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Old 10-04-2006, 01:41 PM   #1
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TiVo's Position on Broadcast Flag issues on S3 Units?

Out of all the issues surrounding the S3 this one has the greatest impact as it directly affects the usability of the box. As such it's in TiVo's best interest to resolve this issue with the broadcasters. Is TiVo looking into this? Are they doing anything about it? Lastly what's TiVo's position on these issues?

I hope it's not one where they throw up their hands and say talk to someone else. So what is it? What is the latest scoop on these issues TiVo? Pony, Jerry, Opsmgr?

Edit: For the new people joining the discussion this thread is about all forms of Broadcast Flag even if the technical term might be something different. Some broadcast flag like implementations are:

Broadcast Macrovision protection
The actual Broadcast Flag technology
Cable Card CCI flagging

In each case these devices are used in the broadcast stream to control how copies are handled by the TiVo and other compatible devices.
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Old 10-04-2006, 01:45 PM   #2
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they have no control, but to comply with CableLabs. Which SUCKS.
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Old 10-04-2006, 02:11 PM   #3
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Tivo should at least provide a mechanism to report and followup on cable companies that are not complying with the FCC mandate.

If they are able to get away with it, the cable companies will start inserting "copy never" flags randomly, just to get people to not trust third-party DVRs while theirs work fine.
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Old 10-04-2006, 02:14 PM   #4
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While another thread references this entire article, I thought putting this one excerpt in would be better.

Quote:
The FCC imposed some limits on DRM, but it is hard to determine the extent to which the service providers are abiding by those rules. For example, in its first review of the TiVo Series3 HD,38 CNET had trouble using the analog output to save content to a VCR or a DVD recorder. Was this a random technical glitch, or could it have been a purposeful use of selectable output control in violation of the FCC's ruling? The answer is not clear.

If you run into any problems like this, submit complaints to the FCC here:
http://svartifoss2.fcc.gov/cib/fcc475.cfm

In addition, remember that FCC rules say that basic tier cable must be provided in unencrypted form. While the FCC declined to clarify whether that regulation applies to digital cable, you should file a complaint if you face such restrictions using the URL above.

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Old 10-04-2006, 02:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbhuff
Tivo should at least provide a mechanism to report and followup on cable companies that are not complying with the FCC mandate.

If they are able to get away with it, the cable companies will start inserting "copy never" flags randomly, just to get people to not trust third-party DVRs while theirs work fine.
If their DVRs ignore the copy never flag can't we get the FCC to fine them?
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Old 10-04-2006, 02:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loubob57
If their DVRs ignore the copy never flag can't we get the FCC to fine them?
That's really a major problem. Who is going to report them so that they can no longer record shows? If something isn't done or some sort of resolution come about over, this HD recorders will be completely obsolete before they ever take off in the third party market.

The feeling I have right now is the same one I had when I found out that MRV and TTG weren't on the S3. I'd certainly like to know what TiVo's plan is on this, because it looks like the digital recorder market is gonna die in the tracks.
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Old 10-04-2006, 02:48 PM   #7
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You have to keep in mind that most people come to these forums to complain, so we tend to have an overly negative view on how things really are. The number of people actually experiencing this problem are probably small. And as I said in the Jericho thread I suspect the majority of them are caused by defective CableCARDs and not actually some evil plot by the cable companies. Just like the Macrovision DRM on the S2 units this problem will most likely only effect a very small percentage of S3 owners and if the users actually put in the time to complain to their cable companies they can probably get the issue resolved.

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Old 10-04-2006, 02:50 PM   #8
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come on Stormspace - you knopw full well this same issue came up on Series 2 when the new macrovison liscense was introduced and TTG and TiVoCast were put in the code. TiVo worked then to educate the broadcaster and all the cases turned out to be a re-broadcaster who did not know how to configure their equipment properly.

The same will happen here without having to make a mountain out of a molehill.
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Old 10-04-2006, 03:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeoTiVo
come on Stormspace - you knopw full well this same issue came up on Series 2 when the new macrovison liscense was introduced and TTG and TiVoCast were put in the code. TiVo worked then to educate the broadcaster and all the cases turned out to be a re-broadcaster who did not know how to configure their equipment properly.

