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IceTV General => General Discussions => Topic started by: Daniel Hall at IceTV on November 19, 2007, 02:14:29 PM

Title: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: Daniel Hall at IceTV on November 19, 2007, 02:14:29 PM
Soon you will be able to enjoy the added programming that the 3 major Commercial TV Networks (7, 9 & 10) intend to provide on their new High Definition TV channels, which are due to be officially launched shortly.

Although this is of course great news for TV watchers as a whole... unfortunately IceTV still doesn’t receive any support from the major networks or from FreeTV Australia. As a result, there will be a short delay and we won’t be able to provide EPG data for these new channels until 2-3 weeks after the start of full strength programming.

This is mainly due to possible legal ramifications imposed by the networks and the method we use in order to provide the IceTV service. In most other countries around the world, TV networks openly support independent third party EPG providers like IceTV.

We apologise for any inconvenience this short delay in coverage may cause & thank you all in advance for your patience.

In other news, FreeTV Australia last week announced that the major commercial TV networks have agreed to start providing electronic program guide data via the broadcast signal. This is good news for those with an integrated TV or simple set-top-box...

However for most PVR users... this means nothing. Based on the information IceTV has been given by FreeTV Australia, it seems there are still no plans to provide the EPG data to any digital recording devices that have an in-built 30 second Skip Button or fast forward speeds of 60x or more. That accounts for about 99% of IceTV users.

We at IceTV believe that you should be able to enjoy & freely use all the intended features of the hardware device you yourself purchased and not be restricted in how and when you watch your favourite TV shows. One of the greatest benefits of being an IceTV subscriber is that you are in complete control. Watch, pause, rewind or skip through anything you've recorded. Snack on TV or sit down for a full feast.

Because we provide our service and our own independent 7-day EPG via broadband and not over the air, you are able to enjoy all the other value-added benefits that we provide. These features include IceTV Remote (http://www.icetv.com.au/remote), the IceTV Widget (http://www.icetv.com.au/widgetabout.shtml), MyGuide (http://iwatchthis.com.au/about) and the soon to be released IceTV Video (http://www.icetv.com.au/news/?cat=17), none of which are available when using a basic EPG supplied via the broadcast signal. For more information on IceTV and the unique features & services we provide, click here (http://www.icetv.com.au/about).

We are in constant communication with representatives from the different manufacturers we are associated with and together we are carefully looking into the options available to us. As always, we will be putting our current IceTV subscriber's and the 'average consumer' first before making any decision.

If the cons outweigh the pros for the end user in terms of experience and functionality... then we will continue to offer the feature packed service that we offer today and remain the leading independent third party EPG provider in Australia.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: goldcoastguy on November 19, 2007, 04:41:37 PM

However for most PVR users... this means nothing. Based on the information IceTV has been given by FreeTV Australia, it seems there are still no plans to provide the EPG data to any digital recording devices that have an in-built 30 second Skip Button or fast forward speeds of 60x or more. That accounts for about 99% of IceTV users.


Hasn't this now been proven to be false?

Turning off ICE on my Toppy, I'm getting exactly what the Free TV Australia announced it said it would deliver.... totally unencrypted.

In fact I'm getting an 8 day guide on some channels.


Evan :->
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: Daniel Hall at IceTV on November 19, 2007, 05:38:47 PM
At this stage we are not sure exactly how things these will be restricted, except that FreeTV Australia have confirmed that the data is not authorized for use in PVR's that support 30 sec skip and other features. Whether they try legal tactics to stop certain PVR manufacturers we don't know.

More information is out there at http://www.theage.com.au/news/technology/networks-want-to-nobble-adskipping/2007/11/19/1195321672583.html and http://www.itwire.com/content/view/15400/1085/
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: dgaust on November 19, 2007, 11:03:01 PM
FreeTV refuse to say how it will be enforced, it appears that they are just as one person has put it 'sabre rattling'.

