OCAP- Who is capping whom?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Justin Thyme, Jan 13, 2006.

  1. Jan 17, 2006 #41 of 169
    TiVoPhish

    TiVoPhish New Member

    181
    0
    Mar 12, 2003
    Long Island, NY

    Advertisements

    First on OCAP...

    I hear what you are saying dt_dc... but I guess that wasn't how I understood it. I thought OCAP was the middleware itself... so if Cable runs or writes (or however you'd term it) their headend to be compatible with OCAP and then Sony or Microsoft or TiVo write their software with the OCAP basic commands ni place, OCAP makes it possible for the two systems (CE & Cable) to communicate with one another. Just like Java does independent of Operating System.

    OCAP isn't cable's "OS" or the CE box "OS"... it is the Java in between that makes back and forth communication possible (if both players follow the OCAP "language" or commands).

    Maybe the "standards" haven't been finalized yet, but is what I describe above a fair analogy or am I way off base?



    No. You can load any MP3 into your iPod, THROUGH iTunes, which is FREE. You can buy or steal your MP3s from wherever you like.

    Don't know anything about that, but I do know standard MP3 are perfectly loadable onto an iPod, no matter where they come from.

    What your iPod WON'T do is connect to any old software application directly. You need iTunes as the "middleman" to load up your iPod... and iTunes is free.

    Now why is it that Apple doesn't want the iPod they manufacture interfacing with any old software? Is it JUST because they want to lock you into using iTunes (on either Mac or Windows), so you're more likely to buy content through them? Sure. But are there other reasonable answers to the question?

    TiVo doesn't has the ability to download it's guide data from anyone does it? Will it function properly without a TiVo subscription? Has TiVo not locked me into using THEIR subscription service when I buy a TiVo box? Will I get messages from anyone other than them? Can I copy recordings to my PC with anything other than TiVo-to-Go (without "hacking" or "jumping through hoops")? Can I do remote scheduling with any other guide service TiVo hasn't made a proper relationship with, supported directly by TiVo? TiVo is made to work with the TiVo service and software (or companies they have formal relationships with) -- iPod is made to work with iTunes software. Do you see these two things as so inherently different?
     
  2. Jan 17, 2006 #42 of 169
    Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

    3,306
    1
    Mar 29, 2005
    The question was:

    Where else can you get legal online access to commercial music that plays on the Apple iPod?

    The answer- you can't buy any online commercial music from anyone but Apple.

    MP3s are irrelevant. They have no DRM, therefore RealNetworks or any other online store can't sell commercial music in that form.

    If Tivo enjoys a local fiefdom as I described where dominance in one product category was being used to leverage into an different product category, then they would be subject to the same requirement for public disclosure of protocols.

    OCAP can be described as middleware. Netscape offered middleware too, as an OS strategy. The important thing to an OS strategy is not whether you actually own the lowest level API (the OS itelf), or whether it is some middle (middleware) layer like Java, the CORBA object model, or to a cross platform application layer. You have succeeded in an OS strategy if you can get everyone to write to your API and not that of another. What happens next is a network effect- content forces more OCAP boxes, more boxes force more OCAP content. Then because people want to see the video on other devices, it spreads outside of the Headend/ client pair. Video bundled with OCAP behavior would require propagation of the OCAP environment to devices not connected to the Cableco network, such as portable video players, etc. Ocap content begets Ocap boxes begeets Ocap portable devices. OCAP everywhere. Cableco Adware everwhere. Yay!

    Naturally, MS has its own standard for behavior to be combined with video based on XML and javascript. The pitch they no doubt made to DirecTv was- use iHD, and you will be able to run on HD-DVD, pocket PC phones, palmtops, MCE, laptops, whatever- all with DRM and your Adware preserved.

    CableLabs is not the only one playing this game.
     
