[mythtv] Listings concept idea

Michael George mgeorge3 at gmail.com
Wed Jul 4 18:44:23 UTC 2007

> Indeed. Most (all?) of the tv listing sites stay up due to ad revenue
> and screenscraping removes the ability for them to get that revenue.
> Setting up a central server to do it would setup a nice legal target
> that can be proven to be removing revenue by breaking their usage
> agreements and/or copyright restrictions (
> http://www.tvguide.com/services/Terms.aspx for an example, "Except for
> that information which is in the public domain or for which you have
> been given written permission by TV Guide or the copyright owner, you
> may not copy, modify, publish, transmit, distribute, perform, display,
> participate in the transfer or sale, create derivative works, or in
> any way exploit the content of tvguide.com or any portion thereof." )

This is actually a very interesting legal question.   Can TV Guide copyright
a database which a collection of public domain facts.  If you assume that
the TV data is public domain information, then TV Guide can claim only claim
copyright on their compilation of the facts, but not on the underlying facts

Since it is difficult to copyright a database of facts, it is recommended
that prior to allowing access to the database a contract be established
protecting the data.  This can be accomplished through a contract or
click-wrap agreement, but contract law is a state-issue and varies as to
what is enforceable by locale.  Thus one solution would be to host the new
database in a state where a legal challenge could not be be successful or
out of the country.  However European countries have more protection for
databases which contain facts and consider how much time, money, and effort
if took to compile the database and then protect  that investment under the
"European Database Directive and proposed WIPO Treaty".   If the Euro law
was adopted into WIPO then the treaty would become Federal law in the US
trumping that rights of the states and who knows what would happen in a
legal challenge.  So much for National Sovereignty.

If you are bored and want to explore this situation and see if you can craft
an idea to make the proposed database legal, start here:

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