The same will happen here without having to make a mountain out of a molehill.
I agree with both you and Dan. The problem this time is that it's not really clear if the cable companies have to comply by removing the flag. They may be completely within their rights to keep the flag on for whatever reason as long as it isn't affecting STB customers. If they are in their rights to have it on then what is the incentive to research it and turn it off? There are already reports of finger pointing, some at TiVo, some at the broadcaster, and others at the cable company. This is going to have to get resolved and until there is a clear precident people are going to keep pointing fingers and not do anything about it.

TiVo should take a stand against DRM now, before every show has a copy never flag on it. If they wait until then it may very well be too late. I'm not trying to be an alarmist here, really. I truly hope it's just a mistake, but this time it's not clear if it's also not legal.
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Old 10-04-2006, 03:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormspace
They may be completely within their rights to keep the flag on for whatever reason as long as it isn't affecting STB customers. If they are in their rights to have it on then what is the incentive to research it and turn it off?
Assuming they can legally do the flag, which I have no idea about right now, the flag/show would have to work the same on the cable company DVR or TiVo would have a pretty clear cause of unfair competitive practice. So the cable company would have to dump on their own customers as well and thus degrade DVRs use in general. I do not think cable companies would want to do that. now indeed, it will take people calling in and complaining and perhaps specific examples documented to the FCC but that can happen.

still think it is a molehill and not a mountain.
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Old 10-04-2006, 03:57 PM   #11
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Is this thread about the Broadcast Flag??

Umm...the original poster was asking about the Broadcast Flag...this has nothing to do with cable, or CableLabs certification. The Broadcast Flag is proposed legislation in Congress backed mostly by content owners (it hasn't passed yet). It would insert a flag into OTA (not cable) broadcasts, that would restrict how and if the content could be recorded. I believe the poster was asking what TiVo's position is wrt the proposed legislation, and whether TiVo is actively working to defeat it.

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Old 10-04-2006, 04:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeoTiVo
Assuming they can legally do the flag, which I have no idea about right now, the flag/show would have to work the same on the cable company DVR or TiVo would have a pretty clear cause of unfair competitive practice. So the cable company would have to dump on their own customers as well and thus degrade DVRs use in general. I do not think cable companies would want to do that. now indeed, it will take people calling in and complaining and perhaps specific examples documented to the FCC but that can happen.

still think it is a molehill and not a mountain.
The problem with DRM is that it's a contract negotiated between the AA's and the providers. Apple and other online music retailers each have their own DRM restrictions that they negotiated with the RIAA. What's to say that the cable providers who have better relationships with Hollywood don't have an agreement to provide things differently and TiVo has to negotiate their own rights to record?

DRM muddies the waters and as you can clearly see is a pet peeve of mine. Mountain or molehill DRM is bad news and people should know how it can effect them and these little mistakes demonstrate what it could be like if we let them.
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Old 10-04-2006, 06:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormspace
The problem with DRM is that it's a contract negotiated between the AA's and the providers. Apple and other online music retailers each have their own DRM restrictions that they negotiated with the RIAA. What's to say that the cable providers who have better relationships with Hollywood don't have an agreement to provide things differently and TiVo has to negotiate their own rights to record?
I think that still goes to anti competitive practices. IANAL but I can not see it flying that content owners can say only one company can record off the same exact signal. The whole idea of cable card was an attempt to open up for 3rd parties. So I still stand by sure the content owners, not bound by FCC restrictions, could say - no one can record this content but that would put them at jeopardy of people not opting to pay extra for that channel. I just do not see how they could limit it only to one company's DVR.
Quote:
DRM muddies the waters and as you can clearly see is a pet peeve of mine. Mountain or molehill DRM is bad news and people should know how it can effect them and these little mistakes demonstrate what it could be like if we let them.
no fan of DRM either but human nature clearly makes it needed. That said, of course consumers should fight back against overly restrictive things like can not record at all or only the cable company can record. and fight back they will.

I hear an army of hackers already at work on the S3
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Old 10-04-2006, 06:25 PM   #14
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The problems people are having is with macrovision detection -- this is not the 'broadcast flag' as the broadcast flag was knocked down by the courts already. The FCC tried to legislate something they shouldn't have.

Now the macrovision thing, tivo does that voluntarily as far as I know, and its really crappy when it doesn't work right because its screwing peoples programming left and right it sounds.
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Old 10-04-2006, 07:07 PM   #15
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Can you imagine if each production company applied their own copy-protection, requiring you to purchase a separate DVR for each one? The FCC's legislation helps you avoid that.
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Old 10-04-2006, 07:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dieman
The problems people are having is with macrovision detection -- this is not the 'broadcast flag' as the broadcast flag was knocked down by the courts already. The FCC tried to legislate something they shouldn't have.