  3. Jan 17, 2006 #43 of 169
    interactiveTV

    interactiveTV New Member

    863
    0
    Jul 2, 2000
    NYC
    Right there. Where else can you get legal online access to commercial music? Plenty of places. That plays on the Apple iPod is not relevant. Apple in no way has a monopoly. Apple's implementation of Fairplay falls SQUARELY under the DMCA's primary purpose. So far, we're fine. So, Apple refuses to LICENSE it's DRM out. So what?

    You are defining a PRODUCT as a MARKET. You are asking whether Apple has a monopoly on iTunes music for its own iPods. You can't do that. It doesn't work. The iPod is NOT the market. It might have substantial market share (right now) but it is NOT the market for legal online commerical music. The market includes many other players with their own pricing, own access to the same (or even music exclusive which iTunes' store does not have) content.

    You use the term "monopoly" where you mean a closed system or a proprietary system. Merely being proprietary does NOT make it a monopoly. Substantial supply side substitution exists within the mp3 industry. Or the IM industry (how many times did AOL lay the "close the hole" game with Trillian and other others?).

    Does the fact that I can ONLY buy Gillete blades for my Gillete razor or Oral-B toothbrush heads to work with my Oral-B toothbrush constitute a monopoly in your opinion (avoiding the DRM issue here)? Where else can I get access to toothbrush heads but Oral-B? Same question.

    You seem to automatically refer to any closed system as a monopoly. While size, pricing power, and anti-competitive behavior MAY make such a system a monopoly, the mere existance of a closed system does not make it so.

    I don't know the ins and outs of OCAP, but referring to Apple's iTunes store as the exclusive provider for iPods as a monopoly would be incorrect. With United States vs. Grinnel Corporation we would need to show that has the ability to exclude competitors and control pricing. Be careful, that's NOT within the iTunes/iPod system but within the legal downloadable music MARKET. Apple can do neither.

    _ITV
     
  4. Jan 17, 2006 #44 of 169
    Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

    3,306
    1
    Mar 29, 2005
    Thanks for the new case reference and by the way your earlier note, which you may have seen I have been very indirectly grappling with. As you can see I attempted to pick up some concepts from the Lexmark case you referenced.

    First, a small correction.
    I keep telling DT-DC and I'll keep telling you. I am not waving the Open standards banner. People can have closed apis all they want. They can change them as they deam necessary for new innovations. No committees. I only argue that the law require them to be made public- "the apis" being the api specification including protocols, formats and semantics necessary for interoperability between products in different markets.

    OK, now to the main course. Say I have a Volkswagen and can only buy replacement parts from VW because the parts all have RFID lock out chips that if absent inform the Car CPU that non approved, possibly substandard and dangerous parts have been used, then the car should not allow itself to be started.

    VW isn't being a dummy- in this hypothetical case they want to have ALL of the aftermarket business, they don't want to compete in that rat race of 187 Billion dollars in revenue aftermarket businesses.

    So would this be immune from antitrust action because, as you could in this case object, there is a huge aftermarket auto parts business?

    Isn't is just a little bit relevant than none of those parts will work on my VW?

    So why is it relevant that there is a huge online music business? If none of their commercial music will play on my iPod, it is not a market that offers me anything. The only market I can buy legal copies of online commercial music is controled by a single vendor, and it is iTMS (Apple). A monopoly.
     
  5. Jan 17, 2006 #45 of 169
    dt_dc

    dt_dc Mostly Harmless

    2,013
    0
    Jul 31, 2003
    Northern...

    Advertisements

    A little miscommunication here.

    OCAP itself is not the issue / problem.

    If Microsoft, in their licensing agreement, forced you to sacrifice two cows in order to use .NET ... would PETA have a problem with the technology (.NET) or the specific licensing of it (Microsoft)?

    OCAP itself is not the issue / problem.

    You paint a picture of OCAP not only allowing, but requiring this "Fiefdom" approach ... or the "VM Style" as I phrased it above.

    It doesn't. OCAP allows for the "fiefdom" ... but then again so do other methods / technologies.

    OCAP could also be used to allow for the "API" approach ... the "anti-fiefdom" approach that you would like to see.

    OCAP itself is not the issue / problem.

