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4917 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 308742 18-Mar-2010 13:49
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I think the answer is quite clear. Reven compies with the take down order no matter how incorrect or not he feels it is since Sky has deeper pockets than he has.

Those users who need xmltvnz already have it. If the sources change so that the program needs changing there are no shortage of ways for Reven to inform users and make it available without having to post anything that contravenes the takedown order.

From then up it's up to the ingenuity of the user community to ensure an ongoing source of epg information.

It's what I would do but since I have access to free legal advice I might check with them out of interest. But there is no benefit in challenging the order since there are no commercial losses that Reven faces.




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370 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 308744 18-Mar-2010 13:51
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lchiu7: I think the answer is quite clear. Reven compies with the take down order no matter how incorrect or not he feels it is since Sky has deeper pockets than he has.

Those users who need xmltvnz already have it. If the sources change so that the program needs changing there are no shortage of ways for Reven to inform users and make it available without having to post anything that contravenes the takedown order.

From then up it's up to the ingenuity of the user community to ensure an ongoing source of epg information.

It's what I would do but since I have access to free legal advice I might check with them out of interest. But there is no benefit in challenging the order since there are no commercial losses that Reven faces.


Pretty much sums it up!




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194 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 308747 18-Mar-2010 13:57
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reven: Write registered mail to;

John Hollingworth
Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary
10 Panorama Road
Mt Wellington
Auckland

Identify yourself and give comprehensive contact information. This blocks them launching an "Ex Parte" injunction against you Applying for an "Ex Parte" injunction when they have your 24/7 contact information is called pissing off the judge.

Also offer to meet at any reasonable time or location to discuss the matter. A judge is less likely to be sympathetic towards any enforcement action if you offer to enter into bona-fide good faith negotiations.

So images and logos are not in dispute because you do not use them.

If their complaint is about your use of the terms like "Sky Sport" or "History Channel", why not offer to rename them to names like "Outdoor Games" of "Docos about Old Stuff".



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  Reply # 308750 18-Mar-2010 14:03
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John Hollingworth
Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary
10 Panorama Road
Mt Wellington
Auckland

thats right around the corner from my house :)  should i just go knock on his door and say "John.  Mine names John too!..... can you just let this slide, we have the same name and all! like what are the odds?"

If their complaint is about your use of the terms like "Sky Sport" or "History Channel", why not offer to rename them to names like "Outdoor Games" of "Docos about Old Stuff".

yeah i thought this might be the case to begin with, but not sure if i want to risk it. 

i think my only real course of action is to remove all sky channels from the config file. 

still no word back from their lawyers.... although they're probably reading this ....

234 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 308752 18-Mar-2010 14:04
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Simply viewing the sky guide on-line is fine, and it is accepted that it will be cached by your web browser. However Reven's application "scalps" the content of the sky guide and stores it in xml format on a users machine. It is then changed and reproduced as an EPG without sky's permission. Remember, they own this information.


It all seems very contentious.

So is there such a thing as a publically available legal Sky EPG? With the exception of reading it with a 'web browser' (whatever that is), or a SkyBox.

I guess all this is the reason we don't have a natively supported guide in Windows Media Centre in the first place. Sky not wanting to share, in order to protect their own revenue streams.

234 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 308753 18-Mar-2010 14:06
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lchiu7: I think the answer is quite clear. Reven compies with the take down order no matter how incorrect or not he feels it is since Sky has deeper pockets than he has.

Those users who need xmltvnz already have it. If the sources change so that the program needs changing there are no shortage of ways for Reven to inform users and make it available without having to post anything that contravenes the takedown order.

From then up it's up to the ingenuity of the user community to ensure an ongoing source of epg information.

It's what I would do but since I have access to free legal advice I might check with them out of interest. But there is no benefit in challenging the order since there are no commercial losses that Reven faces.


Where is the "Like" button :) Well said.

40 posts

Geek


  Reply # 308762 18-Mar-2010 14:18
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blur:
...Remember, they own this information.
Reven is the author of an application which sole purpose is to infringe copyright. 


Bull. The EPG data itself is not protected by copyright. The episode descriptions might be, but it's not at all clear that Sky is the legal rights holder on those, and I would be very interested to know if they are actually claiming to be.

The trademarks on the channel names are all they have an undisputed claim to as far as I can see.
 

194 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 308763 18-Mar-2010 14:20
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Reven: This is not the legal equivalent of you being seen standing over a bleeding corpse with a smoking gun in your hand and your only reasonable response is to say "Fair cop, youv'e got me bang to rights".

Sky Network Television have made an intellectual property claim that is open to doubt.

Their is no reason for you to run for cover. Make them specify and detail their intellectual property claims. Take time to read and study the Australian High Court Case. Take the steps I have recommended in the previous post.

If you play this with a straight bat it unlikely that you will come to any serious harm.

370 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 308765 18-Mar-2010 14:27
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Plasmadog:
blur:
...Remember, they own this information.
Reven is the author of an application which sole purpose is to infringe copyright. 


Bull. The EPG data itself is not protected by copyright. The episode descriptions might be, but it's not at all clear that Sky is the legal rights holder on those, and I would be very interested to know if they are actually claiming to be.

The trademarks on the channel names are all they have an undisputed claim to as far as I can see.
 


So following your logic, Sky are unable to charge for their non-copyrighted programming information?

Guess again...




