XBMC's Piracy Stance: Draft

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maruchan Offline
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Post: #31
How does this affect plugins like Hulu, Amazon, etc? While it plays back legitimate content, circumventing their encryption and protection mechanisms may be a gray area depending on where you live. Is this considered in line with piracy?
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Ned Scott Offline
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Post: #32
maruchan Wrote:How does this affect plugins like Hulu, Amazon, etc? While it plays back legitimate content, circumventing their encryption and protection mechanisms may be a gray area depending on where you live. Is this considered in line with piracy?

If you can legally access it through a web browser then it's probably okay. I wouldn't expect Hulu and Amazon add-on discussions to be a problem. Technically speaking, Hulu doesn't even like it when you use their official desktop app if it's hooked up to a "TV" vs a "computer monitor".

From what I can tell (and I'm no expect on this and might be missing some info), Hulu doesn't actually encrypt their free video streams, just Hulu Plus ones. What the add-on is doing is pretending to be a flash plug-in and getting "raw" video files.
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ashlar Offline
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Post: #33
Ok, slept over it... Still don't see how Subtitles and TheTVDB might be ok with this.

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Ned Scott Offline
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Post: #34
ashlar Wrote:Ok, slept over it... Still don't see how Subtitles and TheTVDB might be ok with this.

Subtitles, maybe from a technical standpoint, but I think most people would consider that to be covered under "fair use". Subtitles are worthless without the video, and are only used by people who have the video but want to understand what is going on when they don't speak the language. Keep in mind that "fair use" is basically a copyright violation that's allowed.

TheTVDB? Nope. Content owners cannot copyright summaries made by other people. This is why Wikipedia has extensive episode lists, season summaries, and show summaries, and they know a thing or two about copyright. Similar to Wikipedia, TheTVDB only accepts content that is licensed under Creative Commons 3.0 (CC-BY) (Wikipedia is CC-BY-SA, which adds a "share alike" requirement.). Anyone who contributes text directly can only do so by agreeing to also share their work via CC-BY. Text that is from a different or incompatible license is not allowed and removed when discovered.

A very detailed, blow-by-blow summary could possibly violate a copyright of a TV Show or Movie by being a derivative work. None of the summaries on theTVDB come close to that.
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umOuch Offline
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Post: #35
So I shifted from my boxee set up because they decided to move this direction. The thing that made these media centers amazing was the ability to access internet content... whatever that may be. To see XBMC now flirting with this same line is more than just a little disheartening. IceFilms, Navi-X, FastPass... these are the reasons most people actually use this software. It is the only reason I bought my ATV1 and my ATV2. Without these tools, XBMC seems becomes pointless. Just another main stream media consumption device. If this is what we wanted, we would likely get a Roku.

I would rethink your position greatly. It is one thing to say "we do not support piracy"

It is another to change how your platform has always been used. To claim torrents are okay because they (theoretically) could contain legal material is odd to me. No one (maybe 5%) using torrents within XBMC is accessing, what you call "legal", content.

Sad day for me, Sad day for XBMCOo

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gabbott Offline
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Post: #36
Abrasher Wrote:So I shifted from my boxee set up because they decided to move this direction. The thing that made these media centers amazing was the ability to access internet content... whatever that may be. To see XBMC now flirting with this same line is more than just a little disheartening. IceFilms, Navi-X, FastPass... these are the reasons most people actually use this software. It is the only reason I bought my ATV1 and my ATV2. Without these tools, XBMC seems becomes pointless. Just another main stream media consumption device. If this is what we wanted, we would likely get a Roku.

I would rethink your position greatly. It is one thing to say "we do not support piracy"

It is another to change how your platform has always been used. To claim torrents are okay because they (theoretically) could contain legal material is odd to me. No one (maybe 5%) using torrents within XBMC is accessing, what you call "legal", content.

Sad day for me, Sad day for XBMCOo

Nothing is changing other than certain things can't be discussed on this site. The internet is a big place.