    The issue is the specific licensing / implementation of OCAP ... and / or a lack of additional standards. The CEA even talks about "a mutually agreed version of OCAP" which they would find acceptable (instead of what is currently proposed by the NCTA).

    For example:
    1) All OCAP clients could communicate in a published, standardized way with the headend
    2) All OCAP software could expose a published, standardized API for other software (OCAP or otherwise) on the box to use
    3) The licensing agreement could be changed to allow other non-cable provided software (OCAP or otherwise) to better share resources

    I say could above because ... while OCAP does not prevent any of these ... the specific implemtation / licensing by CableLabs does.

    OCAP itself is not the issue / problem ... it's the specific implemtation / licensing of it that's posing a problem.
     
  6. Jan 17, 2006 #46 of 169
    Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

    3,306
    1
    Mar 29, 2005
    Just a heads up on this statement. I have reason to believe that my picture of OCAP operation above is incorrect. While the CC2.0 spec is pretty clear that the CC device must allow the MSO to make any downloads it wishes to force on the device, and it is clear that the only way to get VOD/ PPV stuff is through OCAP code downloaded from the head, it is not clear to me how much supervisory control the device must surrender to the OCAP subsystem.

    Don'tcha just love that "function not allowed" error message when you try to FF through the commercials at the start of a DVD?

    I tell you, you are going to love OCAP, and what the studios do with the Java support on Blu-Ray (BD-J) [or iHD on HD DVDs if you think it will go that way]. The really nifty things is that now, they not only make sure you watch their adverts, but they can run placement ads with DVDs- Yeah! Coors commercials during my movies... and even better- I can't FF them... Yeah!@#@. Oh and they can track your viewing patterns and upload them to an arbitrary location on the net! Wow- wow, a marketing weasel's wet dream!

    Yay! uuumm it is Java right? And Java= Open which equals good for me, right?
     
  7. Jan 17, 2006 #47 of 169
    Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

    3,306
    1
    Mar 29, 2005
    The missing API is one issue. If a server side API is available, then VOD/PPV/switched broadcasts would be possible with or without OCAP, so in that sense, the virtual machine (VM) would not be the issue for accessing those particular functions. **

    But whether there is a VM controlled by CableLabs that is required on all CC devices is to put it mildly a gigantic issue. I don't think you understand what I am saying about OS wars. If you think Cable thinks the VM is not central to their strategy, then take a look again at what Malone said. If you control your OS, then you control your fate, and you can extend your control outwards. Whether or not CC2.0 makes mandatory a particular language- whatever it is- OCAP, .net, JAVA- is of crucial significance.


    The Microsoft mantra is that Applications sell the OS, the OS sells the Applications. Having Word and Excel on your desktop means you want it on your palmtop. Having a show that happens to be MPEG2+OCAP doesn't mean you can just strip the OCAP and play the Mpeg2. Consumers will want personal video player devices that play this data type. But to do it, the VM is necessarily propagated to the PVP. Network effect. The more the content, the more the demand for the VM in hardware, the more the availability of the VM in hardware, the more popular the format and the more everyone moves to the format. Snowball effect- natural monopoly- the whole enchilada.

    Take a look at what Microsoft is doing. All those phones, portable media players, Vista- they are all .NET platforms.

    Still think that the OCAP VM is not the issue?

    I'm not saying that an interactive language is bad, or arguing in favor of competitor schemes like iHD. I am saying that if within the Cablecard process, you hand the control of the required language to a particular company or cartel of companies, you have initiated a government sponsored monopoly power position.

    **BTW- The CC2.- spec is pretty slimey about how it presents the OCAP as mandatory situation. It states that OCAP "may" be used to access VOD. That sounds very open minded... not "Must". But the specs say nothing about any other alternative mechanism as you point out, so guess what. That is defacto the way you MUST do it. I find it very troubling when I must read a spec as a document with hidden agendas. It is so perverse to have to be on guard that a spec might be intentionally misleading on some technical point. So you need tech guys with political feelers adjusted to max sensitivity. With so much at stake, it is not surprizing..
     