A reply to a request for further information was along the lines of 'It will be up to the end user to ensure they don't breach copyright, and the copyright owner to enforce their copyright'.

It seems like a crazy situation, but considering the current situation with Australian TV it's not surprising.

Thanks for the post Daniel, it needed to be done.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: Jason W on November 19, 2007, 11:14:54 PM
In fact I'm getting an 8 day guide on some channels.

Okay, my curiosity got the better of me and I just had a look with dvbsnoop. I am seeing what looks like full 7 day guides with descriptions from Nine and Ten but as usual Seven is lagging behind with just now and next data (in which they are still shouting out their event names in glorious capital letters). I didn't check ABC or SBS. Things certainly have improved since IceTV started but are no where near complete enough to use yet.

Of course if the guide data is accurate and standards compliant they can't exactly stop any EIT supporting recorders from using the data for scheduling. Are they going to try and pull DMCA style legal tactics?
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: chopper on December 05, 2007, 12:27:48 PM
Any new news yet - Is the ICE epg now showing the new programming yet (Adelaide) or am I missing something ?  ???  :-*
Cheerio
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: Daniel Hall at IceTV on December 05, 2007, 01:39:37 PM
Any new news yet - Is the ICE epg now showing the new programming yet (Adelaide) or am I missing something ?  ???  :-*
Cheerio

We are monitoring the situation and at this stage 7 HD has not started full strength broadcasting as yet (I unfortunately found this out after watching through 80 hours or so of 7 HD). At this stage they have not announced when they will start broadcasting full strength either.

10 HD though have announced they will begin proper multi-channeling (full strength broadcasting) on Dec 16th, so all going well you should see the new guide data on there approximately 2-3 weeks after that.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: chopper on December 05, 2007, 03:18:33 PM
OK ! A late xmas present  ;)
16th + 2-3 weeks = about 31st Dec 2007 or 6th Jan 2008 or so.

avagood1
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: prl on December 05, 2007, 05:35:01 PM
...
Of course if the guide data is accurate and standards compliant they can't exactly stop any EIT supporting recorders from using the data for scheduling. Are they going to try and pull DMCA style legal tactics?
From my reading of section 5.1.5 of Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB); Specification for Service Information (SI) in DVB systems (ETSI EN 300 468) (http://webapp.etsi.org/action/OP/OP20060428/en_300468v010701o.pdf) "scrambling" of the EITs (Event Information Tables) that constitute the EPG is explicitly allowed for (how it's done isn't in that standards document). They're clearly not doing it now, but that appears to offer a mechanism that would let them restrict the EPG information.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: Jason W on December 05, 2007, 06:31:02 PM
From my reading of section 5.1.5 of Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB); Specification for Service Information (SI) in DVB systems (ETSI EN 300 468) (http://webapp.etsi.org/action/OP/OP20060428/en_300468v010701o.pdf) "scrambling" of the EITs (Event Information Tables) that constitute the EPG is explicitly allowed for (how it's done isn't in that standards document). They're clearly not doing it now, but that appears to offer a mechanism that would let them restrict the EPG information.
Thanks for posting this reference. It seems you are correct, the EIT can be scrambled using CA. It appears like the intended usage is for event info on channels which themselves are subject to CA (premium channels, perhaps adult channels or similar (i.e. think of the children™)) but it certainly could be used for this purpose as well. With the correct decoding hardware support (CA card?), the EIT data could be compliant and scrambled.

In any case, my original thought was with regard to existing decoders out in the market. There's no technical way that I can think of to allow these to work while preventing uncrippled PVRs from accessing the same content.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: Kirben on December 06, 2007, 02:57:49 PM
Is there any way programming for Seven HD could be added sooner? than waiting for channel to go full strength. With different content been shown in afternoons and evenings next week, the current guide is getting useless.

