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Supreme Court decsion may effect Tivo?

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

  1. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Not sure I'm comfortable with "buy" justice -- it's not quite that overt. But otherwise you are correct. There is only one practical difference between Tivo streaming and Aereo, which is that Aereo is a single entity that can be forced to pay fees while it would be impractical to identify all the instances of TiVo streaming and force those people to pay fees. Well I guess they could collect a fee from TiVo for every OTA box sold.

    Anyway it's all ridiculous and congress should fix the law so SCOTUS doesn't even get involved. A key issue to avoid retransmission fees is that the video content is unaltered, e.g., commercials are passed through as is. Some tricky provisions to prevent Aereo-like approaches from being used to circumvent local blackouts would also be needed.
     
  2. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    He He :D Ah the power of a good analogy! BTW I prefer the Whopper over the Big Mac. And in spite of your creative analogy, you are wrong about TWC being a monopoly, or even a local monopoly -- although I'm in the same boat and sympathize with you. Quick quiz: which is the most hated company in the USA, TWC or ComCast?
     
  3. eboydog

    eboydog Just TiVo'ing.....

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    Perhaps that is why Tivo doesn't sell a monthly or lifetime fee for the Stream because if they did it provides the same and better service that Aereo sells and that may have been a legal choice not a marketing choice for fear of potential legal issues.

    But with that said, the Stream box doesn't do anything without the subscription on the host Tivo dvr so in affect TiVo's does in a latent manner "sells" the same service that Aereo provides. If you use it or not, is your choice and why there hasn't been more legal questions brought up is because the majority of Tivo users subscribe to cable so the cable companies and the major roadblocks put in TiVo's path comes from Cable Labs who is controlled by the major media movie distributors.

    I will bet you anything that legal eagles at Tivo and Slingbox are nervious right now.
     
  4. lessd

    lessd Active Member

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  5. JosephB

    JosephB Member

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    The difference between Slingbox and Aereo is that with a Slingbox, YOU are the one doing the retransmitting. In Aereo's case, THEY are doing the retransmitting.

    I don't think there is a big worry for Sling or TiVo.
     
  6. astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    You can say this a million times and it STILL doesn't make it fact. It doesn't mean diddly-squat. It's not clear, courts have ruled both ways, and the SCOTUS will make the final ruling. And unless Congress decides to pass new laws relating to this, the SCOTUS decision will stand for a significant period of time.

    You see, in this country, we let the courts interpret the law. We don't let people like Bigg decide, in their emphatic and declamatory manner, that their interpretation of the law IS the law. We reserve that right for the courts.

    I need to unsubscribe. I enjoy a spirited debate, with give & take. I can't stomach despots.
     
  7. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Which should naturally lead to a bifurcated discussion.

    It seems unlikely that the SCOTUS would do that. They are often very meticulous about not carelessly bleeding over the edge of the issue brought before them.

    Your question's answer is implicit in the error in your premise, as another posted mentioned with regard to Slingbox vs. Aereo:
    You don't pay TiVo to stream OTA. You pay TiVo for an electronic device, software updates for that device, and program guide data for that device. You do not pay them for streaming OTA. That is precisely what Aereo's subscribers pay Aereo for.

    False.

    Self-serving claptrap.

    Political bloviation (especially inane given most of the SCOTUS was appointed by Republican POTUSs).

    More evasion of reality: You don't like the law as it pertains to retransmission, so you refuse to allow yourself to understand what the law is. Ridiculous.

    False analogy. The precedents make clear that (in your scenario) satellite is a yet another burger.

    Precisely.
     
  8. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    I personally believe that what Aereo is doing is a "retransmission" based upon how that term has been adjudicated in the past (Dish Network setting up antennas to capture local channels is retransmission, Slingbox is not retransmission).

    "Retransmission" will never be legally defined, any more than "pornography" or "fair" or "anti-competitive" can be defined. These are terms that require interpretation and that is why we have a federal court system: to interpret the law.

    In this particular case, I believe the Court has no choice but to rule against Aereo. To allow Aereo's model to survive would totally up end broadcasting in this country. If the law was compellingly in support of Aereo it would be different, but Aereo has gone right up to the line, and I think everyone would agree on that, no matter which side of the line you believe they stand upon. So the court is going to be forced to decide the issue on technicalities. If they rule against Aereo, they may destroy the business of a relatively small startup. If they rule for Aereo they may destroy broadcast television as we know it. If you were on the court, presented with that choice, which would you choose?
     
  9. JosephB

    JosephB Member

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    I really hope our courts don't operate based on what it does to established business models and instead rule based on what the law says.
     
