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Supreme Court decsion may effect Tivo?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by eboydog, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. Apr 25, 2014 #81 of 323

    Bigg Active Member

    Oct 30, 2003
    So the network can't force the station owners to bundle with them in order to be part of the network? Although I guess at that point, the O&O stations would force bundle, and stations in smaller markets could do whatever they wanted...

    Ok, fair enough. But you get my point... A TiVo that's not tuning from an RF signal of some sort makes no sense.
  2. Apr 25, 2014 #82 of 323
  3. Apr 25, 2014 #83 of 323

    eboydog Just TiVo'ing.....

    Mar 23, 2006
    It was curious to read the zat's not funny article comments about the judges owning a roku and such with not knowing if such is based on fact or not but it makes up a more interesting speculation. I would be more concerned about the judges truly understanding the true nature this emerging technology when the opposition is financed by corporate attorneys who are highly skilled in the art of BS.

    I predict that Aero is going to lose this fight due as not as much the fact they are retransmitting the OTA signal without compensating the network providing it but more on the pretense the subscriber doesn't OWN the antenna/receiver/encoding system and rather are renting the service. My cable company is required to pay for the ability to send me the the OTA signal to me, the only thing I own is the some of the hardware once the cable enters my home, while it's not described this way but I by all means I rent the virtual assigned system the cable company uses to get the OTA RF signal from their antenna, receiver, encoder systems and so on until it gets to my house.

    Their mistake perhaps and possible downfall will be they should have created a transfer of ownership were the subscriber owns the assigned virtual reciever system capable of receiving the OTA signals and not a rental agreement. Without the consumer legally owning the system, small as it might be this is nothing more than a retransmission system. Now this would have made a better argument, for example let's say the consumer buys the assigned collective virtual receiver system for $20 then the company would charge a "caretaking" $12.99 monthly fee to watch over, protect and repair the subscriber's property when the legal subscriber "owner" is unable to be there in person to do it themselves (or what ever you want to call Aereo's function to receive their monthly fee) . Should the "owner" decide they no longer wish to own the Internet OTA reciever, they sell it back to the caretaker (Aereo) were they advertise it to sell it to a new prospective owner and the process is repeated. That would seem to me a much better defence against the companies that are up in arms against Aereo.

    Yes, OTA signals should be allowed to be delivered in the way Aereo does but in this world of corporate giants and special interest lobbyists, they are facing a lopsided battle that isn't in their favor. Now personally I can't imagine spending $12 a month just to receive OTA TV, but of course others feel I'm an idiot paying monthly fees to TiVo just so I can watch TV on my terms, granted they are simply offering a true cloud based dvr service but they are also acting in the same manner as a cable company and most likely will be required to have payed contracts to retransmit the network OTA signals.
  4. Apr 25, 2014 #84 of 323

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    Jul 6, 2006
    I just heard the oral arguments on C-SPAN. I thought the Aereo attorney did an excellent job and if the case were to be decided purely on reason and fairness, Aereo would win. But it will be decided on interpretation of stupid laws passed by Congress so I'm afraid Aereo is screwed.

    What Aereo does is identical in effect to having additional people buy antennas and DVR's and view/record OTA signals, which is perfectly legal. Why having additional OTA viewers should be subject to royalties is a mystery to me. I would think the broadcasters would welcome that.
  5. Apr 25, 2014 #85 of 323

    dianebrat drastically off narrative TCF Club

    Jul 6, 2002
    How? how on earth is them running a service of a farm of antennas and providing a DVR and bandwidth for your app without you ever actually receiving the signal in your home "the same"? that's the part of the logic from your side of the fence that I just don't understand, you the consumer never have the actual signal in your "possession" Aereo has total control of the signal, and that's why my opinion is that they don't have a chance in winning.
  6. Apr 26, 2014 #86 of 323

    aadam101 Tell me a joke

    Jul 14, 2002
    I agree that Aereo is likely scalable. The reason it will fail as a business is because if this is found to be legal, cable companies will offer a competing service and crush them.
  7. Apr 26, 2014 #87 of 323

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    Jul 6, 2006
    The key words you are ignoring in my statement are "in effect". The functionality, including control of the signal (i.e., what is tuned, what is viewed and what is recorded), is identical to having an antenna and DVR in your home.

