[mythtv-users] Written proof that we've all been conned about SD

R. G. Newbury newbury at mandamus.org
Sun Sep 9 23:47:55 UTC 2007

kijuhty kijuhty wrote:

> Imagine if a company said to the RIAA "We're going to fund a venture that
> will stop anybody from illegally stealing music again, *AND* we will pay you
> money for the privilege of doing it."  What would the RIAA do?  Say, "No, we
> don't want your money, and we want kids to steal music because we like suing
> them, even though we never get anything from them."  That's exactly what
> John and R.G. are saying. 

No that's not what I am saying. I don't think your example matches the 
actual situation. There could be other reasons why TMS no longer wished 
to be in, what is in effect, the retail segment.

  According to that pluto post (again, this is all
> assuming it's real), a sponsor agreed to fund a venture that would have
> prevented anybody from even contemplating stealing Tribune's guide data,
> *AND* would have paid Tribune for the privilege of doing it.  But you guys
> are arguing that "No, TMS wouldn't have accepted their offer.  They would
> have instead killed data direct so that everybody started screen scraping so
> then TMS could spend a fortune suing everyone."  It makes no sense!

I do admit that the refusal to *consider* a proposal is weird (if one 
was made as described). I disagree that we argued that TMS 'would not 
have accepted that offer'. It appears that TMS DID reject that offer (if 
one was made). It might have been made too late. It might not have been 
technologically as secure as proposed.

More importantly I disagree that *WE* collectively could have called 
that bluff (if it was one) without risking disastrous consequences to 
our enjoyment.

The downside would have been disastrous for us. And TMS HAS gained by 
the present situation: they are out of the 'retail' business, they do 
not have to deal with individual accounts and they get paid.

I think that TMS just decided that the free website and labs listing 
service was *purely* a cost. It returned NO revenue. The tvlistings site 
can be supported by the ads which appear on it, but labs could not. 
Although labs maybe reduced the 'costs' on TMS of scraping against 
tvlistings, quite cynically, TMS could bet that getting someone to set 
up an SD a) would remove the majority of the demand (for scraping data), 
b) would reduce their bandwidth and computer costs, c) would increase 
their security, d) would reduce their risk, and e) would increase their 
revenue. We need THEM far more then they need US.

Both you and I have the choice of switching to a scraper or signing up 
for SD. That was a no-brainer for me, even considering that the chances 
of being prosecuted for criminal breach of copyright for using a scraper 
is about 10 to the minus 8 (provided I didn't trumpet that I was doing 
it!). As I said I would have paid TMS for that, and instead I pay SD and 
collectively we gain a stronger voice in the case of problems with TMS 
delivery to SD.


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