I noticed the programming for Seven HD is listed in various online TV guides (eBroadcast, yourTV) now, and no longer limited to Seven's web site.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: Mitch IceGuide on December 06, 2007, 03:06:43 PM
We do NOT get our information from other EPGs. No you won't get the information sooner as we take our legal obligations very seriously and are very aware of copyright responsibilities. I hardly think this renders the IceGuide 'useless'. I would imagine the 'odd' person out there is still watching SD Television.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: Kirben on December 06, 2007, 03:10:20 PM
We do NOT get our information from other EPGs. No you won't get the information sooner as we take our legal obligations very seriously and are very aware of copyright responsibilities. I hardly think this renders the IceGuide 'useless'. I would imagine the 'odd' person out there is still watching SD Television.

To clarify, I thought you might get your content from similar sources as online TV guides.

And I specifically meant the Seven HD channel only, when I said 'useless'.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: baturbo on December 11, 2007, 07:05:32 AM
This is a joke >:( I did not pay $99 to see that just about every online guide has up to date information and yet the service that I pay for is has no 7HD content information. It's been more than two weeks!
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: dylan on December 11, 2007, 10:14:44 AM
baturbo

I have read your message 4 times and I still can't understand what you are saying. Too many double negatives for my pre coffee brain.  ;)

Perhaps you are saying that you pay $99 just for 7HD data and only use the free on-line guides for all other channels?

Dylan

Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: Kirben on December 11, 2007, 10:21:26 AM
Sounds like baturbo wants an accurate TV guide for Seven HD, considering it is available in other TV guides, and the price paid for the IceTV service.

The Seven HD channel is currently showing different content in afternoon and evening time slots, so the current data provided by IceTV isn't accurate at the moment.

Unfortunately IceTV are waiting for SevenHD to go full strength programming, with the TV guide added two weeks about that. Maybe IceTV can clarify what they mean by full strength programming?

Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: dgaust on December 11, 2007, 11:25:46 AM
I would assume that would be 2 weeks from Monday. As of yesterday, they're now showing 50 hours of alternate programming a week on the HD channel.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: Daniel Hall at IceTV on December 17, 2007, 02:21:17 PM
We understand the frustration that some of our users have at the moment with their not being any programming information for the new HD Channels within the IceTV EPG service.

As most of our subscribers are aware, we receive no official support from any of the commercial free-to-air TV networks and therefore are unable to provide accurate TV guide listings for the new Seven and Ten HD channels at this point in time.

We (and any other EPG provider that we know of) are not legally permitted to use the published information that is currently publicly available on their websites or their partnering websites. We have made formal requests to do so to both Networks, but unfortunately we have not been able to gain their permission.

Copying their published information is a direct breach of copyright and therefore if we did go ahead and simply copy this information, our service would be no different to that of the illegal, ‘scraped’ EPG services available and ultimately our service would cease to exist and our subscribers suffer.

We are not prepared to jeopardise our current service by doing this and we will continue to use our methods of prediction and independent compilation, even if it means that it may take 2-3weeks in order to have our listings made available.

Rest assured that our team is working very hard to release our own independent TV guide listings for these new Channels within the IceTV EPG as soon as humanly possible.

We are aiming for a possible release of this information in early 2008 and by this time we suspect that the two networks will have more consistent HD programming in place for us all to enjoy.

As soon as we can, we will include the information in our IceTV EPG service and we will notify all our users of great news.

In the meantime we hope you all have a fantastic Christmas and a Happy New Year and as always, we thank you for choosing IceTV.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: Kirben on December 17, 2007, 03:59:19 PM
This is ridiculous, you promised proper TV guides for HD channels, 2-3 weeks after 'full sength' programming. And now you state maybe proper TV guides for HD channels in early 2008! with not even a specific month mentioned for 2008!

The 'methods of prediction' point is even more disappointing, I thought I was paying for an accurate TV guide. Not for any predictions of programming, which can never account for the frequent changes by commercial TV networks.

If you are able to compile an independent TV guide for the Seven, Nine and Ten networks, then why is it taking much longer for their HD channels?

