[mythtv-users] Cam emulators and myth?

Simon Hobson linux at thehobsons.co.uk
Wed Sep 22 11:58:44 UTC 2010

Brian J. Murrell wrote:

>  > Since there are effectively no penalties for making false takedown
>>  requests, it's a nice way for people to cripple sites they disapprove
>>  of.
>Not true.  A false take-down notice is perjury and a violation of the
>DMCA and subject to penalties.

But has a penalty actually ever been applied ? From various comments 
I've seen on a number of boards/lists, it would appear that takedown 
notices are abused, hosting companies/ISPs are taking down and asking 
questions later (to avoid the risk of penalties for being seen to be 
too slow to take down), and false notices never result in any 
penalties. I could be wrong, but I've never seen anything that 
contradicts it.

>  > Thus, discussion of using a CAM module (or equivalent) is off-limits
>>  because under the DMCA discussion of such is illegal - or at least is
>>  likely to be.
>I'm not sure what discussion exactly you are referring to, but how does
>the DMCA cover legitimate use?  TBH, I barely have a passing
>understanding of CAMs, but is *all* use of CAMs illegal?  Are they made
>exclusively to violate content protections or are there legitimate uses
>for them in conjunction with MythTV?

DMCA covers the discussion of any activity to bypass technical 
protection measures (TPMs) - but see below ...

>  > In most cases, the terms of use of the module/viewing
>>  card/whatever restricts the use to approved equipment
>To be sure, IANAL, but I don't think the DMCA can be used to enforce a

If you aren't authorised then bypassing a TPM is a criminal activity 
under DMCA. Therefore, if the ToS says you can't then it is illegal 
to do so - thus a purely civil contractual matter now becomes a 
matter of criminal law !

>  > But
>>  it doesn't have to actually be illegal - just the fact that it
>>  **could** be is enough for someone to get the servers shutdown with a
>>  DMCA takedown notice.
>Which of course is wrong and subject to a counter-notice and potential
>penalties, etc.

The practicality is that your list goes offline with no notice, the 
owner of the list then has to demonstrate that the takedown notice is 
false, and some time (days ? weeks ?) later your list gets 
re-instated. Those responsible for the list get all the hassles - 
both in dealing with the false takedown notice, and with 
puzzled/confused/angry? users wondering where the list went.
Get penalties/compensation imposed ? More hassles and an individual 
going up against corporations with deep pockets - and no guarantee of 
success or getting your costs back.

I can fully understand why those running the list would want to just 
stay well clear of that. And the topic has been debated to death 
before on this list.

Now straying even more off-topic ...

Yes, it's a bad law, and people need to stand up and bend the ears of 
those that are supposed to represent them. But the "creative 
industries" have deep pockets and well connected lobbyists. As usual 
- follow the money !
 From the point of view of those with a craving for power and control, 
such laws are wonderful. The grey areas are so broad that people tend 
to stay well away from even legal matters because they want to be 
reasonably certain of staying on the right side of the law. Draft 
your laws well and you can pass them on the need to deal with the 
extremes, but chill activities far beyond those the law was written 
to cover.

Our (thankfully now ex) Labour government was a master at that - 
there are so many areas of life that are now in the "it depends on 
how you interpret it" grey areas that no-one knows just where they 
stand. Not to mention that many of these restrictive laws were passed 
by parliament to deal with extremes, but extended by ministerial 
diktat to cover things that were never ever addresses in parliament 
other than to say they would never come under the law. And since we 
now have measures that effectively mean "when you are proved 
innocent, we'll still treat you as guilty in case you re-offend".

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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