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Campaign for TW to get rid of CCI Byte issue

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by m_jonis, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. Oct 6, 2009 #1 of 323
    m_jonis

    m_jonis Member

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    I'm hoping that if enough of us complain to Time Warner Cable about their stupid use of the CCI Byte (setting it to 0x02 for practically all channels except for local broadcast, PPV, HBO/SHOW, etc.)

    Step #1:

    Using this link from the Consumerist (http://consumerist.com/5076294/reach-time-warner-cable-executive-customer-service), I found an email address for Time Warner. Send an email to:
    TWC.COTP@twcable.com

    Arguments I used:

    a) I can copy freely the analog channels (in my case channels 2-78) on my Tivo Series 2, but if I have a Cable Card, TW has decided I can no longer do that.

    b) TW setting of CCI byte 0x02 for all channels (again, non broadcast local, PPV, etc.) is a violation of the Cable in the Classroom (CiC) guidelines

    c) other cable companies such as Comcast, and Verizon FIOS TV do not set the CCI byte for the same set of channels.

    Step #2:
    Contact CiC and let them know that TW Cable is not allowing for fair use and restricting the ability to transfer the same content.

    Use this URL:

    http://www.ciconline.org/contactcic

    Step #3:
    Contact Tivo and ask them to also intervene and contact your local cable provider. Although I was informed that TW policy is a Corporate policy set for ALL Time Warner offices.

    Step #4:
    (IMO, this one is fairly useless), file a complaint with the FCC. In my case all I got was an email with a 2 page PDF that explained how a cable card is inserted into a TV and sits between the Cable provider and the TV.

    Hopefully if we all start complaining and emailing they may actually do something. (it never hurts, right)?
     
  2. Oct 6, 2009 #2 of 323
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Like you say, it can't hurt!

    Can you elaborate on the cable in the classroom issue? I'd hate to be caught complaining about something about which I know nothing!

    Also, expand on the "not allowing fair use" issue, please.

    Also, to others who participate in this:

    Don't just copy what the OP said in your complaint. Put it in your own words -- at least that's what I think would be best. Who knows, maybe all they do is count them (?). I guess again the logic is: it can't hurt.
     
  3. Oct 7, 2009 #3 of 323
    Andyistic

    Andyistic Video acquisition

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    This should be a sticky until TW complies with our wishes. :D
     
  4. Oct 7, 2009 #4 of 323
    JWThiers

    JWThiers Smartypants

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    "Cable in the Classroom " is a program that was developed by the national education foundation of the US cable industry ironically. What they do is certain shows of educational value are periodically transmitted with no commercials so that an educator can record them and use them for course content in the classroom.
     
  5. Oct 7, 2009 #5 of 323
    ah30k

    ah30k Active Member

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    Fair-use is difficult because it is really only a defense against claims against you rather than a 'right' for you. You can't make someone grant you copy access but you can defend yourself.

    Not saying there aren't other legal or license issues in play here that you can use.
     
  6. Oct 7, 2009 #6 of 323
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    ah30k is correct. Fair Use is not applicable. It doesn't grant anyone the right to anything. It simply allows reuse of copyrighted material for scholarly review or commentary. Even a PhD writing a sociological paper on something cannot use Fair Use to gain access to anything; it only lets them use what they already have access to.

    The solution to this is strictly commercial: Folks need to demonstrate to the company that making this change will be more profitable than not making this change. There surely aren't enough TiVo owners who are TWC customers to be a convincing number to convince anyone of anything. This really needs to be a much larger and broader effort, or it will just be a waste of time and energy. You need to make contact with literally millions of TWC customers, and get them to care about this issue enough (that "enough" part is essential) to have thousands of them take action in response, such as canceling service or reducing service to basic. That will register as a significant event, in TWC's book, and will motivate them to consider your concerns seriously.

    Best of luck.
     
