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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwg21
The supreme court didn't seem to want to give up innovation to please the content providers, I don't completely agree with the ruling but it did seem to be sensitive to innovation.


The slingbox is new technology, it has the potential to be the next vcr, if somehow the content providers would find a way to outlaw this type of technology I have a feeling the shaky relationship between the consumer electronic industry and the content providers would fall apart.


Also the public is well aware of the capabilities now, it will be very hard to outlaw this stuff without making a lot of folks mad. Politicians go along with the content providers for two major reasons


1) the revenue they generate is a signifcant portion of gnp


2) its usually politically safe


if point 2 disappears they might not be so accomodating


My point is that while some have downplayed the potential to use this type of technology for piracy, the fact is that the owners and distributors are very aware of it and concerned over how it could be used improperly. Will they be able to outlaw it? I highly doubt it. While I'm no legal expert, my guess is that placeshifting content that you own or have paid to access is within the rights of consumers. Allowing someone else to view that content is possibly illegal and almost certainly a violation of your cable/sat contract.


It's that latter territory that they are concerned about. The only reason why I bring up the issue at all is to make sure people are informed. As you mention, this is new technology. Often, there is a disconnect where people forget how issues like copyrights and fair use come into play when embracing a new technology. I can guarantee that there are people who will see the Slingbox, use it to share their content improperly and truthfully claim they didn't know they weren't allowed to later. If they know up front, at least they can make a conscious decision about it.
 

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As long as the numbers are small, how is this different from having friends over to watch TV with you? How many friends does it take before it's illegal?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenW
As long as the numbers are small, how is this different from having friends over to watch TV with you? How many friends does it take before it's illegal?
So I guess you might say the same thing if you split the incoming cable signal at your house and only shared it with a few friends?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenW
Like someone renting a room?
No, like sending the signal over to your neighbor's house. Although, I do wonder what various content providers say about rental units, even if they are a just a room within your home.
 

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Quote:
How many friends does it take before it's illegal?
That is one of those things the courts evaluate on a case by case basis. They look at things like the number of people and how well you know them in determining whether it is a private or public performance. Those in some other recent threads who have set up movie screens in their yards and invited the entire neighborhood to watch have very likely crossed the line into an illegal public performance (unless they have obtained permission and paid the fees for it, of course).


There is a difference between someone watching with you in your home and you giving a copy of the show to them on tape/dvd or over the internet. Sharing a private performance in person is generally OK, but distribution is not.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimC
That is one of those things the courts evaluate on a case by case basis. They look at things like the number of people and how well you know them in determining whether it is a private or public performance. Those in some other recent threads who have set up movie screens in their yards and invited the entire neighborhood to watch have very likely crossed the line into an illegal public performance (unless they have obtained permission and paid the fees for it, of course).


There is a difference between someone watching with you in your home and you giving a copy of the show to them on tape/dvd or over the internet. Sharing a private performance in person is generally OK, but distribution is not.
Thanks for the insight Tim. As I said, I'm not a legal expert but my gut feeling is that internet sharing, even small in size, would very well be considered similar to having a public viewing. I'm not for restricting conumer rights, but there are so many ways that people can use this to avoid paying for content that it goes beyond fair use and more into taking advantage.
 

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there was a report on the other forum here about Pal working

PAL video works!!!


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"

I just fed PAL video through the Slingbox, and it works!! No conversion needed. I guess the only thing early adopters in Europe would need is a SCART to RCA adapter.


Now all I need is someone in the UK to hook me up with a Freeview DVR, and I'll hook them up with a DiSH Network DVR on this end.