  8. Jan 17, 2006 #48 of 169
    TiVoPhish

    TiVoPhish New Member

    181
    0
    Mar 12, 2003
    Long Island, NY
    www.emusic.com

    Don't like their selection? Doesn't matter... it still makes your statement incorrect. You CAN buy music online in MP3 format that will work with your iPod.

    On top of that, any music you can buy online that you can burn to CD (as either an MP3 CD or regular music CD) can be loaded into your itunes, and then, onto your iPod.

    Because Apple chooses to use DRM that makes iTunes and iPod uniquely compatible with one another (with music purchased directly through iTunes) does not make it a monopolistic practice. You have choices. Get a creative Zen and buy music from Rhapsody. Buy a pocket DJ and subscribe to Napster.

    Could be. Could also be just like Java, which does nothing of the sort. Yes, I see a Java Sun Systems logo on the window the ap loads into, but nothing more.

    No kidding, and no amount of fighting it is going to change it, other than in very superficial ways.

    Follow your own argument completely through and apply it to OCAP.

    Cars all have computers for diagnosis (ECUs, Engine-Control-Units). Car manufacturers must follow a communication standard (CAN), and auto-shops must have the equipment that plugs in and can interface with the car's computer, regardless of manufacturer. There must be input and output capability. I can take my car to Firestone and whether it's a Toyota or a GM doesn't matter... it can be diagnosed and fixed.

    Now admittedly, I'm not an auto mechanic, so for all I know every autoshop buys the same exact software for diagnosing cars. But either way, I'm trying to illustrate all the ins and outs of your arguments. In order for there to be aftermarket parts and devices that work with any manufactured item (be it a computer or a car), there are specifications that must be met and followed. Those standards are dictated by a variety of sources for a variety of reasons (sometimes good reasons, sometimes not). In my example above regarding ECUs, lets just assume for a second that an OCAP-like system is the middleware in between the car individual computer and the auto-shops diagnosis equipment -- do you see how this can benefit the consumer as well?

    I can be an aftermarket manufacturer of volkwagen parts, but I still need to follow standards and my part must still be approved. I don't just fly by the seat of my pants and make any old thing I want. My part (depending on what it is) must also interface with volkwagen's ECU and provide input and output data. My part must be safe, and most of all, must actually do what it is supposed to. I can't decide that my distributor cap must also percolate coffee and dispense said hot tastee coffee into a cup holder inside the car. It must still function as a distributor cap.


    Okay, so I'm off on a tangent now... let me try to come back to the original point.

    Apple provides iTunes for free as an interface medium to your iPod and/or as a music store. There are several ways to get songs into iTunes including buying them through the iTunes music store. If none of those means meet your needs, it is within your right to go to music match or rhapsody to buy your music, neither of which will interface with your iPod. But your Creative Zen won't interface with iTunes either. You're welcome to go to emusic.com for straight MP3s, and yes, the selection there is limited -- but it is the CONTENT PROVIDERS right to decide that they don't want to distribute their music through online stores that don't assure DRM.

    If Apple made the only portable and was the only online retailer your argument would be a valid one. But they are neither. Geez, these days you can buy your music online from Walmart. When you buy your music there must be assurance that you can play the music you own -- and all current online retailers give you that. However, they do NOT have to assure you that you can play that music on a specific portable device. iPod is but only one way to play purchased music through iTunes among various methods... and all other various methods will interface with just about anything capable of a network connection (and quite a few other ways).

    Apple has no obligation to license Fairplay out (just like the have no obligation to license out OS X). They own it, they can do what they like. DRM is here to stay, so the next option will be the RIAA gets involved and puts forth it's OWN "OCAP" -- ie., a DRM platform that is a required "must" for any music distributor. BUT, the RIAA is comprised of large corporations, and the general feeling about the RIAA sure hasn't been a good one (for consumers) -- so we'd essentially be having the same argument all over again, only the people you have a gripe with would be different.