    There is no way the broadcaster could even detect a difference. The problem is the stupid existing law set the precedent for retransmission fees by Cable and SATV, which was wrong to begin with. But the SCOTUS has to be consistent with existing law if at all possible. That is what may doom Aereo.

    The fees Aereo charges are just for setting up and maintaining your antenna and cloud DVR, **not** for the video content. The video content is already available for free so why would a consumer pay for it? No, they pay for the convenience of not having to have their own antenna and DVR. Some customers also benefit because they cannot locate an antenna where it would get good reception, e.g., amongst tall city buildings.
  8. Apr 26, 2014 #88 of 323

    telemark New Member

    Nov 12, 2013
    I don't think the cable companies are interested in the low end of the market. $8/month. I haven't seen a cable offering remotely close to that.

    For the camp that says it's completely unfair, there are lots of exemptions in the law that are close to analogous if not actually analogous:

    Idk if the transcript is correct, but the copy I saw had a reference to iDrop and Roku's license which kinda makes me wonder how many out of nine are missing something about this.
  9. Apr 26, 2014 #89 of 323

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    Jul 6, 2006
    You have more confidence in the business acumen of cable companies than I do. I wonder if they actually could compete for $8/mo. There's an interview with the founder of Aereo in the C-SPAN archives and he responds to this issue. IIRC his attitude was something like "let the cookie crumble". He strikes me as someone who could run circles around the fossilized MSO's. If not with Aereo then with some other innovative venture.
  10. Apr 26, 2014 #90 of 323

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    Apr 17, 2000
    Cable companies wouldn't use this technology to compete for $12/mo, they would use it to save the millions they pay in retransmission fees.

    This while business is f*cked up. They give the content away for free, transmit clear over the air, but they expect that people pay extra for any method of receiving it other then their opinion of approved technology.

    If their content is so f*cking valuable then they should move to cable and start charging for it. But instead they want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to use OUR airwaves for free, to make millions (billions?) on advertising, but if anyone tries to make a dollar making it easier for people to access that content they want a chunk of that as well. It's corporate greed at it's finest. :thumbsdown:
  11. Apr 26, 2014 #91 of 323

    telemark New Member

    Nov 12, 2013
    A lot of people have mentioned this, but didn't the cable association side against Aereo? In any case, it should be easy for the court if they wanted to, to say Aereo is not a cable company so doesn't have to pay transmissions fees, but cable companies and satellite companies still have to.

    Edit: I guess I got it wrong. Cablevision sided against Aereo but American Cable Association sided for Aereo.

    Otherwise, I totally agree. It would be nice to have 1 transmission media which is consumer friendly instead of constant encroachment, and I vote for it being OTA since cable is already not.

    Did you all know that some OTA carriers carry subscription video channels?
  12. Apr 26, 2014 #92 of 323

    HarperVision TiVo's Italian Cuz!

    May 14, 2007
    :up: x 1,000!
    (and I used to work for an NBC affiliate)
  13. Apr 26, 2014 #93 of 323

    bicker bUU

    Nov 9, 2003
    Every dollar spent must compete with every other way that dollar could be invested. I believe that will eventually prompt broadcasters to continue down the path toward monetizing OTA more and more. If retransmission fees don't work, then we can expect to see more commercial time per hour, more commercial overlays, etc. The problem is that if OTA channels start doing something, the cable channels will do it as well. I'd rather have everyone pay retransmission fees than prompt broadcasters to pursue these other ways to make more money.
  14. Apr 26, 2014 #94 of 323
    Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Aug 21, 2002
    New York...
    Well, in this case, "gimmick" means an invasion of copyright protection, and "innovative" means exempt from copyright protections. This not meant to be pejorative or commending, it is just the way the Justices were talking.