Regards,

Dave. "
 

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There are three distinct but related legal issues worth looking at:


1. What uses of the Slingbox by the consumer constitute infringement?


2. When can Sling Media be held liable for infringement by consumers?


3. Will Sling be drawn into burdensome and expensive litigation, even if it isn't liable?


Regarding the first question, a consumer cannot infringe unless he or she makes unauthorized use of copyrighted material. Most home video and some TV programming is not protected by copyright. In some cases where material is copyrighted, the copyright holders have authorized the uses in question (Mr. Rogers authorized recording in the Sony case, for example). Even where copyrighted material is used in an unauthorized way, however, the use may not constitute infringement: it may be permitted under the "fair use" exception. As TimC states, fair use depends upon a case-by-case balancing of all the facts and circumstances. In determining fair use, the courts apply an "equitable rule of reason" based on a list of factors set forth in the copyright statute. Did the user derive commercial benefit? Was the work displayed publicly or privately? Did the use cause economic harm to the copyright holder? These questions are not easy, and I would not want to over-generalize about the Slingbox. I could argue, for example, that fair use includes hosting a "virtual party" to watch a ball game with a group of friends scattered around the country. By contrast, using a Slingbox located in my second home to sling the game into a broadcast blackout area might constitute infringement, even if I paid for the programming and watched it alone.


The second question relates to Sling's potential liability for "contributory" or "vicarious" infringement for producing and distributing a device which it knows might be used by others to infringe. The Court in Sony created a "safe harbor" for the sale of such devices: the seller may not be held liable on account of such activities provided the devices are "capable of commercially significant non-infringing uses." The recent Grokster case further clarified the Sony decision. The Court held there that the safe harbor of Sony does not shelter a company from liability for affirmatively and intentionally inducing others to infringe. The Court expressly did not change or limit the safe harbor of Sony, but merely corrected the way that case had been applied by the Ninth Circuit:


"Accordingly, just as Sony did not find intentional inducement despite the knowledge of the VCR manufacturer that its device could be used to infringe, mere knowledge of infringing potential or of actual infringing uses would not be enough here to subject a distributor to liability. . . .The inducement rule, instead, premises liability on purposeful, culpable expression and conduct . . . ."


Thus two issues must be resolved to determine whether Sling has the benefit of the Sony safe harbor: first, is the Slingbox capable of commercially significant non-infringing uses; second, has Sling Media affirmatively and intentionally induced its customers to infringe.


As to the non-infringing uses, I suspect that a substantial portion of Slingbox use will be for place-shifting within the home (the pool, the back deck, the garage -- just look at Sling's promotional materials). It would be very difficult to claim that this type of use infringes on anyone's copyright. And even most place-shifting outside of the home is unlikely to infringe. In this way, the Slingbox is quite different from Grokster, which is admittedly used overwhelmingly to infringe.


And as to Sling's intentionally inducing customers to infringe, this topic has been discussed at length above. It just does not appear to be an issue.


That brings us to the third issue: Will Sling be sued even if they are doing nothing wrong? On this question, I have to admit that rgbyhkr has a very good point. The entertainment industry is extremely aggressive and litigious. They see everything as a threat. They would love to cut back the Sony decision, and even if they cannot win legally, they can bury an opponent in legal costs, distractions, and uncertainty. For this reason, I do not blame Sling for its caution.


Of course, I'd still like to see the Slingbox capable of multiple connections.
 

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Discussion Starter #71
guys, it would be nice if legal theory and such discussions were posted in a different thread perhaps. I would like this thread to stay focused on feature requests so I can continue to monitor, quickly scan, and absorb your thoughts/suggestions...they are really valuable.

thanks much, Blake
 

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Will PAL tuner support require a new or different box than what is sold here now, or will it be a software upgrade to get the capability?
 

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PLEASE, can we get this software on the Mac!!!!!!


I would also LOVE to see a web based front end for the Slingbox so that I do not have to install software on remote computers to see my slingbox remotely.


Billy
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected]
PLEASE, can we get this software on the Mac!!!!!!


I would also LOVE to see a web based front end for the Slingbox so that I do not have to install software on remote computers to see my slingbox remotely.


Billy
I feel for you, We mac owners always feel left out..


I know the business reasons behind a pc first release but...


Blake, consider none of your competors have a mac solution yet..
 

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I came up with a way to handle two devices via the Slingbox remotely.

First, you need an AV switch box like a Sima model SVS-4. It will handle converting composite only devices to s-video so hook the two units you want to control into it and then plug the output of the AV Switch box into the Slingbox.


For my Test I used a ReplayTV and a DVDplayer - just to test the switching. One IR emitter for the Replay, one for the DVD.


