[mythtv-users] FTP server

Michael T. Dean mtdean at thirdcontact.com
Sat Sep 16 20:09:21 UTC 2006

On 09/16/06 14:25, Sam Wong wrote:

>I got a side question in my head. Does sharing the digital recordings of 
>TV with my friends (i.e. for non commercial) illegal?
Doing so involves making an unauthorized copy of copyrighted material.  
Whether that's illegal is a question of your local laws, but in the US, 
I'm pretty sure it's not a covered exemption under fair use.

> How about sharing the recordings on the VCR tape? does it make a different?
I've heard this is only illegal if your friend comes to your house 
(place of recording) and watches the show through your VCR (machine that 
did the recording).  Any other use (i.e. loaning the VCR tape to a 
friend to watch on her TV/VCR at her house) goes beyond fair use.

I've also heard that you have 30 days from the date of recording a show 
to watch that show (whether recorded by a VCR or PVR) and that watching 
something after that time goes beyond the time-shifting exemption 
provided under fair use.  So, keeping MythTV recordings for more than 30 
days in the US would be a waste because watching them would be illegal 
(under this interpretation of copyright law).

If that's true, the same would apply for MythTV recordings--friends need 
to come watch them through your MythTV system at your house within 30 
days of the date of the recording.  Whether these interpretations have 
been proven/held up in court, though, I couldn't tell you.

Also, I couldn't tell you what you're allowed to do with old recordings 
after your VCR/Myth box dies and gets replaced.  ;)

>I guess for paid TV like cable, HBO, these acts are potentially illegal, 
And for these, it can go beyond copyright disputes to theft of service.  
Whether the service that is being stolen is something like HBO 
(programming), or even the cable service itself.  For example, if a 
person has a cable subscription and a single STB, but notices that at 
the same time Discovery channel (which is only available via STB on that 
cable system--it is not transmitted as unencrypted analog) is airing 
Walking with Fleas, DIY (another STB-only channel) is airing Build a 
Skyscraper, and that person decides he wants to see both and has a 
friend's Myth box record one and transfers the file afterward, this may 
be theft of cable service.  The argument is that because the person paid 
for only one of the two channels at a time, finding a workaround to get 
both is stealing service from the cable company.  However, recording a 
later airing of one of the shows (assuming they are re-run) would not 
constitute theft of cable service.

>how about those programs that are avaiable over the air?
Here, it's probably just copyright disputes as the service is freely 
provided, but it's still very likely illegal in the US.

Mike "IANAL" Dean

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