[mythtv-users] Card sharing

Simon Hobson linux at thehobsons.co.uk
Thu Dec 31 10:22:44 UTC 2009

freedenizen wrote:

>  > Please read the link.
>>  "Discussion of any topics that may be considered illegal or
>>  questionably legal in any of the areas that MythTV developers and/or
>>  users reside (especially the United States as the mailing lists are
>>  hosted in the United States) is prohibited.
>>  Important thing to note is that it *doesn't matter* if it's legal
>>  where you are, it's that it's illegal where the MythTV devs, who
>>  absorb liability for the actions of this project, reside.
>>  You don't have to like it, but the least you can do when you are
>>  getting the software for free and not paying project legal bills is
>>  respect the rules.
>Actually the rules state if it is illegal where any user resides not
>to discuss it either, so I guess we shut the whole thing down.  I
>understand the purpose of the rules, but its implementation is a bit
>draconian.  Basically anything the devs aren't interested themselves
>in doing and could be questionable somewhere isn't allowed.  We
>discuss playing back DVDs even though there are countries where
>playing back dvds in linux may be on questionable legal ground, or
>what about making disk images of DVDs, the MPAA sure doesn't like
>that, or ripping CDs, it is possible someone in some country that uses
>myth could be charged with a crime.

Indeed, in the UK, I think the only (TV/video related) function in 
Myth that **IS** completely lawful is watching live tv. We do not 
have the "fair use" provisions in copyright law that the US has, so 
even time-shifting TV is not actually lawful but it's accepted it's 
going to happen and it's not practical to try and stop it. Keeping 
recordings for more than a short time falls outside of simple 
timeshifting. Yes, you can buy those nice shiny commercially made 
PVRs, and they are even officially condoned (cf Freeview+ as a logo) 
- but they aren't actually completely legal to use !

Ripping DVDs is most definitely not lawful (yet we have a thread 
running on doing it right now), even watching them on a Linux box is 
a problem (unlicenced use) - both are illegal in the US as well 
(unless someone can cite a ruling that the DMCA does NOT apply to 
unlicenced watching of DVDs using an unlicenced decoder).

There's also discussions on hooking up analogue inputs and using IR 
to control a satellite or cable box - also unlawful over here as it 
would break the terms of the service and therefore be unlicenced 
copying. In that respect, there is ZERO difference between hooking up 
an analogue capture to the providers box, and using the same viewing 
card in hardware that will allow direct capture.

Perhaps fairly well related to the OPs query - there seems to be no 
qualms about discussing the capture of free to view stuff from cable 
(several threads recently in view of the recent analogue-digital 
switchover) or satellite. But someone comes along and asks about 
capturing free to view stuff from satellite and gets his head bitten 
off. See the dichotomy here ?

>I know the point of these rules is to protect the project and the
>devs, but it seems the rules are only applied to things the devs
>aren't themselves interested in, otherwise watch programming via
>mythweb, mythdvd, and other features wouldn't be open for discussion

That's how it seems from here. I can see where the devs are coming 
from, but as you say, the line does seem to be drawn so as to include 
stuff the inner circle want to play with. Telling new visitors, in 
quite blunt terms, to "sod off, that's not to be discussed here as 
it's illegal in US/UK" doesn't quite fit with all the other threads 
which DO discuss stuff that isn't actually legal in the US and/or UK.

I do respect that the devs need to draw the line, and that they do 
face real threats. But I would suggest that they do themselves no 
favours by the stance they take - which does come across as "don't 
discuss it unless it's something we like doing". Perhaps better 
guidance of what is/isn't allowed would help - the current guidance 
as written down simply is NOT what happens in practice.

I'm not trying to stir things, really I'm not, but there is a serious 
attitude and credibility issue that's surfaced yet again.

Simon Hobson

Visit http://www.magpiesnestpublishing.co.uk/ for books by acclaimed
author Gladys Hobson. Novels - poetry - short stories - ideal as
Christmas stocking fillers. Some available as e-books.

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