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  Reply # 308768 18-Mar-2010 14:32
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What we all really need here is a lawyer that is willing to spend a little bit of time providing some real expertise. Come on people someone must have a friend/family member, whatever that is a lawyer and that they can convince to have a look at the takedown notice that Reven has been given?
It may be a case of not having a leg to stand on but I don't think any one of us is in a position to tell Reven what to or what not to do.







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  Reply # 308775 18-Mar-2010 14:41
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Nety: What we all really need here is a lawyer that is willing to spend a little bit of time providing some real expertise. Come on people someone must have a friend/family member, whatever that is a lawyer and that they can convince to have a look at the takedown notice that Reven has been given?
It may be a case of not having a leg to stand on but I don't think any one of us is in a position to tell Reven what to or what not to do.


yes please, anyone out there a lawyer or know a lawyer, who can look into this for free?
i really dont want to have to take it down unless i have to, too many people use it and i want to keep the community going if i can, but not at my personal expense (i hope everyone can appericate that)

483 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  Reply # 308777 18-Mar-2010 14:46
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Stepping aside from Reven's immediate issue, the question still needs to be raised with both the Commerce Commission and the Minister of Broadcasting as to whether or not Sky's behavior should be in any way supported by the law or tolerated for the matter, given that two of our immediate trading partners have both declared the information contained within an EPG to be in the public domain ie both USA, and Australia.

I'd suggest that Reven, Had's and others who have received C&D letters, lay a complaint with the Commerce Commission, given Sky's monopoly position, and using its ability as a monopoly to unduely stamp out any competition.

Sky are well aware of the powers of the regulator in New Zealand. Its a simple form on the CC website, and should only take a few minutes of time. Its a nice way of saying thank you for the C&D letter.

As suggested earlier, doing this costs nothing, and won't negatively influence you legal position, but it will provide a degreee of focus on the behaviour of Sky, and may even help clarify whether NZ law will continue to support Sky's position.

The more people that email the Minister of Broadcasting the better...



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  Reply # 308781 18-Mar-2010 14:56
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anyone up to writing said letter?  and telling me where to send it to? im not exactly sure what to write and how to word it. 

and im going to be busy doing a new website and have it up in time in case i do have to comply with sky :)

370 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 308782 18-Mar-2010 14:59
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How about an open letter from the Geekzone community? This might carry some more weight. I agree totally with Rusty...




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Ultimate Geek

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  Reply # 308783 18-Mar-2010 15:03
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Something along these lines:

Dear Mr Minister Do Dah,

Sky Television has recently undertaken a campaign through its assigned legal counsel delivering cease and desist notifications/orders to all publically available internet based services who have been hosting Electronic Program Guide (EPG) information. The majority of these services, were single websites, run by single individuals, for no commercial profit or gain ie as a free public service.

This EPG information contains the program listings (time of broadcast, and program information/descriptions) of both the Free to Air television services, and Sky Television. This is largely the same information you can find in any printed TV Guide, and or some Newspapers.

This information has been used by many hundreds of Sky Television customers throughout New Zealand in order to allow us to operate Media Center (Home Theatre PC's) devices, as an alternative to Sky's low end settop box, and MySky PVR devices. Media Center devices offer the ability to centralise a rich array of content, including music, television, video (Bluray, DVD etc), into a single an functional device. As a broad estimate, there are currently many thousands of users in New Zealand using such devices.

In no way does the provision of any of this information, either through the provision of an internet based EPG, or the use of a Media Center circumvent the requirement to remain a customer of Sky Television. That is, no-one is seeking to get free access to Sky Television. In fact, in both the USA, and Australia, the EPG information in question is now considered to be in the public domain.

Due to the disparate nature of the New Zealand broadcasting network, including the differing systems used to provide the EPG (Freeview use MHEG, Sky TV use EIT), the websites which provided the EPG services provided the operational "glue" to allow the continued operation for many non technical users.

That is without the ability to download, and use this information, some users (without high level technical abilities) have little or no choice to use Sky's MySky device, which has a relatively high financial cost (especially when it provides a single, limited service offering) to Media Center users.

In the majority of cases the services who provided the EPG, have done so without profit. In the majority of cases, they do not have the legal resources, financially or otherwise, to undertake to clarify the position of Sky Television through the normal legal system. In Australia for example this was tested in the High Court - the following link references the sucessful outcome of the commercial organisation who challenged one of the broadcasters (Channel 9), in a nearly identical situation -

http://news.icetv.com.au/news/?p=44

Unfortunately New Zealand doesn't have the population base of Australia, and as such no commercial services operate who have the financial resources to undertake such action.

There is also an argurment to be made that it should not be the responsiblity or liabilty of members of the New Zealand public to question or attempt to reign in the monopolistic practices of New Zealand's largest broadcaster.

A fair assumption can be made that the actions undertaken by Sky Television, have been made in order to stiffle any possible competition, and protect its monopoly position on the supply of set-top boxes for its services. Similar commericial tactics have been addresses in the USA (Cablecard) by the appropriate regulators, which has protected the public from such anti-competitive behaviour. In the USA, regulation is in place to protect the freedom of choice for Cablecard (PayTV services) users. This regulation applies to both hardware and EPG services.

So, the question therefore becomes is the New Zealand government, and yourself as Communications Minister, interested in both investigating, and possibly influencing the position of Sky Televison, either through regulation or otherwise.

Signed,
Me the little guy (cry cry sob sob)

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