Now the macrovision thing, tivo does that voluntarily as far as I know, and its really crappy when it doesn't work right because its screwing peoples programming left and right it sounds.
Actually in this case the problem people are having is with the CCI flags used in the CableCARD specification. TiVo is required to support CCI to be a CableCARD certified DVR.

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Old 10-10-2006, 07:55 AM   #17
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It would be nice if instead of deleting the program, the TIVO simply locked it for some time so that if the user proved it shouldn't have been flagged in the first place, tivo support can remotely unlock it and allow the user to view the program.

I record 95% of my programs from network and pbs channels. I should be able to record and watch those programs whenever I want. I can live with not being able to copy them to an external device.

BTW, I think that the implementation as I've seen it described is wrong. What I've seen written is that if the flag says copy never, you will not be able to record or view it and if it says copy once you will be allowed to view it but not copy it to an external device. What I think that really should be is copy never should allow you to record/view it but not to output to another device. Copy once should allow you to make one (and only one) copy to an external device (though FWIW I typically watch my programs on the DVR and then delete them -- no reason for me to output to another device).
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Old 10-10-2006, 08:42 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxion
Umm...the original poster was asking about the Broadcast Flag...this has nothing to do with cable, or CableLabs certification. The Broadcast Flag is proposed legislation in Congress backed mostly by content owners (it hasn't passed yet). It would insert a flag into OTA (not cable) broadcasts, that would restrict how and if the content could be recorded. I believe the poster was asking what TiVo's position is wrt the proposed legislation, and whether TiVo is actively working to defeat it.
+1

And Broadcast Flag was about internet retransmission (which is why Tivo originally submitted MRV & TTG to the FCC), but has NOTHING to do with making a recording on an internal DVR. The Broadcast Flag is not "copy-protection" at all.
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Old 10-10-2006, 11:31 AM   #19
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does any one know the LEGAL status of the cable companies applying the copy never (as I belive the 90 minute self destruct CCI=00x03 is called)?

I cant find any law, regulation, or ruling that specifically says what is or is not allowed.

It appears the original memorandum or understading between NCTA (cable) and the CE(consumer electornics people) for "plug and play" - says that this flag is ONLY to be used for PPV and VOD. That was in 2002 and then sometime later in 2003 the FCC "rubber stamped" that agreement. But I cant find the actuall text of that MOU nor can I find the actually FCC rulign about it- all i can find on the fcc website are all kinds of press releases about it saying they did a swell job by approving the agreement. But I cant find any enabling regulations or even a list of bullet points of what sections of the MOU the fcc agreed with.

My cable provider is puttign the damn flag on like 2/3rds of the HD channels. On 'cable channels' like discovery, premium channels like hbo, and even sporadically on boradcast stuff (See my post n the Jericho thread- and even nailed NOVA on PBS the other night).

I would like to know exactly what the laws or regulations or ruligns say so that i can effectivley beat them over the head- LOL.

any help is much appreciated.
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Old 10-10-2006, 11:37 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelK
I cant find any law, regulation, or ruling that specifically says what is or is not allowed.
(...)
I would like to know exactly what the laws or regulations or ruligns say so that i can effectivley beat them over the head- LOL.
Go here ...
http://wireless.fcc.gov/rules.html

Specifically ...

http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2...cfr76.1904.htm

Or if you'd prefer the pdf ...
http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2...cfr76.1904.pdf

47CFR76.1904
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Old 10-10-2006, 11:43 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srothkin
.

BTW, I think that the implementation as I've seen it described is wrong. What I've seen written is that if the flag says copy never, you will not be able to record or view it and if it says copy once you will be allowed to view it but not copy it to an external device. What I think that really should be is copy never should allow you to record/view it but not to output to another device. Copy once should allow you to make one (and only one) copy to an external device (though FWIW I typically watch my programs on the DVR and then delete them -- no reason for me to output to another device).

I believe (but certainly could be wrong) that copy never means the show can be "paused" for up to 90 minutes then must self destruct. The way tivo implements this is they allow you to record it and it appears in the now playing then it gets flagged with a red blinking flag where the green/yellow/or red dots normally are. (while recording the red dot blinks in now playing) After 90minutes it deletes itself and puts a message in the history that it was deleted to comply withteh copyright holders wishes. This it the CCI 00x03 flag.