  7. Oct 7, 2009 #7 of 323
    bhoch99

    bhoch99 Member

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    I did Step 3 in September 2008. I emailed TivoStephen, who claimed that they would "bring it up with Time Warner and request they change it." I haven't heard anything since. I made the point to TivoStephen that I would gladly buy a second Tivo box for my home if I could have the ability to use MRV, so theoretically, there is economic incentive for Tivo to do this.

    In addition to making the "Cable in the Classroom" argument against TWC, a case can also be made for Public Access. I produce a daily public access program that also has the CCI byte set incorrectly. As the producer of the program, I should have the right to set that byte as I choose, but Time Warner doesn't give producers the option.
     
  8. Oct 7, 2009 #8 of 323
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    You tell us our idea is next to hopeless than wish us "Best of luck" ! :D:D

    Unfortunately, I believe your statements are correct.

    However the effort required is minimal and again: what can it hurt?

    I'm not comfortable referencing the CiC issue in my complaints, however. How CCI impacts this is still not clear to me.

    And the Fair Use idea seems a non-starter to me.
     
  9. Oct 7, 2009 #9 of 323
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Dear Time Warner,

    This email is to complain about your setting the CCI byte to 0x02 (copy one generation) on all your digital cable channels except local broadcasts.

    I am a digital cable subscriber in Time Warner Southwest Ohio and I am also a TiVo user. This copy protection disables TiVo's "Multi-Room Viewing" (MRV) feature, by which recorded programs may be transferred from one TiVo to another across a local home network. This feature is of great utility and importance to many TiVo users. Since it only works across a local network and with another TiVo, it cannot be used to widely distribute copies of recorded programs.

    Your protection of all these channels not only disables the TiVo MRV functionality but is inconsistent and arbitrary as follows:

    1. Other major cable delivery services (e.g., Verizon FIOS and Comcast) do not protect these same channels.

    2. These same channels are not protected in their analog versions even on your systems.

    It is my understanding that, although you are legally allowed to apply this protection, it is not legally required unless the content copyright holder specifically requests it. Given that other digital cable providers are not protecting this same content, it follows that such protection apparently is not being requested.

    I hope you will give this complaint serious consideration and look forward to your reply.

    Thank you,

    <signature block>
     
  10. Oct 7, 2009 #10 of 323
    lew

    lew Active Member

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    Posters need to complain to tivo. Some cable DVRs will stream programs to regular STB. Tivo may need to either implement a streaming or a "move" solution for shows have the CCI byte set to 0x01 or 0x02.

    Alternately tivo could lobby for a change to the CCI rules. Require the cable provider flag all shows as 0x00 unless directed to do differently by the content owner. I don't think tivo has much of a shot but they could try. Remember a number of the extended basic channels are owned, at least in part, by one or more cable providers. This solution may not be worth that much.

    I think tivo has a better (but still small shot) of either getting the CCI rules changed then customers have of convincing TW to change their policy. Tivo also has the ability to come up with a MRV solution that complies with CCI rules.
     
  11. Oct 7, 2009 #11 of 323
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    So here is the initial response:
    Very nice and diplomatic. We will see where it leads. Any discussions with a TWC "local employee" may be complicated by the fact that I only have one TiVo (thus MRV isn't really an issue to me -- rather TTG is what I really care about). I didn't lie about this in my email and I don't intend to lie about it, although I won't volunteer the info unless necessary.

    The thought occurs to me it would be good to get another complaint email in to them from someone in the Southwest Ohio area who does use MRV. Then we can try to direct the first contact with the "local employee" to them.
     
  12. Oct 7, 2009 #12 of 323
    CuriousMark

    CuriousMark Forum Denizen

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    What about things like cspan. Wouldn't the government also want their content to not be blocked in this manner? If that is so, and I don't know if it is, then complaints to cspan and to congress directly might also make some sense. I would think the local congress critter would want teachers to be able to burn a DVD of an interesting debate or congressional hearing to take into the classroom if they so desired. In TWC areas, this is now not possible.
     