I would ask about your sources of TV guide information, but I doubt that information would be provided.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: chopper on December 17, 2007, 07:41:24 PM
Rest assured that our team is working very hard to release our own independent TV guide listings for these new Channels within the IceTV EPG as soon as humanly possible.

We are aiming for a possible release of this information in early 2008 and by this time we suspect that the two networks will have more consistent HD programming in place for us all to enjoy.

As soon as we can, we will include the information in our IceTV EPG service and we will notify all our users of great news.

In the meantime we hope you all have a fantastic Christmas and a Happy New Year and as always, we thank you for choosing IceTV.

Thankyou.  Look forward to it.  Have a fantastic Christmas and a Happy New Year to you too.

Cheerio.

To the impatient others ... it's not the end of life on earth ! 
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: scoop98 on December 17, 2007, 10:45:13 PM
Not good enough!

Quote
"We are not prepared to jeopardise our current service by doing this and we will continue to use our methods of prediction and independent compilation, even if it means that it may take 2-3weeks in order to have our listings made available."

You got to be kidding.  Do you use a psychic! 

My one year subscription is expiring on the 31/12/07...you can guess what I'll be doing!!

NOTE:- I sell Media Centre PC's as part of my job... You can guess that I will not be recommending IceTV for the foreseeable future.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: Nomad on December 17, 2007, 11:49:18 PM
WTF? now ICE have removed the Ch70 and Ch12 HD info except for "wait till 2008".  This means all my Media Centre recordings set for these channels will fail.

Good effort guys. Not Happy

Damon
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: philzgr8 on December 18, 2007, 08:36:58 AM
Absolutely disgraceful! You guys have been pushing your 12 month subscriptions while purporting to be in a position to provide an accurate guide which you now state you are not in a position to provide. I respectfully suggest that all subscriptions should now be suspended until an accurate guide is provided. To those who say it's not the end of the world... Of course it's not but I'm paying for a service and I'm not getting it. If my ISP tells me I can only connect to a percentage of the sites available I'll be going elsewhere or expecting a refund until they get it right and I don't see that Ice is any different. I think Ice has no real choice but to either suspend subscriptions immediately or refund a proportion of the subscription equivalent to the period where there service is incorrect!
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: scoop98 on December 18, 2007, 09:49:00 AM
Absolutely disgraceful! You guys have been pushing your 12 month subscriptions while purporting to be in a position to provide an accurate guide which you now state you are not in a position to provide. I respectfully suggest that all subscriptions should now be suspended until an accurate guide is provided. To those who say it's not the end of the world... Of course it's not but I'm paying for a service and I'm not getting it. If my ISP tells me I can only connect to a percentage of the sites available I'll be going elsewhere or expecting a refund until they get it right and I don't see that Ice is any different. I think Ice has no real choice but to either suspend subscriptions immediately or refund a proportion of the subscription equivalent to the period where there service is incorrect!

Or they might put up prices "because of the extra work load" for the new HD channels!!!  Wouldn't that be popular!
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: Matt on December 18, 2007, 09:55:31 AM
This means all my Media Centre recordings set for these channels will fail.

Just to underscore this, I'm very frustrated with the Ice approach too.  I spoke to Daniel this morning so do understand that the predictability of shows on the HD channels was becoming increasingly difficult to pick but those of us who have spent some time in setting up HD recording schedules are now, effectively, screwed. 

The number of prime time shows that were ditched for multi-channeling were fairly minimal in my experience so the blanket approach seems rash.  A quick view of Anthony Simiion's fabulous "What's in High Definition this week" guide would back this up.  http://www.dtvforum.info/index.php?showtopic=28574

Ice: if you're going to make serious changes to the content which will effect our setups please give us some notice before simply turning it off.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: philzgr8 on December 18, 2007, 11:28:08 AM
Or they might put up prices "because of the extra work load" for the new HD channels!!!  Wouldn't that be popular!
...and when they do it will become even more worthwhile to fund the development of an EIT stream scraper (the code for which already exists) which will provide for free a far more accurate EPG than IceTV can ever offer. If you want to post inanities go ahead but frankly I'm not happy paying for a second rate service!
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: Matt at IceTV on December 18, 2007, 02:44:57 PM
On behalf of IceTV I would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience the delay in publishing the program guide data for the new HD channels within our IceTV EPG service is causing our loyal customer base.