I think copy once puts it on the tivo but would not permit MRV or TTG if such features ever were to be implemented. I believe this is what the CCI 00x02 flag does- as my provider assigns that to certain programs- but it appears to have no effect on the tivo- so i assume if MRV/TTG were ever to be implemented that it would not be allowed. (interesting question would be is the single "copy" on the originating tivo allowed to get moved to a second tivo?- So if you recorded it on one would tivo be allowed to move it to a second and not allow the second to play back untill it got confirmation that the original was destroyed?)

I have no idea what CCI 00x01 does.

CCI 00x00 seems to be the default do nothing flag.
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Old 10-10-2006, 11:49 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dt_dc

i was just going to pm you but didn't want to bother. I KNEW you would know.

YOU DA MAN.

So looks like
1: cant restict broadcast content at all
2: PPV/VOD is llimited to 90 minutes
3: pay, premium, free conditiaon access can be resticted to one copy

am i reading that correctly (specifically #3)?
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Old 10-10-2006, 12:20 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelK
So looks like
1: cant restict broadcast content at all
2: PPV/VOD is llimited to 90 minutes
3: pay, premium, free conditiaon access can be resticted to one copy

am i reading that correctly (specifically #3)?
Sorry ... I've got my own (mind numbing) legalese to go through right now ...

But ... yes ... in a nutshell ...

The most prohibitive copy protection (that can be applied by the cable company) is:
OTA broadcast - Copy Freely (EMI=00)
PPV / VOD - Copy Never (EMI=11)
Anything Else - Copy Once (EMI=10)

Of course ... less prohibitive protection can always be applied.
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Old 10-10-2006, 12:22 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelK
I have no idea what CCI 00x01 does.

CCI 00x00 seems to be the default do nothing flag.
CCI byte EMI values:
00 - Copy freely
01 - Copy no more (a copy once that has already been copied once)
10 - Copy once
11 - Copy never
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Old 10-10-2006, 12:48 PM   #25
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can you guys translate those emi values to the ##x## values for CCI as shown on the cablecard screens?
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Old 10-10-2006, 12:52 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelK
can you guys translate those emi values to the ##x## values for CCI as shown on the cablecard screens?
CCI byte EMI values (in hexadecimal or binary):
0x00 or 00 - Copy freely
0x01 or 01 - Copy no more (a copy once that has already been copied once)
0x02 or 10 - Copy once
0x03 or 11 - Copy never
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Old 10-10-2006, 12:59 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelK
can you guys translate those emi values to the ##x## values for CCI as shown on the cablecard screens?
The CCI is eight bits ... defined in the POD Copy Protection spec ...

http://www.scte.org/documents/pdf/ANSISCTE412004.pdf (see page 42)
http://www.cablelabs.com/udcp/downlo...ch_License.pdf (see page 20)

The 00x00, 00x01, etc. are a representation of that ... see cassiusdrow's post above.

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Old 10-10-2006, 04:58 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dieman
Now the macrovision thing, tivo does that voluntarily as far as I know, and its really crappy when it doesn't work right because its screwing peoples programming left and right it sounds.
Dan already pointed out the problems reported are with CCI issues from the cablecard (and only impact digital channels).

Macrovision is only related to analog. And, it's not voluntary for the S3. Part of the cablecard spec requires the host to be certified by Macrovision.
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Old 10-10-2006, 10:15 PM   #29
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Let me rephrase -- based on the plain english meaning of the terms "copy once", "copy never", etc., I believe the software should be changed to implement them as I described above.

IMHO, recording onto the TIVO's hard drive does not constitute copying.
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Old 10-10-2006, 10:27 PM   #30
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Quote:
CCI byte EMI values (in hexadecimal or binary):
0x00 or 00 - Copy freely
0x01 or 01 - Copy no more (a copy once that has already been copied once)
0x02 or 10 - Copy once
0x03 or 11 - Copy never

OK-

here's an oddity

my cable company seems to have the CCI set to anything but 0x00 on all digital stations.

I'm currently recording a show with 0x01 and the tivo isn't freakign or anything. No blinking red light, no flag on the description page. (on one of the nick SD channels no less)

So either 0x01 doesn't mean copy no more. Or tivo is ignoring it. Or the CCI that tivo says is there is not correct.

Go figure.
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