    Make another comparison if you like. Xbox plays Xbox games. Playstation plays Playstation games. Ninetendo plays Nintendo games. There are no expectations that will change, or that it's Sony's obligation to support a Microsoft gaming experience. Even TiVo is based on proprietary technology. I can't buy PSP movies and play them on anything but PSP.

    There are NO simple answers that please everyone. I suspect the same is true of the "cable wars".

    Wow, I really went on for a long time, didn't I ;)
     
  9. Jan 17, 2006 #49 of 169
    interactiveTV

    interactiveTV New Member

    863
    0
    Jul 2, 2000
    NYC
    OK, let's break this down.

    First, you can't use the DMCA fore the sole purpose of excluding competition. Lexmark did. Apple doesn't. Apple's DRM (well, SOME flavor) is REQUIRED by the music companies to protect their content. Exactly on point with the DMCA and Lexmark. EXACTLY.

    Secondly, please STOP referring to a vertical PRODUCT as monopoly. The Apple iPod exists in the mp3 player market. That MARKET has lots of competition. One FUNCTION of the iPod is the Fairplay DRM which works with the iTunes store. Again, that DRM is completely LEGAL. Is there adequate competition within the downloadable (legally) music market? Certainly.

    Justin, you KEEP confusing PRODUCTS with MARKETS. I think it is because you see anti-competitive behavior within products and call these a "monopoly." They are NOT.

    The car aftermarket industry isn't the best choice because of its history and -- specifically the fight between the insurance industry and the car makers' warranty side. As the owner of a car, I can put any part on it I wish. In order for that car to remain under warranty, however, it MUST meet certain specifications.

    You didn't answer me on my razor and my toothbrush. Does Gillette have a "monopoly"? Does Oral-B?

    You use the term "monopoly" when you see a closed, proprietary system. That isn't the case. Look at the MARKET (not the product) and, in brief, look for supply side substitution and pricing power.

    The MARKET for MP3 players is huge and Apple is but one company -- with great market share in the US -- but the market itself offers many options. Same with the legally downloable music market.

    I can't comment on OCAP because you guys have lost me on the complexities of what's what, but you shouldn't even think of the iPod as a monopoly. The only question in reference to the iPod is whether there is price fixing on the part of the record studios but that's not Apple, that's the music industry and it goes beyond Apple (to the subscription based services as well).

    You need to look at broadly defined MARKETS. iPod is but a single product, it is NOT a market. You cannot call PRODUCTS a monopoly (unless they constitute the MARKET). And when I say broadly, substitution is not that broad (coal for oil is not a substitute). Within the MP3 player MARKET or the downloadable music MARKET, Apple in no way has a monopoly. You cannot label a product a monopoly. It makes no sense unless that product is the market, which this isn't and, in any case, you're still labelling the market, not the product.

    You can still have anti-competitive behavior with a PRODUCT -- but that's not a monopoly. There are legal things companies can do to compete and things that are illegal. Apple's protection of its DRM can easily be construed as a security measure.


    _ITV
     
  10. Jan 17, 2006 #50 of 169
    dt_dc

    dt_dc Mostly Harmless

    2,013
    0
    Jul 31, 2003
    Northern...
    Well ... you seem to be ...
    By these arguments ... MPEG2+anything would seem to be an "OS Strategy". MPEG2+Java ... MPEG2+XML ... MPEG2+MetaData ... MPEG2+whatever.

    If HSN wanted to embed some "click thumbs-up to buy now" or Disney/CNN/ABC wanted to embed some poll "click thumbs-up for yes, thumbs-down for no" or ESPN wanted to enbed a "click thumbs-up for more info about this team / player" ...

    If any of this is accomplished via MPEG2+anything ... that would seem to meet your definition of an "OS Strategy". After all ... start moving that content around the house onto other devices ... consumers will want that functionality. MPEG2+Java ... you're forcing your JVM and APIs onto other devices. MPEG2+XML ... you're forcing other products to respond to that XML in a certain way (which is the same as an API).

    Any way for ESPN to distribute a "click thumbs-up for more info about this team / player" along with their broadcast that does not meet your definition of an "OS Strategy"?
     