Also, remember that those add-ons aren't developed by the xbmc team ... so again, don't see what you have to worry about, doesn't mean the development stops for those items, just discuss elsewhere in some cases.
(This post was last modified: 2011-12-30 23:24 by gabbott.)
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umOuch Offline
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Post: #37
gabbott Wrote:Nothing is changing other than certain things can't be discussed on this site. The internet is a big place.

Also, remember that those add-ons aren't developed by the xbmc team ... so again, don't see what you have to worry about, doesn't mean the development stops for those items, just discuss elsewhere in some cases.

Ha, sorry all. I was quick to jump to the limit. Boxee was a HUGE frustration after years of use they restricted certain apps from use on the BOX. I can understand the restrictions applying to the forums. In this day and age of free websites, this does not seem to be a huge deal.

I DO FEEL that there should REMAIN a place within XBMC that tells you of all the available plugins and where those plugins can be found.Laugh

will always be grateful for XBMC and XBMC.ORG
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-n3b- Offline
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Post: #38
Not wanting to come off as facetious, but will the mention and linking to sites that DO discuss these addons and related questions be allowed?
I for one would like to see a cohesive movement to a single site/forum that could allow the growth to continue but that could be severely hampered if the Mod's completely shut the topic down.
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statious Offline
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Post: #39
The potential liability issues are simply to great. Disregarding if SOPA passes, the responsibility of the developers and thus the website owner is to ensure the success of XBMC. While I agree that the addon repository is one of the many features that attract users, the perception of HTPC owners and thus those who utilize XBMC are that of "pirates". There is an ongoing discussion on the AVS forum on the same issue, how to overcome the perception and thus the stereotype that the HTPC crowd are simply "pirates".

I rarely engage in discussion on forums, but this is an incredibly important step that transitions the liability to the users. With no location on the official forums to discuss these addons, it reduces (does not remove) any potential liability from XBMC.

In reading the thread, I completely agree that it is vital that the responsibility should fall on the user of a given plugin who should determine if it is potentially "illegal" within their nation. However, condoning and providing a place to discuss addons that infringe on copyright simply places too much liability on the part of XBMC. If SOPA were to pass, there are numerous addons as mentioned in this thread that could see XBMC threatened.

The challenge becomes determining what the threshold will be on addons. Is the XBMCflix addon for Netflix inappropriate, how about the two great addons that open up the WMC music and netflix pages from within XBMC (I cannot remember the name of the developer). Moreover, as mentioned earlier what of scrapping plugins for Hulu, Youtube, apple trailers (trailers in general, which have become commonly discussed), what of the additional news addons (PBS, BBC, CNN, FOX, AJ).

As an academic who writes on these issues, I would offer that few programs would remain after the exodus because none of them allow for the delivery of advertisements, which provide a source of revenue. The purpose of web content was to expand the impact of revenue from advertisements based on delivering the same content via multiple sources. These addons specifically remove that ability.

Now as a user of XBMC and a proud HTPC owner for the last eight years, I can say that having to leave the forum to seek assistance and the ability to install additional addons is not something I will enjoy. I use Hulu, AJ news, and the trailer plugins often and have used Free cable on occasion.

If the team decides to implement this policy, it is imperative that the wiki and repository installer be modified as linking to repositories that contain addons in violation of the policy will create a liability issue.

TLDR- I support the policy, understand the reality of why it is needed, would support and donate to see a move to a nation that would not require a complete change in policy.
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natethomas Offline
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Post: #40
statius, we pretty much cover all of that in the rules. Things made available for streaming online by the actual content owners (e.g. Hulu, CBS, trailers), while already not hosted by our repo, would be welcome to stay in the forums, because as far as we can tell no legal rule is being violated by using XBMC to access them rather than a web browser. The Netflix addon works only in Windows and OSX, because it is tapping into Silverlight to stream the video, which once again seems not to violate any rules that I know of. Long story short, the rules we've put together are fairly thorough and should definitely not be skimmed.

n3b, I'd say probably not. We're only deleting links to actual pirated content. We'll close discussions but any links to places where discussion is appropriate (i.e. essentially anywhere where we aren't doing the hosting) should be perfectly fine.