  10. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    Federal law prevents the granting of exclusive franchises for cable (specifically in the '92 Cable Act). Of course the local munis can make life hard for a new player, but they can't prohibit a new franchise. U-Verse and Google Fiber are prime examples of how the game *could* change given enough investment, but they usually just cherry-pick certain areas.
     
  11. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Thanks for reminding me. It was the Cable Act of 1992 that did such a good job of establishing the parameters of monopoly versus competition, people were having trouble understanding earlier in the thread:

    First, the Act makes clear that competition is measured per "franchise area", not per individual home. So many people are unable to understand how whether a company is or is not a monopoly has nothing to do with whether they personally have other choices that they personally deem acceptable, but rather has to do with what actual options there are within a municipality (or within the entire state, in some cases).

    Second, the Act makes clear that not only does competition have to do with what alternative services are available within the municipality, but it goes further, specifying that the availability of an alternative to 50% of the homes there is sufficient for the alternative to be considered competition.

    Third, the Act makes clear that competitors aren't only other cable companies, but rather any "unaffiliated multi-channel video programming distributor". The minute that the satellite services started providing local channels, they satisfied this requirement. And all that is required is that 15% of homes in the municipality patronize one or another of the available alternatives.
     
  12. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Yes! I think I just saw a veiled argument for government picking winners. Note that Google, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Tesla and SpaceX were once "relatively small startups" ! I for one am thankful they weren't squashed to protect a huge important existing business. If broadcast television really depends on retransmission fees for its survival (which I doubt), that is unfortunate. But treating them like a sacred cow is not justified.
     
  13. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Unfortunately, the Court must also be guided by the intent of Congress. It is quite clear that Congress does extend a "favored industry" status to broadcast television. This is to a large degree based upon the view of broadcast television as a unifying and informative service that serves the public interest simply by its existence (many may argue this point of view is outmoded, but it still exists).

    As recently as 2010 they passed the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (currently in the House for reauthorization) which imposed the "carry one, carry all" requirement on satellite operators (in order to carry ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX they must also carry EVERY channel that asks and can deliver a signal to the POP - and pay for the privledge).

    Local OTA broadcasting is a "sacred cow" and there is no indication that it will change anytime soon.
     
  14. JosephB

    JosephB Member

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    Franchises USED to be exclusive, but of course are not any more. The reason that cable companies are effectively monopolies is that the capital costs to overbuild are immense.

    There's a lot of talk about "competition" that happens, but the only real way that competition will ever happen is government subsidizing new entrants or the government forcing incumbents to allow competitive ISPs on their lines like they did with the Bells back in the late 90s early 00s with CO-based DSL. I'm actually kind of surprised that isn't being mentioned at all by anyone with regards to the Comcast/TWC transaction actually.
     
  15. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    I don't like the message but kudos for your generally factual and objective posts. Please try to keep that to a minimum -- you're spoiling our fun!
     
  16. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    In my TWC region, Earthlink is an ISP using TWC lines. Does that qualify as allowing competitive ISP's on their lines?
     
  17. JosephB

    JosephB Member

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    Yeah, that's along the lines of what I'm talking about. I suppose it's probably the same in TWC areas, but Earthlink in Bright House areas don't have the same package availability as Bright House. For such a model to work, the ISPs should have equal access to the lines as the incumbent MSO that owns the coax. Basically, the ISPs should be separate from the physical infrastructure side of the company (which was also the model applied to the Bells on CO-based DSL)
     
  18. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    A structure that is generally being abandoned wherever it exists, as fast as the incumbents can make it happen, because it is incompatible with the requirements investors place on for-profit businesses. If that kind of structure is important to the public, then the public will have to pay to build and maintain it itself. This environment won't allow for such substantial unfunded mandates to be imposed on businesses that have to answer to shareholders.
     
  19. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    But that hasn't happened in the case of POTS, correct? I mean, the public doesn't pay for the POTS lines that are shared by 2 or more companies, do they? Why would it have to happen for Internet service?
     
  20. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    It is indeed happening, as I said, as fast as the incumbents can make it happen: The incumbent here is presenting it's IP phone services as a loss leader, crafting practically all its package deals around it, and using conversion to IP phone service as a reason to rip the copper out entirely.

    The difference, of course, is that POTS started out as a regulated monopoly (I know - I was there at a the time :)), and so what we see is the slow effect of deregulation still in motion a generation after. It may take another generation before the regulated service effectively goes away. The final chapter is just starting:

    http://www.northjersey.com/news/at-digital-only-phone-service-in-2-areas-1.735979

    By comparison, ISPs never allowed themselves to become encumbered by the expectations that were placed on ILECs.
     

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