As most of you are aware, we are still in a current legal battle with Channel Nine (although we won the case in August), and we are still not authorised to use any of the published information available from the 3 major free-to-air TV networks, despite repeated attempts to gain official access.

What this means, is that we cannot and do not gather any program guide information directly from the TV network's websites or from any 3rd party website or published source that contains their own copyrightable information. The way in which we independently compile our own copyrightable guide listings is the very reason why we won our court case against Channel Nine in August. While we are still fighting them we must continue to use our accepted methods.

SevenHD started broadcasting their HD content on the new channel on Monday the 10th of December although very lightly, while TenHD began this Sunday (16/12/07). We had previously advised everyone that the likely turn around for us would be 2-3 weeks and we are still hopeful in achieving this as recently suggestested with "coming in early 2008" comments.

... Copying their published information is a direct breach of copyright and therefore if we did go ahead and simply copy this information, our service would be no different to that of the illegal, "scraped" EPG services available and ultimately our service would cease to exist and our subscribers suffer.

We are not prepared to jeopardise our current service by doing this and we will continue to use our methods of prediction and independent compilation, even if it means that it may take 2-3weeks in order to have our listings made available.

Rest assured that our team is working very hard to release our own independent TV guide listings for these new Channels within the IceTV EPG as soon as humanly possible.

We are aiming for a possible release of this information in early 2008 and by this time we suspect that the two networks will have more consistent HD programming in place for us all to enjoy.

As soon as we can, we will include the information in our IceTV EPG service and we will notify all our users of great news.

We simply cannot put it any straighter than that... staff are literally working around the clock to get this information up and running for everyone and we are confident based on our current progress that we will be ready to release the information by mid January, which is what we meant when we said in "early 2008". Copying direct information from the TV networks or writing applications that do... is not an option.

...now ICE have removed the Ch70 and Ch12 HD

As both Seven and Ten are now utilising their new HD Channels and broadcasting a vast array of different content to that which is on their SD Channels, the EPG data we displayed in the IceTV EPG was becoming very inconsistent and this inaccuracy is what led us to removing the listings altogether. I accept that this was a rash move on our behalf and one that should have been better communicated to everyone, but we were receiving an increase in complaints from customers who were recording shows only to find something completely different later on.

Or they might put up prices "because of the extra work load" for the new HD channels!!!  Wouldn't that be popular!

This is something we have never done and we have done the exact opposite. Over the time that we have been providing a  service commercially, we have consistently lowered the cost of our subscription and offered numerous discount promotions for everyone to take advantage of at regular stages. While  also doing this, we have increased the features and functionality across the many different device platforms that we are compatible with and included these as part of the IceTV service .

Having said all of this... I do want to once again apologise for any inconvenience this process is going to cause our customers in advance. I appreciate the frustration that some of you have with not being able to utilise the HD program guide information for the new channels, but I ask that you remain patient during this time and be reassured that we will resume the fantastic service that we have consistantly delivered in the very near future for everyone to enjoy.

On behalf of IceTV, I thank you all for your patience and for your continued support.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please don't hesitate to contact me directly via email (info@icetv.com.au) as I will be working throughout the Christmas break and will be personally making sure that we try to achieve the above as soon as possible.

In the meantime we hope you all have a fantastic Christmas and a Happy New Year and as always, we thank you for choosing IceTV.

Regards,

mattk
General Manager
IceTV Pty Limited
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: chopper on December 18, 2007, 08:54:00 PM
As most of you are aware, we are still in a current legal battle with Channel Nine (although we won the case in August), and we are still not authorised to use any of the published information available from the 3 major free-to-air TV networks, despite repeated attempts to gain official access.