What made it work is that the Sima switch has a feature to automatically switch to the port that goes active when it detects a signal. SO, when you switch the power on via your Slingbox, it will cause the switch to send the device you are controlling with the IR emitter to the Slingbox.


To toggle I just needed to log in with the Administrator password and change the selected device. I'm sure there are other switches that do this besides the Sima but I had a couple of them here and after seeing all of the posts about "only one input" I realized I'd solved that problem a long time ago on an old TV with the Sima switch.


It has 4 inputs so if I had a 4 headed IR emitter I could essentially toggle between 4 devices.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected]
PLEASE, can we get this software on the Mac!!!!!!


I would also LOVE to see a web based front end for the Slingbox so that I do not have to install software on remote computers to see my slingbox remotely.


Billy
I've asked 4 times now for an APPROXIMATION of when this will work for my Mac. All I want to know is if I would be better off returning my box right now since it doesn't work on my Mac.


Can one of you Slingbox company guys just please tell me about when the Mac client (even a beta one) will be availalbe? PLEASE? You've done so well at answering all these other questions, but all my posts have been ignored.


Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #78
hi krypttic,

all we have said is that we plan to have mac support in the coming months. i can't say anything more than that at this time.


now, what i really don't get is: why would you buy the slingbox if you knew it didn't support the Mac? or was it not clearly described to you (or perhaps someone misinformed you)? helpful to understand...


especially for small companies like us, seeing a customer return a product is a tough thing... both financially and emotionally.
 

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I want an expandable version of SlingBox. It would have USB ports so I can optionally add additional devices:


1. IR receiver. SlingBox becomes a universal remote (translator). Also for client use.

2. Bluetooth. My cell phone becomes my remote.

3. Wireless.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by blake_k
hi krypttic,

all we have said is that we plan to have mac support in the coming months. i can't say anything more than that at this time.


now, what i really don't get is: why would you buy the slingbox if you knew it didn't support the Mac? or was it not clearly described to you (or perhaps someone misinformed you)? helpful to understand...


especially for small companies like us, seeing a customer return a product is a tough thing... both financially and emotionally.
Well I for one think slingmedia is doing an excellent job. I suspect many people seeing the demo last year on different platforms had the false impression that other clients would be available almost immeadiately.

I dpn't think some people realize the tremendous effort to get a product out right, the QA involved alone for instance. A small company has different resources than a microsoft or apple.


On the other hand I have both apple and intel notebooks and desktops, so I don't have to wait..


I would be interested in any beta program you might be thinking of starting. I have a lot of qualifications buth as a developer and qa tester.

We will have our 3rd slingbox setup by the end of the month, which should fullfil my needs.


That brings up a funny story, not related to the slingbox but something some folks might get amusement out of. (otherwise just stop reading now)


Just how dependent our household has become on our network, its a bit scary actually.

Use to be that if we had a problem with the computer or network I would wait until we had money to handle it, after food, clothing and other expenses.


But when our cat literally smashed our router last year, I found I had to replace the 2oo dollar router quickly.


Well I've been building our network slowly over the years and really didn't reallize the dependency I was building into it.


Our answering system is a service from aol that ties into a wireless ibook we keep in our kitchen, so when the router went done we had no answering machine.



All the tv's in the house have somekind of dvr either tivo, replaytv or mortorola. The cable boxes have menus , but you need a seperate remote, I havn't seen those in a while they might be buried in the couch or chair somewhere. Well any way the dvr's get their guides from the dvd companies networks , via the router.


Plus the movies on those dvr's with their small harddrives get copied to several external 200 and 300 gb drives. Which we access via showcenter, photobridge , meda center etc. or via wireless notebook.


There is nothing more convient than being on your outside patio with a wireless notebook. The hole has always been live tv, we tried many solutions btv, sagetv but slingbox seems to be the one that works the best.


We briefly tried Orb, but I don''t like the fact that content filters through their network. My home network has both wireless antiintrusion software and sniffers running continuously we seem to be a little paranoid about security.


Now we have 3 cats, but they seem to have lost their fondness of the blinking lights on the router for now.
 
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