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Cable Channels Panic Over iPad Streaming App 346

Posted by Soulskill
from the ice-delivery-men-have-no-sympathy dept.
jfruhlinger writes "Time Warner Cable this month released an iPad app that would allow its subscribers to stream (some of) the channels they already pay for to their iPad, so long as they're connected to home Internet service provided by Time Warner Cable. The app probably seems like a baby step to most Slashdotters, and was extremely popular among subscribers — but it's thrown the owners of those channels into a panic, and they're threatening lawsuits. Time Warner says the contracts they've signed with the channels allow broadcast to any device in the home — 'I don't know what a TV is anymore,' says one company exec — but the channel owners fear that this will disrupt current and future revenue streams and that they need to stop it now. 'If we allow this without litigation, everyone will do it tomorrow,' says an anonymous source. 'If we litigate, we have a chance to win.'"
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Cable Channels Panic Over iPad Streaming App

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  • by LordStormes (1749242) on Friday March 25, 2011 @02:08PM (#35615114) Homepage Journal
    The right solution here is for somebody to make a TV/Internet service that allows 100% a la carte channel/content offerings. I have to pay $80 for TV to get all the stuff I want to see, but I have interest in fewer than 1% of what's available. I don't want your Music Choice, or your porn (I have my own of both). I don't want Martha Stewart. I don't even want football games other than the ones my team plays in. Seriously, the best model for stuff like this is iTunes right now. For the last season of Stargate Atlantis, I didn't have a cable subscription, so I paid $20 for a 4-month season pass for SG:A, effectively paying $5 a month for the one show I cared about rather than $100 a month for a zillion shows that I couldn't care less for. I got all the episodes, in HD, when I wanted to watch them, and without commercial interruption. My only gripes are that the people who watched on TV got to see it a few days earlier, and that the video purchase ratings don't count as heavily when determining whether to renew a show. Maybe that's the solution - let's take a recently cancelled show (pick any of the ones SyFy recently axed). Set a production budget for a season of the show, and then post online, "We need X dollars, which is X/20 subscriptions at $20 each. If we can get at least X/20 pre-order subscriptions, we'll have a season." I bet they'd make a pretty nice profit, and have nobody to share it with (except maybe Apple/Amazon/Netflix).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 25, 2011 @02:19PM (#35615282)

    How SCOTUS decided that:

    Rio merely makes copies in order to render portable, or 'space-shift,' those files that already reside on a user’s hard drive.... Such copying is a paradigmatic noncommercial personal use.

    If I buy Time Warner Cable, and have Time Warner Internet, and get shows from Time Warner and this app requires the above, wouldn't displaying the stream on an iPad instead of a television simply be space-shifting the stream.

    Probably, but that didn't (and still doesn't) stop these copyright trolls from trying to re-litigate this crap over and over and over again. See also:

    - trying to make the VCR illegal: Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios [wikipedia.org]

    - trying to make home audio recording equipment illegal: Audio Home Recording Act [wikipedia.org] (they got a royalty on every DAT blank out of that, even if you were using it to record YOUR OWN BAND)

    - trying to make PLAYER PIANOS illegal: White-Smith Music Publishing Company v. Apollo Company [wikipedia.org]

    Note that in many of the above cases, the industry then bought some legislation that gave them moneez in spite of court rulings.

  • Re:they're right (Score:2, Informative)

    by FesterDaFelcher (651853) on Friday March 25, 2011 @02:29PM (#35615470)

    Completely off topic, but... Which reality show nowadays does not have writers? Seriously, the "confessional" sessions they do with these reality show "contestants" (which are paid something to be on the show whether they win or not) are purely scripted. They ask leading questions to get the answers they want out of them, and then don't air the questions being asked. For example:

    Producer/Writer: "What would you say to Contestant X if she took your hairspray, phrase it like you were talking to her."
    Contestant Y: "You better watch out [bleep], cause I'm coming for you!"

    How is that not completely scripted? It happens on every so-called reality show.

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