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(This post was last modified: 2011-12-31 04:26 by natethomas.)
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ashlar Offline
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Post: #41
Ned Scott Wrote:TheTVDB? Nope. Content owners cannot copyright summaries made by other people. This is why Wikipedia has extensive episode lists, season summaries, and show summaries, and they know a thing or two about copyright. Similar to Wikipedia, TheTVDB only accepts content that is licensed under Creative Commons 3.0 (CC-BY) (Wikipedia is CC-BY-SA, which adds a "share alike" requirement.). Anyone who contributes text directly can only do so by agreeing to also share their work via CC-BY. Text that is from a different or incompatible license is not allowed and removed when discovered.

A very detailed, blow-by-blow summary could possibly violate a copyright of a TV Show or Movie by being a derivative work. None of the summaries on theTVDB come close to that.
subtitles give you exactly that. The whole script, which is definitely copyright material. And as far as TheTVDB is concerned I am worried about thumbs, posters and fanarts.

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darkscout Offline
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Post: #42
Watch out for artwork too. I suspect that fanart is off the radar for now. But if some TV company decides that "all images and likenesses of said TV characters."

TV Logos definitely because they almost always use the copyrighted / trade marked fonts, images etc.

Also, the only people that can be sued under US law by at Ice Films is Icefilms / Mega Upload. To date no one has ever been sued in the US for downloading anything.

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zpanderson Offline
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Post: #43
darkscout Wrote:Watch out for artwork too. I suspect that fanart is off the radar for now. But if some TV company decides that "all images and likenesses of said TV characters."

TV Logos definitely because they almost always use the copyrighted / trade marked fonts, images etc.

Also, the only people that can be sued under US law by at Ice Films is Icefilms / Mega Upload. To date no one has ever been sued in the US for downloading anything.

SOPA will make downloading/streaming a felony...
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darkscout Offline
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Post: #44
zpanderson Wrote:SOPA will make downloading/streaming a felony...

Care to point that out in the SOPA full text? Doesn't appear to change anything other than making what is already illegal a felony.

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Ned Scott Offline
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Post: #45
ashlar Wrote:subtitles give you exactly that. The whole script, which is definitely copyright material. And as far as TheTVDB is concerned I am worried about thumbs, posters and fanarts.

When dealing with fair use certain factors are looked at. One is if the use would impact profit/selling of the original work. No one is going to look at subtitles (which are less than a full script, because they are just the dialogue without blocking or scene descriptions), all formatted with time information, and go "yep, don't need to see that movie now!".

A subtitle file is actually harder to follow than a summary, if you've ever had to deal with editing sub files.

As far as thumbs, posters, and fan art, I wouldn't worry. Again, fair use plays a big part in this. It doesn't discourage sale of the original work, nor is anyone selling thumbnails for episodes, and most of these images are made from promotional images that the companies release and want people to use. People are using these images in their personal video collections, and are not making money off of it. All of these factors straighten a "fair use argument".

Here's a better explanation from the US government itself about when something counts as fair use: http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

Quote:Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:

[INDENT]1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes[/INDENT]
[INDENT]2. The nature of the copyrighted work[/INDENT]
[INDENT]3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole[/INDENT]
[INDENT]4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work[/INDENT]

This is a stark contrast to something like IceFilms, where getting movies for free directly is using the entire work, and has drastic effects for "market value" (why buy the movie when you get it for free?), etc.

If we have to specifically spell out "thumbnails, fan art, and subtitles are allowed as an assumed 'fair use' of copyrighted material" in the policy, then we'll do that.
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