Well you can quote one channel 9 customer back to them that they should pull their finger out of their arses as they're just pissing off their own customer base and making them feel negative to their channel and their channel's ads. 

Again, who's inconvenienced ?  The people that hopefully maybe some of them think they want to entice to watch their channel.  Tell them either fix it or show more nice boobs in the 7:30-9:40 timeslot !
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: Circuitau on December 18, 2007, 09:34:40 PM
As both Seven and Ten are now utilising their new HD Channels and broadcasting a vast array of different content to that which is on their SD Channels, the EPG data we displayed in the IceTV EPG was becoming very inconsistent and this inaccuracy is what led us to removing the listings altogether. I accept that this was a rash move on our behalf and one that should have been better communicated to everyone, but we were receiving an increase in complaints from customers who were recording shows only to find something completely different later on.

Hang on one bloody minute, my Ice setup is to copy normal channels to HD guide as it worked for me in the past.
Now you have gone and changed that too, why? the bloody guide is useless now.

Things are going from bad to worse WTF is wrong with you people ?

Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: dJOS on December 19, 2007, 03:27:41 PM
WTF? now ICE have removed the Ch70 and Ch12 HD info except for "wait till 2008".  This means all my Media Centre recordings set for these channels will fail.

Good effort guys. Not Happy

Damon

WTF!!!!!! I just noticed this too! I've had to go and set a bunch of Prime time shows to record on 10-SD even tho primetime shows are simulcast!!! not Happy!!!  >:(
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: nightbreed on January 02, 2008, 11:44:54 PM
It's now 2008. What's the deal?????? Update please!  >:(
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: Kirben on January 03, 2008, 12:16:39 AM
A few more weeks of waiting, there was a response (http://www.xpmediacentre.com.au/community/179032-post46.html) from Daniel Hall in similar thread, at the Australian Media Center Community forums:
Quote
To confirm, the current time frame is mid January to have the HD channels up and running, we have had people laboriously watching and writing down everything that has been on for the HD channels since they diverged from what is shown on SD.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: dJOS on January 03, 2008, 09:25:12 AM
I wish they'd hurry up, im missing recordings of shows I like!! :(
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: Marc on January 03, 2008, 10:49:02 AM
Please hang in there. Everything possible is being done to support the HD channels as soon as we can.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: chopper on January 03, 2008, 11:36:37 AM
Thanks.  Encouraging you to continue with haste.  Look forward to it... as does everyone by the looks  :D
Title: I don't understand
Post by: dishy on January 04, 2008, 09:55:50 AM
So, why can't we be told what the actual problem is?

Apparantly it has something vaguely to do with IceTV's "different methods" - but if these methods are failing (which they are) - then why not use the same methods that others like ebroadcast.com.au do?

If they can do it, why not IceTV? I haven't seen an up-front explanation - every mention of this topic is shrouded in mystery, like it is some sort of cloak-and-dagger thing.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: Marc on January 04, 2008, 11:57:25 AM
Quote
So, why can't we be told what the actual problem is?
There's no problem at all. We've been working around the clock since the day HD broadcasts have started. The process just takes time. There's been staff on this all through the entire holiday period. Every single thing that can be done is being done to ensure we have a legal and accurate guide for Ten HD and 7 HD.

Quote
Apparantly it has something vaguely to do with IceTV's "different methods" - but if these methods are failing (which they are) - then why not use the same methods that others like ebroadcast.com.au do?
Do you know how ebroadcast.com.au gets their guide data? I couldn't find any information on their site that mentions where it comes from.

Keep in mind that there's a big difference between displaying data on a website and enabling recording features on PVRs and media centers. The later is far more likely to be met with close inspection by the commercial stations.