    That's what the case will decide. Since there is no official legal definition, the courts need to evaluate each case and decide whether it does or does not qualify as retransmission. Just like there is no official definition of "reasonable" and a huge number of civil and criminal cases turn on whether what the defendant did was reasonable.

    I don't think that is true. I haven't heard either side claim the use of the public airwaves is a determining factor, other than as a technical issue (i.e. "The signals are freely available for reception"). The broadcasters don't get to use the airwaves for free, as some have suggested. They pay license fees to the government, and spend not insignificant sums on preparing license renewal documentation, which is both technical and legal, and must produce public affairs programming to retain their licenses (this is the "public interest" requirement).

    This case turns on one issue: "Is Aereo a retransmitter?" If they are, they have to pay.
  15. Apr 26, 2014 #95 of 323
    Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Aug 21, 2002
    New York...
    I live about 15 miles from the NYC transmitters, which for a few more months are atop the Empire State Building, at 34th street and 5th Avenue. I have clear line of sight as well. However, I need a large directional antenna to get a clear signal because of reflections from the Palisades (granite cliffs about a mile away). The Queensboro bridge has the same effect in Long Island City as the Palisades do here.

    Of course, in a few months NYC TV broadcasts will move several miles south to the new World Trade Center tower. That will vastly complicate the multipath issues.

    This is one reason the Aereo solution is attractive...if I want OTA broadcasts I could just put up an antenna. But the difficulty of getting a good signal in a city like NY makes it not worth the effort. It is far easier to just subscribe to cable. Aereo just offers a cheaper option, and one that is viable for residents of the few building in New York that aren't wired for cable.
  16. Apr 26, 2014 #96 of 323

    bicker bUU

    Nov 9, 2003
    And I believe that should come down to whether or not they change the format of the transmission anywhere along the line. Which, of course, they do.
  17. Apr 26, 2014 #97 of 323

    lessd Active Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    You make a good point but Aereo than becomes just another cable co to you and your reception would now be from a RJ45 jack not coax cable and Aereo should pay for the programing, just like any cable co now has to, if they did there would be no court case.
  18. Apr 26, 2014 #98 of 323

    unitron Active Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Here's something interesting written last September by a couple of lawyers.

    "Retransmission consent is but one strand of the complex web of carriage regulations that Congress either brought into being or left in place when it adopted the 1992 Cable Act. For example, even as it created a new retransmission consent “right” for broadcasters in 1992, Congress preserved the compulsory licensing regime established in the 1976 Copyright Act,7 under which content owners receive a statutory fee from cable operators in connection with the cable retransmission of broadcast signals. Indeed, Congress made clear that broadcasters' new retransmission consent right was entirely distinct from copyright, and was meant to promote the availability of local broadcast signals.8 The 1992 Cable Act also introduced the requirement that all broadcast signals be carried on the basic, most widely distributed tier of cable service (in areas where the cable system does not face effective competition), and the requirement that cable subscribers purchase the basic tier as a condition of accessing other services.9 And Congress declined to alter the FCC's territorial exclusivity rules, which allow a local station providing network or syndicated programming to prevent the local cable system from carrying that programming as broadcast by an out-of-market station.10"

    The full article (where all those numbers at the end of sentences are clickable) is here:

  19. Apr 26, 2014 #99 of 323

    astrohip Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Jan 6, 2003
    Houston &...
    I believe the reason the SCOTUS will strike down Aereo is those fees. There is no firewall (for lack of a better word) between the money they presumably charge for the equipment, and the money they say they don't charge for the content.

    So bottom line, they collect fungible money for content, and current law prohibits that. Unless agreed upon thru retransmission contract. Which Aereo doesn't have.

    I can't see any scenario where Aereo comes out ahead in this case.
  20. JosephB

    JosephB Member

    Nov 19, 2010
    Birmingham, AL
    This, more than anything, needs to be changed.

    I honestly don't care about local channels, retransmission consent, or anything else. Cable companies are breaking out the costs for local broadcast channels, but we as customers cannot opt out. If cable companies could offer service WITHOUT local channels, you'd probably see a lot of folks opt out.

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