[mythtv-users] Free US/Canada Listings

Chris Petersen lists at forevermore.net
Tue Sep 11 16:51:13 UTC 2007

Richard Freeman wrote:
> I certainly don't advocate violating the law, but enabling website users
> to use the listings they can access on a website in their own software
> for personal use should be fair-use.

Fair use would be hand-transcribing (e.g. copy-paste) the copyrighted
data into a document for use in some personal project.

The website owners, copyright owners and copyright licensees have the
right to restrict the methods by which people access the information
they're providing.  If you buy a DVD, you (probably) have the right to
back it up (but with some of this silly DMCA stuff, you don't seem to
have the right to decrypt it in order to actually do the backup).  If
you buy a downloaded movie from itunes, you probably have the right to
back it up (I don't know, I haven't read the terms).  I doubt that you
have the right to back up a downloaded-rented movie from Netflix.

The same goes for sites like this.  The terms of the websites involved
usually grant you the right to look at the data, manually interact with
it for whatever purpose, but almost always (I have yet to find one to
the contrary) include a clause preventing automated grabbing/downloading
using tools not specifically licensed/provided by the website itself.

It's been said time and time again, no dev on this list (to my
knowledge) has any trouble with people talking about scrapers in
general, even though it's slightly off topic and probably better for the
XMLTV list.  What we *do* have a problem with is people talking about
scraping specific sites that expressly forbid people from doing so in
their ToS.  Arguing about why it's right/wrong to tell people to stop
talking about them is stupid -- that's just how things are.  Arguing
about why it should be allowed/fair use/whatever to violate the ToS of
such websites is also pointless.  Both the MythTV and XMLTV devs have
expressly stated that they are against using (and would not add) any
ToS-violating scrapers while there is a legitimate alternative
available, even if it's not free.


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