Quote
If they can do it, why not IceTV? I haven't seen an up-front explanation - every mention of this topic is shrouded in mystery, like it is some sort of cloak-and-dagger thing.
We've spent a lot of time perfecting our methods of building a completely independent EPG, so it's not likely any IceTV staff member will publish sensitive information like that here.

We're very open about most of what we do though and we're committed to giving our users as much flexibility as possible. If our guide wasn't independent, then we'd be bound by the legal restrictions placed on us by its source. So, it's good for everyone that we do things the way we do.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: dishy on January 04, 2008, 06:42:46 PM
I don't see what the legal issue is. Since data such as this is not copyrightable (like recipes, album track listings or geographic information, for example), then why can't you just copy it from ebroadcast?
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: dJOS on January 04, 2008, 06:48:28 PM
I don't see what the legal issue is. Since data such as this is not copyrightable (like recipes, album track listings or geographic information, for example), then why can't you just copy it from ebroadcast?

Cause a pack of A Holes (aka Telstra) won a court battle that essentially allowed compilations of facts (telephone numbers in this case) to be copy-writable ... surprisingly in the USA the same type of court case went the other way and so anyone can use anyone elses TV guide data with no issues.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: dishy on January 05, 2008, 10:55:49 AM
So, is anybody doing anything about that ruling? Such as getting the judge drawn and quartered... I mean overturning the bad decision? Or do we just act like typical aussies and sit on our arses? These things have to be defied, as they are pure nonsense. Following foolish law is something only fools should do.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: Gary on January 05, 2008, 02:12:27 PM
This all seems very circular and non-productive -

IceTV already did do something in court - they defended themselves successfully.

The TV stations are adding copyright details to all the FTA EPG info they are broadcasting.

It is not the TV show info that is the main basis for copyright, it is the compiling and presenting of the guides.

IceTV have worked out a combination of ways to compile the information in order to avoid any claims of infringement. One of those, I believe is just watching TV and making presumptions on how it will be scheduled based on those observations.

When they are ready to provide the info they will.

(and yes I would like it now too but it ain't happening till they are ready :))
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: coldchickens on January 09, 2008, 11:10:30 AM
Theres a bit of buzz about tivo coming to town. The commercial stations may be protecting a vested interest in that project.
It is unusual that they would put up such a fight without some return on the associated costs of that fight.
 :-\
Another great independent idea squashed my corporate giants cashing in.
What odds am I offered?
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: username on January 09, 2008, 04:07:43 PM
Sure is taking a while.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: nightbreed on January 09, 2008, 06:06:32 PM
I have spent a small fortune on my HTPC system based on the fact that IceTV would be at the heart of it. Without a complete guide it's pretty much useless. I really hope something happens soon or as soon as Tivo is released i'm switching!  >:(
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: dgaust on January 10, 2008, 09:47:14 AM
Personally I can wait until it is available provided it isn't too much longer.

However, I am disappointed that the Copy SD listing to HD option has been disabled, this still relatively useful. Certainly much more so than the current 'Coming Soon in 2008' that is currently there.

After all, there is only 50 hours of individual programming, and I know when it is (and I daresay Ice do as well by know). Even if they didn't know what shows were going to be broadcast when, just allow us to choose the SD listings to be displayed in the HD channels.

Or even better, do a copy of SD over to the HD channels, but remove the timeslots that commonly have HD programs shown in them. That'll leave a lot of data that we can use.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: Kirben on January 10, 2008, 10:01:49 AM
After all, there is only 50 hours of individual programming, and I know when it is (and I daresay Ice do as well by know). Even if they didn't know what shows were going to be broadcast when, just allow us to choose the SD listings to be displayed in the HD channels.

No please don't go back to showing the inaccurate TV guide data, as it will just cause people to have various recording issues again. Especially for movies/series which are mistakenly marked as been shown in HD. Since it still requires checking another TV guide, to be sure the content is actually been shown on the SevenHD or TenHD channels.

