so why have MobiTv acted like they created this!!!!! Willmax is right, viewmy.tv is a good example of this...go and check it out

     

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


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