  11. Jan 17, 2006 #51 of 169
    Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

    3,306
    1
    Mar 29, 2005
    Sorry- I don't understand why this is an issue. From what I understand, it is legal for me to reverse engineer the way the handle connects to the blade and I can sell my own blades. There may not be much of a business there, so people instead just make their own blade/handle. But there is a business in aftermarket parts. And lots of companies do make legitimate high quality aftermarket parts that work as well or better than the Car manufacturer's parts.

    Perhaps I am confused about markets. Say I have an iPod and I walk into a market but I can't buy any music in the top 500. Let's face it- a store that can't offfer more than a few bands in the top 100 or even 1000 offers no competition.

    That's what the non iTms "market" is to an iPod owner. A market I have to walk out of because it offers me nothing. There is only one place I can go. That makes it a monopoly position.

    Apple chose not to license FairPlay. That's fine. Apple chose not to use any of a half dozen other DRMs to use alongside Fairplay. That's fine. But those two decisions makes the online commercial music market a completely separate one from the rest of the online music market. Apple whether intentionally or not :rolleyes: has a monopoly position at their iTms store.

    If I am buying online music, What substitute is there for a Beattles song that is not encoded in Fairplay? If I own an iPod, a song encoded in any other DRM is as good as Coal, when I need Fairplay Oil. I can't buy from the Coal Market.

    So ok. It's a razor blade scheme. Can I duplicate the razor? Rhapsody tried. Lasted a few weeks. Sorry- Apple can mess up third party interoperably as quickly as competitors come out with new Fairplay lookalike schemes. And there is a limit I can go to both computationally and without infringing on Apple IP. Is it legal for them to use DRM in this way? Yeah yeah I get it. You indicated your answer- you will object- that is not it's sole purpose- your argument is plain. Whether or not they are justified in using DRM this way does not change the fact that these conditions effectively put the store in a monopoly position. It was Apple's choice not to license Fairplay, or support alternative DRMs on its iPod. If they want to keep the monopoly for online music sales, they can, but there ought to be a antitrust cost of that decision. If they want to add support for other DRMs or license Fairplay, then antitrust would not apply.

    If you are going to reiterate that it is not a separate market, please provide some examples why. I have made the case why it is separate, you simply repeated that there was a whole big online music market. You have given me nothing I can use to change my perspective.
     
  12. Jan 17, 2006 #52 of 169
    dt_dc

    dt_dc Mostly Harmless

    2,013
    0
    Jul 31, 2003
    Northern...
    Not if the design of the blades (including the cartridge loading system) is covered by patent(s) ...

    Otherwise Gillette's entire business model (give away the razors, sell the blades) would fall apart ...

    Why exactly do you think Gillette comes out with a "new design" every time one of their patents expire?

    You can make a blade that fits any of Gillette's older razors that for which their patents have expired. Pick up a box of M3 refills. There's over 40 patents on there ... one of which covers how the blade attaches to the handle. When that patent expires ... you can make / sell your own blades for the M3. Not before. Of course ... Gillette won't be selling the M3 by then.
     
  13. Jan 17, 2006 #53 of 169
    Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

    3,306
    1
    Mar 29, 2005
    Right. Similarly the aftermarket car parts vendor cannot build a part with a GM patent on it. I am excepting monopolies sactioned by the government such as patent covered products. But my understanding of Lexmark was that if there were no other expresssions... oops that was talking about copyright, not patent protection so the merger rule does not apply.

    OK. So applying this to the given situation I only see a footnoted exception there. I cannot provide a workalike software module that interoperates with others if the module must rely on IP for which someone else has been granted a patent. Or are there larger implications I miss.
     
  14. Jan 17, 2006 #54 of 169
    interactiveTV

    interactiveTV New Member

    863
    0
    Jul 2, 2000
    NYC
    Justin, your perspective is based on reptition. A "monopoly position" means nothing. You KEEP referring to a PRODUCT then calling it a monopoly.

