[mythtv-users] Myth Developers ban all use of MythTV as a PVR due to IP infringement?

Jay R. Ashworth jra at baylink.com
Sat Sep 8 13:58:53 UTC 2007

On Sat, Sep 08, 2007 at 01:09:23AM -0700, Yeechang Lee wrote:
> (First and foremost, it's clear to me that "kijuhty kijuhty" is not,
> in fact, the infamous Robert Current. Robert's writing style is VERY
> DISTINCTIVE. kijuhty's paragraph flow and clause order differ from
> Robert's. What we can be sure of, of course, is that kijuhty's some
> Anonymous Coward who doesn't have the guts to use his real name to
> debate real issues in public.)

I concur; I didn't think he was RC's sockpuppet, and I've told him so.

> kijuhty kijuhty <kijuhty at gmail.com> says:
> > To the nay-sayers who insist that Tribune's "threat" to kill zap2it was not
> > fake and that they really were ready to deal with screen scrapers, look at
> > it logically.  If Tribune really wanted to stop zap2it labs, they would have
> > shut it down "effective immediately".
> I am not so cynical about human nature as to ascribe the worst of
> intentions to everyone I encounter. It seems to me that the same
> goodwill (yes, goodwill; see the mail thread I reference later) on
> Tribune's part that originally drove it to offer the free listings
> also caused it to provide a grace period to its users.

But remember, Lee (am I getting that right, BTW?): TMS is a *company*,
not people; you've seen the analysis of corporate behaviour by a
psychologist *as if* it was a human?

> > It's clear their "we will terminate in 3 months" was purely an
> > attempt to test the waters and see if the myth community would be
> > willing to cross the line and go from being free to paying Tribune
> > for the data, and to allow enough time to form a non-free
> > alternative.
> The problem with your theory is money, or lack thereof. Despite
> sharing the woes of the rest of the newspaper industry, Tribune is
> still a substantial company with more than $5B in annual revenue. Were
> the generous number of 10,000 people to sign up for ScheduleDirect at
> the hoped-for annual price of $20/year, that's $200,000 in revenue
> (actually less, of course, because of ScheduleDirect's own
> expenses). While this mailing list has made clear that there are
> some--not many--cheapskate MythTV users for whom $5/month is too much,
> let alone $200,000, $200,000 is about two Tribune employees' worth of
> cost. In other words, just not worth the bother if Tribune's goal from
> the start was to strongarm the MythTV community into paying.

Well, perhaps.  If it even paid it's own expenses, someone (like a new
president at a company with an 11% drop in revenue) might think that
was worthwhile...

> done. But it didn't. Thus, I have no reason to disbelieve Tribune's
> statement from the start that people abusing its goodwill and using
> the data for improper purposes was the reason for pulling the plug.

Even though no one seems to be ablve to provide *even a good model of
how that *could* have been the problem*?  :-)

> Some--not the majority, but more than you think--of us are fortunate
> enough to have access to all subscribed HD digital-cable channels via
> FireWire. I'm one. Many others--Michael Dean, for one--are strictly
> OTA only. (And have you noticed that those who moan and grown about
> $5/month never seem to be OTA only? Why do they "need" cable and its
> $30-100/month bill, if money is so tight, anyway?)

That was the point I was looking for; thank you.

>                                                    But even were I to
> not have such access I suspect I'd simply pony up for a couple of
> capture cards and at least record (very, very high-quality and
> widescreen) standard-definition component video from the HD able
> boxes, because my MythTV box has advantages no cable DVR has.


> > The point is not whether it's $1 or $1,000.  There's a black &
> > white, crystal clear line between free and non-free.  You're
> > "non-free" if you charge anything, even 1 cent for the next 100
> > years.  I didn't use Myth because I couldn't afford $13/month for
> > the cable box.  I used myth because I believed in the free software
> > movement and wanted to support a free solution. 
> Ah, one of those who believes that Linux and free software are--nay,
> must be--free as in free beer, as opposed to free speech. (Insert here
> Robert Current delusionally foaming at the mouth, shouting "Help!
> Help! I'm being oppressed"

Damn... we haven't had a good Python (Monty) reference *yet*.  Thanks.

