[mythtv] Listings concept idea

Tony Maro tonymaro at gmail.com
Thu Jul 5 16:23:32 UTC 2007

Actually, they are all buying their guide data from some data warehouse
company that compiles it.  Each of them probably have a restrictive use
agreement associated with their own subscription to that data.

The data as it's compiled isn't free, I guarantee you that.  Even IMDB buys
their data from a company (someone has referenced one or more of those
companies in a thread here recently.

Also, RSS feeds won't exactly work as suggested because every cable company
handles their stations differently.  You _must_ get specific data to match
the specific station on the specific provider at a specific time.  There's
just too much variance.  For instance, locally our cable company actually
blocks certain channels every night due to the fact they carry more than one
of each major network.  Some programs are given exclusive market rights to
certain stations, so the other station has to be blacked out.

Personally I would consider providing the service on a subscription basis if
I could find how to purchase the data, and if the data wasn't too
prohibitively expensive.  A coloc server wouldn't cost more than $600 a
month with high bandwidth, and charge a subscription fee of say, $5 /
month...  A few motnhs of PHP coding and some MySQL work and you'd think you
could get the service up and running.

And ads could be embedded within episode descriptions if carefully done...

On 7/4/07, Michael George <mgeorge3 at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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 themselves.
> 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:
> http://www.bitlaw.com/copyright/database.html
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