  13. Oct 7, 2009 #13 of 323
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Strangely, CSPAN-1 and -3 are copy protected on my system but not CSPAN-2. :confused:

    This suits me fine since CSPAN-2 has by far the most stuff that is interesting to me. I've been reluctant to raise the issue of -1 and -3 since I suspect the lack of copy protection on -2 is an accident, and if I rock the boat it might result in all 3 being protected!

    I don't know what the legal aspects are, actually.
     
  14. Oct 7, 2009 #14 of 323
    JWThiers

    JWThiers Smartypants

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    CiC is impacted by CCI this way. Say discovery Channel is airing a 1 hour program on lets say "The Pyramids". If the CCI flag was set to allow MRV The a high school could have a THD and a video server (for long term storage) set up in the AV room to record these programs without commercials (remember it for CiC so no commercials) and the program would be about 45 minutes long (good for a single class hour) The afternoon before the Pyramid class comes up in World History, the teacher could check out a THD from the AV dept and set it up in the classroom and MRV to that machine for use the next day.

    Because the CCI flag is set to not allow copies this cannot be done. The simplest and easiest thing they can do now is use a VHS VCR and record it on that and keep the tape. I suppose they could then use a video capture program to record it on a computer in a Tivo friendly format and then store it on a video server, but that adds to the complexities and decrease the resolution. Also keep in mind that most of the CiC programing is aired in the middle of the night (when the ad pricing is lowest anyway) so you would need to have someone up changing tapes etc for the manual process... a DVR would be PERFECT tool for recording CiC.

    And remember CiC was instituted by the cable industry to enhance the education system of America by giving teachers and students access to high quality educational programing without commercials specifically so the shows could be recorded and used in the classroom. Its kind of ironic that the cable industry is making something easier and beneficial and at the same time making it less convenient.

    As far as the fair use idea... Fair use is a defense for a claim of infringement not something to force a change in how something is done. In other words, IF you find a way around the CCI flag and an infringement suit were filed, you could make a fair use claim that it was for educational purposes, and in this instance, it seems to me like you could probably prevail and not have to pay a fine. Fair use does not mean they have to make it easy for you to do something.
     
  15. Oct 7, 2009 #15 of 323
    lew

    lew Active Member

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    You'll have to claim TW current usage of the CCI byte is what's stopping you from purchasing a second tivo.

    I don't think you'll get much support if you mention TTG. I suspect content providers would prefer we buy DVDs of old shows rather then "archive" to DVD.

    I still think tivo is the company to direct your complaints. Tivo has more motivation to try to work with tivo customers then your cable company.
     
  16. Oct 7, 2009 #16 of 323
    lew

    lew Active Member

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    I must be out of touch. Do schools have multiple tivo's, video servers and the necessary wiring/wireless to do it?

    Asking Discovery channel for educational pricing for a DVD of the Pyramid show seems a lot easier. Using a DVD recorder to record the show directly to DVD also makes more sense.
     
  17. Oct 7, 2009 #17 of 323
    JWThiers

    JWThiers Smartypants

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    IIRC the ONLY channels that can't be CCI'd are the locals all others are fair game.
     
  18. Oct 7, 2009 #18 of 323
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Yeah, that was pretty much my reaction too. I can't get excited about pushing CiC as a basis for CCI complaints, although I certainly appreciate JWThiers's excellent discussion of it.
     
  19. Oct 7, 2009 #19 of 323
    JWThiers

    JWThiers Smartypants

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    Many grammar schools are now getting internet access into the class room so yes things are changing an Tivo could be a reasonable upgrade if content were made available.

    I used discovery as an example, they happen to also sell DVD's, I have seen some shows in the past that do NOT sell their shows in that way. And not ALL shows are available even on Discovery.

    Yes a DVD recorder would probably be as easy as a VCR but the school is more likely to have a VCR. Do you want to have someone sitting up between 2 and 6 am to swap dvd's or tapes every hour.
     
  20. Oct 7, 2009 #20 of 323
    JWThiers

    JWThiers Smartypants

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    You asked how CiC is affected by CCI, not if it was a real problem NOW. IF CCI were fixed to allow this multiple tivo's and video servers could be more common place.
     

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