>                             about how the nonexistent list censors are
> imaginarily censoring his free speech in the cloud-cuckoo land he
> resides in.) Did you know, that Linus Torvalds himself does not
> believe this? That he uses Microsoft Word when he needs a word
> processor? That he has done nothing but welcome over the past 16 years
> the RedHats and IBMs and Novells of the world that hae sought to and
> have made zillions off Linux as a commercial endevor? And before you
> ask, I've been 100% Linux and OS X at home for more than a decade,
> thank you. I'm so hardcore old-school that I use an Emacs-based mail
> program, again for more than a decade, and other than Firefox and
> MythTV I do *everything* through console emulators. How long have
> *you* been Microsoft- and GUI-free?

Well, my first Linux was 0.99pl12f from Softlanding, though admittedly,
I'm on win2k on my notebook; pptp client-side is a touch difficult to
get running right on Linux, as are RDP clients; I need both for work,
so I dual boot...

> > Like most myth users, we made lots of sacrifices (stability,
> > usability, number of channels, etc.) because we wanted to support a
> > free solution.
> Other than cash for equipment and some setup time, I haven't
> sacrificed any of the above things to go the MythTV route;

I've sacrificed a little time... but not much.

>                                                          unlike your
> rickety and incompetently-built setup, o Anonymous Coward, and
> despite (or, perhaps, because) my not being a coder, database guru,
> professional sysadmin, or freelance computer consultant like almost
> everyone else on this list, my frontend/backend, slave backend, and
> 8TB of active MythTV-dedicated RAID storage are all rock-solid and
> stupendously-usable in the best WAF way. And while I'd be saddened to
> lose untrammeled access to my HD cable channels should that happen, as
> noted above it'd be less of a sacrifice than to go to a cable-company
> DVR and lose out on all the other neat features MythTV provides me. As
> you've seen from others' replies to your message, I'm not alone.


> > So it's hard for us all to accept that Myth isn't free anymore
> Somehow, I'll get over it. $5/month makes said getting over quite
> easy. Heck, I don't drink coffee so I don't even have to skip the
> metaphorical two lattes a month!

But then, where are you gonna get the $5...?

> > When you watch Tribune/DD/Zap2It's actions, it's really clear that
> > for them giving free access to zap2it was better/cheaper/etc. than
> > trying to thwart screen scrapers.
> [...]

This point, BTW, I actually agree with.

> > So despite all the talk, I'm really convinced that if the Myth
> > community stood up and said "no, myth is and always be a free
> > solution, and if you kill zap2it we'll go back to screen scraping",
> > then Tribune would back down and continue to give dd for free,
> > since, after all if thwarting screen scrapers was really their plan,
> > they would have done it years ago instead of offering DD for free.
> Months ago, before Tribune made its announcement, Bruce Markey and I
> had a heated debate on the topic of how much in Tribune's
> self-interest it was to offer free data (start at
> <URL:http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/mythtv/users/261683#261683>.
> Post end-of-free-data, I suspect that Bruce would acknowledge that in
> retrospect he was wrong and I was right. While I'm egostical enough to
> enjoy being correct this is one case I really wish I were wrong.


> There are gradations to most things in life. Is free (as in beer)
> data, all else being equal, preferable to non-free data? Of course. If
> DataDirect were $50/month, would I want to pay? Probably not. I'm glad
> that at $5/month I don't have to decide.

If it's free, you don't get to bitch when it breaks.  I'll happily pay
for the privilege of getting listened to when I bitch.

-- jra
Jay R. Ashworth                   Baylink                      jra at baylink.com
Designer                     The Things I Think                       RFC 2100
Ashworth & Associates     http://baylink.pitas.com                     '87 e24
St Petersburg FL USA      http://photo.imageinc.us             +1 727 647 1274

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