[mythtv-users] Best way to integrate a Netflix feed into Myth ?

Raymond Wagner raymond at wagnerrp.com
Tue Aug 23 19:30:15 UTC 2011

On 8/23/2011 14:27, Brian J. Murrell wrote:
> On 11-08-23 01:55 PM, Devin Heitmueller wrote:
>> I would suggest not speaking to legal issues, in particular when you
>> appear to be poorly informed.  Format shifting has been shown numerous
>> times to not be applicable to DVDs due to the DMCA rules related to
>> DRM (which don't apply to CDs since there was no DRM involved).
> I'm glad you brought this up.  It seems that every time somebody wants
> to discuss something like CAMs and whatnot (even when just to access
> something they are already paying for) they are very quickly quashed due
> to the legal issues around it but nobody seems to jump on anyone for
> discussions of DVD ripping, which, given the DMCA implications appears
> to be just as illegal.

There are two issues in play here.  First, DVDs are something that you 
have purchased and own.  There are clauses in the DMCA for unauthorized 
decryption on the part of the owner for the purposes of compatibility.  
This puts DVD ripping on the part of the consumer in a bit of a gray 
area between seemingly conflicting clauses.  It remains gray as it is 
yet untested in court, and it will likely remain untested for fear of 
losing the case and overturning protection of the DMCA.  Distributing 
software to perform such decryption has been tested, and ruled unlawful 
(see RealNetworks vs. DVD CCA), which is why MythTV does not offer 
decryption.  It will hook into libraries if provided by the system, but 
that is walking a fine line.

On the opposite side, stuff like Netflix and encrypted satellite/cable 
are services.  The user owns nothing.  Accessing your service's network 
through a method outside those stipulated in your services contract is a 
breach of contract.  Since you are merely buying a service, your rights 
only go so far as explicitly stated in that contract, and MythTV will 
not assist in measures that only exist to violate the contract.  Now you 
may exist in a country where your television provider specifically 
allows the use of softcams, but you happen to be the rarity in the case 
that loses out.

The second issue, is one of intent.  The vast majority of people ripping 
DVDs are doing so against their own legally purchased media library.  
Sure, there are users who rent content from Blockbuster or Netflix or 
Redbox and illegally duplicate it, but they are rare.  Surely no one 
could be so ignorant as to think that is actually legal, and since 
they're fine with illegal copyright violations, they are far more likely 
to just take the easy route and download it.

Meanwhile, the vast majority of people using softcams are doing so to 
illegally access satellite networks.  People actually wanting to use 
them to access services they are paying for are far and few between.  
It's the same issue as bittorrent.  There is nothing bad about the 
technology itself, and it can be used for good reasons, but there is no 
sense supporting something for that small percent of users who are going 
to use it legally.

Call it a double standard if you want, but the fact is that is the 
stance we have decided to take as a project.  We will go thus far in 
enabling legitimate fair use and no further.  We simply ask that you 
respect the decisions of this project, and take discussion of the 
contrary to other forums.

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