    If your position is that a PRODUCT can be a monopoly, then you are 100% right, no one can change your perspective. However, repeating it over and over won't make it correct.

    You DON'T have one place to go. Buy a Samsung MP3 player. You keep CLOSING the discussion by referring to a single PRODUCT then calling it a "monopoly."

    I keep telling you that referring to a product as monopoly makes no sense.

    The substitution is a Samsung, Sony, etc MP3 player. The substitution is the other 20 online stores selling music.

    If you define the mp3 player MARKET as "iPod" then the discussion makes no sense.

    I keep repeating there is a WHOLE BIG ONLINE MUSIC MARKET because there is. You keep repeating that iPod has a monopoly. That completely IGNORES the definition of monopoly which refers to a MARKET and not to a PRODUCT.

    Until you stop using iPod as a "monopoly" there isn't much to discuss. It makes no sense to do so. A "monopoly position" when referring to a closed system makes no sense. You are redefining terms.

    I give you the correct and legal way to view monopoly, from the market perspective, from supply side substitution, from pricing power, and you ignore it.

    Don't like iTunes? Buy another MP3 player from Samsung (which WON'T work with iTunes). Supply side substitution.

    I tried to help you unconfuse yourself. Your usage of the word "monopoly" is not correct. You want to keep your "perspective" then keep it. It just makes for a silly conversation when you keep defining words in ways not used by anyone else.

    Lexmark wasn't about "monopoly" but using the DMCA in an anti-competitive way. There is a MAJOR difference. By your definition, Lexmark had a "monopoly" and THAT IS NOT CORRECT.

    _ITV
     
  15. Jan 17, 2006 #55 of 169
    NotVeryWitty

    NotVeryWitty Too Big to Fail

    922
    67
    Oct 3, 2003
    Central Mass.
    Justin, it sounds like you are arguing that Tivo has a monopoly on providing guide information to Tivo boxes, and the government should step in and force Tivo to open up their communications protocols to competitors.

    Correct?
     
  16. Jan 17, 2006 #56 of 169
    dt_dc

    dt_dc Mostly Harmless

    2,013
    0
    Jul 31, 2003
    Northern...
    A bit off base.

    Yes ... OCAP is middleware. Well ... technically a platform but the majority/guts of that platform is a middleware stack. Yes, OCAP makes it possible for CE hardware and cable software to communicate (easily). No, I wouldn't call OCAP anyone's "OS" (although apparantly some would ... but anyway).

    But no ... OCAP does NOT (inherently) provide a way for Sony or Microsoft or TiVo written software to call OCAP compatible software on the cable head-end. As an example, OCAP does NOT (inherently) provide a way for Tivo to write a VOD-ordering client that would allow you to order/view/FF/RW VOD content through that Tivo-provided software.

    OCAP allows the cable company to push software to your Tivo so that when you hit a button ... the cable company's VOD-ordering system (or whatever other software they want to provide) comes up allowing you to order/view VOD content (or whatever other functionality they wish to provide). The cable company's OCAP software communicates back to their head-end in whatever arbitrary way they want. Although BDCP specs call for a QPSK modulator and DOCSIS modem ... so presumably it would be through one of those.

    This is a key point to many people's objections (including the CEA including Tivo and Sony and others) to OCAP as proposed by CableLabs.
     
  17. Jan 17, 2006 #57 of 169
    TiVoPhish

    TiVoPhish New Member

    181
    0
    Mar 12, 2003
    Long Island, NY
    Someone else replied to this already ;)

    You have a whole variety of places to go. If you want to buy music and iTunes doesn't have it, you can buy it from one of the other online retailers or you can walk into a brick and mortar store and buy it. And ALL of that music can make it's way to your iPod. No, musicmatch won't connect directly, but music you buy and own via musicmatch can easily make it to your ipod. Even my 12 year old knows this.... and I don't mean that as an INSULT. You are acting as though iTunes (e.g. Apple) owes it to you to be able to connect your non-apple Player to their software, and if they don't, they some how have a monopoly on music content. That is pretty far from reality.

