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.

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Comments on “HBO Keeps Up Tradition Of Conveniently Forgetting About Fair Use”

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Angry Rivethead says:

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.

Jaymes says:

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. =)

KaB says:


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.

Billy says:

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.

A Network Admin says:

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

Yakov (profile) says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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…

Chris says:

> 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.

HBO Lover says:

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.

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