[mythtv-users] ATTENTION: Want to help remove 5C FireWire encryption?

Steven Adeff adeffs.mythtv at gmail.com
Wed Feb 7 15:04:24 UTC 2007

On 2/7/07, Brian Wood <beww at beww.org> wrote:
> On Feb 7, 2007, at 7:31 AM, Steven Adeff wrote:
> >> The satellite carries certainly like to cite the FCC as a reason for
> >> not giving customers access to the MPEG stream. Both the PR and the
> >> technical people will swear that they really want to do this and the
> >> bad old FCC will not let them.
> >>
> >> I don't believe it for a second. I have read Section 304 of the
> >> telecommunications act and it says no such thing.
> >
> > next time they feed you that line, ask them to give you the exact FCC
> > "law" that they feel bans them from allowing you access.
> I have. They cited the section of the telecommunications act that I
> mentioned, which has to do (among other things) with requiring the
> cable companies to *not* encrypt certain channels (page 22 and
> following). How they get from there to the FCC *requiring* protection
> is beyond me.
> The T.A. is not the FCC anyway, it is the Law of the Land, the FCC is
> just supposed to "interpret" it.

I think the whole interpretation clause is where things go iffy =)

> >> But I think that except perhaps at the very highest levels the sat
> >> carrier employees believe it to be true. It's certainly easier for
> >> the higher-ups to just "blame the government" than to try and explain
> >> legalese that even the lawyers who wrote it can't agree on the
> >> meaning of.
> >>
> >> As I understand it the modified receivers *may* be illegal, at least
> >> in the USA, but because of the DMCA, not the rules most often cited.
> >
> > As I understand it, and IANAL, the DMCA prevents work-arounds related
> > to encryption. Since the satellite boxes don't provide this type of
> > connection to begin with, there is no encryption to break, once the
> > signal is legally decrypted by your subscription card there is no
> > reason you should not be able to have access to it.
> It depends on where your definition of a "modulation scheme" ends and
> a "content protection scheme" begins. It could be argued that the
> modulation method itself is protected against undoing. Don't laugh,
> stranger things have been claimed.

true, true, and of course, like you mention above, this is where
things get their wiggle room.

> > Of course, if they truly want to give you access to the streams, then
> > they would have no complaints against you modifying the boxes to gain
> > access.
> >
> The real problem is the sat companies don't want to upset the
> "Hollywood Types". Witness the just-resolved situation between HBO
> and DISH. They also don't want to make their customers unhappy, so
> they lie to both sides, typical American business solution.

True, it really is the content owners causing the headaches. The funny
thing is though, if say Comcast or Dish or DirecTV refused then one
would think HBO would loose a lot of subscription money. It's too bad
all the content providers don't band together in the name of their
customers and refuse to play by HBO's rules.
Oh wait, right, we're less than 1% of their customers, the rest are
content with the status quo...

> But the bottom line is that I could get a jeeped box if I wanted to,
> and I doubt they would invade my living room unless I started
> distributing material.
> But I watch too much TV as it is.

too true...

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