    It's absolutely within Apple's right to choose not to go with the Windows route of DRM and license Fairplay to anyone and everyone. There's a downside in doing so both from a business standpoint and a consumer standpoint (from Apple's perspective). They certainly make it possible for you to do just about anything you want with the music you buy through iTunes.

    As good as Coal? You are so wrong. I have the entire Beatles library nestled into my iTunes and subsequently loaded onto my 30 gig iPod. I could have bought that library from anywhere... digitally OR at an actually store. No, iTunes doesn't follow the subscription based model like Napster does, but I like to own my music, not lease it. If I BUY a song from Musicmatch, I certainly can get it to my iPod... and it requires no hacking, or any extreme technical knowledge. Nope, not plug-n-go, but Apple doesn't owe that to you because you bought some songs from record companies that happen to distribute through them (and anyone other electronic retailer).

    You've ignored the TiVo comparison and it's a fair one. I have no choice in guide data, it's what TiVo provides or go scratch, right? TiVo is holding patents on several technologies that it doesn't want to just "give up" to it's competitors. What makes that so different from Apple? Just because they haven't profitted as much?
     
  18. Jan 17, 2006 #58 of 169
    Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

    3,306
    1
    Mar 29, 2005
    Look this would be responsive if I had said that iPod was in a monopoly position. Did I say that? No.

    I said iTMS was.

    It is not a monopoly on Product (iPod). It is a monopoly on products (any of thousands and thousands of songs) that will play on an iPod. I want to buy commercial online music. Is there only one place I can do that? Yes. If there are competitive online stores to iTms for buying commercial music please name any.
     
  19. Jan 17, 2006 #59 of 169
    TiVoPhish

    TiVoPhish New Member

    181
    0
    Mar 12, 2003
    Long Island, NY
    Thanks for the explanation dt_dc. You make it easy to understand some of this more technical stuff.

    So basically, cable is saying "make your boxes OCAP compatible so if you want consumers to order VOD content we'll pop open a window with the whole interface already in place to do so" -- rather than -- "make your boxes OCAP compatible and you can create your own OCAP compliant application that will communicate with our system to get the VOD content to the consumer." It's middleware, but from an interface standpoint, Cable wants to provide the whole application, not just a set of standard controls than any interface could be built around.

    I can't argue it at all, whether you are right or wrong. I'm inclined to believe you're right, but it just doesn't seem to match up to what I've read about it. I mean, OCAP essentially IS a Java-based software platform. What you're stating is the Cable prefers to be in complete control of the interface and the entire experience as opposed to something more open, where other developers using OCAP specifications (commands) can write their own applications that follow the OCAP standard/guidelines. Maybe it's somewhere in between...

    What I find hard to believe is that Cable would WANT to be in that much control (and bare that much responsibility) -- I'm thinking of TV makers who will want a different interface than a cell-phone manufacturer... different set of visual/interface specs, but possibly wanting control over the same type of content.

    See what I'm saying? Do I understand you correctly?
     
  20. Jan 17, 2006 #60 of 169
    TiVoPhish

    TiVoPhish New Member

    181
    0
    Mar 12, 2003
    Long Island, NY
    Commercial music online? Walmart, Musicmatch and Napster. And yes, you can get that music you buy from them on your iPod (no hacking, no additional-ware, my kid can do it without breaking any laws).

    You cannot blame Apple for having the "scheme" that record companies felt most comfortable with for distributing their music with proper DRM. It doesn't mean Apple holds a monopoly on the online music commerce industry.... it means they had a good vision, executed it, and the record companies agreed it was a good vision and jumped on board.

    You cannot blame Apple for anyone's inability to stay competitive. Nothing prevents you from going out tomorrow and starting JustinTunes to distribute music... or from inventing JustinPlayer with your own DRM that connects to JustinTunes and any other software you want it to connect to and who'll let you. iTunes doesn't owe it to you to let you jump directly into getting a piece of their pie -- no more so than TiVo does in it's platform, user interface or guide data.
     

Share This Page

spam firewall

Advertisements