Or even better, do a copy of SD over to the HD channels, but remove the timeslots that commonly have HD programs shown in them. That'll leave a lot of data that we can use.

Unfortunately I expect that would have the same legal issues, as actually providing a proper TV guide for SevenHD and TenHD channels.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: prl on January 10, 2008, 10:35:46 AM
I wrote a perl script to fetch and preprocess TF7000HDPVRt IceTV files to do a Copy SD to HD, but I allowed for a few features that seem to be missing from the IceTV function:It's more difficult to do this with the Beyonwiz, because it fetches the EPG data direct from a wired-in URL. I would have thought the last one would be very easy for IceTV to implement.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: IcedCoffee on January 10, 2008, 12:01:44 PM
After all, there is only 50 hours of individual programming, and I know when it is (and I daresay Ice do as well by know). Even if they didn't know what shows were going to be broadcast when, just allow us to choose the SD listings to be displayed in the HD channels.

No please don't go back to showing the inaccurate TV guide data, as it will just cause people to have various recording issues again. Especially for movies/series which are mistakenly marked as been shown in HD. Since it still requires checking another TV guide, to be sure the content is actually been shown on the SevenHD or TenHD channels.


I agree with dgaust.  People that do not wish to do this due to the recording issues you mention can simply uncheck the copy SD to HD option and they will continue to get what they get now.  This at least allows those of us that wish to take the risk, the option to do so.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: Kirben on January 10, 2008, 12:16:36 PM
I agree with dgaust.  People that do not wish to do this due to the recording issues you mention can simply uncheck the copy SD to HD option and they will continue to get what they get now.  This at least allows those of us that wish to take the risk, the option to do so.

No, the current SD to HD option, applies to several other channels (ABC, Nine, SBS) too. Which would force inaccurate TV guide data for SevenHD and TenHD channels onto those users.

Unless a separate SD to HD option was added, specifically for the SevenHD and TenHD, as suggested elsewhere.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: dgaust on January 10, 2008, 12:41:04 PM
There is always to option of adding an additional setting to allow people to copy the SD channels across, which I did mention elsewhere, you're following me :D.

In any event, I would assume there would be fewer complaints about getting the occasional incorrect show, than no data at all. Remember it is only 50 hours a week where different programming is broadcast, and generally in the same time slots.

And Kirben, I don't think you can copyright nothing, which is exactly what would be happening if Ice left the known HD timeslots blank but the rest was data from the SD channels.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: Kirben on January 10, 2008, 12:53:11 PM
And Kirben, I don't think you can copyright nothing, which is exactly what would be happening if Ice left the known HD timeslots blank but the rest was data from the SD channels.

Well leaving those time slots blank, would show IceTV are aware of the programming differences on SevenHD and TenHD channels. IceTV seem overly paranoid about anything, that could possibly cause any legal issues, so would need a way, to know that information legally I expect.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: dishy on January 10, 2008, 03:05:49 PM
IceTV have worked out a combination of ways to compile the information in order to avoid any claims of infringement.

I think that's the wrong way to go. The only way to get legal precedent is to actively infringe, and then get sued over it, and destroy them with quality legal reasoning.

Anyway, if they write their own descriptions of the shows, I don't see how there can be any possible infringement. That would be the only "creative" content that differentiates the source of the data.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: dishy on January 10, 2008, 03:11:55 PM
Unless a separate SD to HD option was added, specifically for the SevenHD and TenHD, as suggested elsewhere.

I requested this same feature from IceTV support, and was told it "isn't possible". Which strikes me as a ridiculous excuse, because it's just software. An abstracted digital environment, which one can manipulate in any way.

There are no laws of electronics or software that prevent such a thing from being possible - so I think they meant "we couldn't be bothered implementing this feature".
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: Daniel Drysdale at IceTV on January 10, 2008, 03:48:11 PM
Technically you are correct, there are very fews "laws" governing computing.

In this case the design of the guide system does not allow what you have requested to be done without a significant amount of work and since we are talking about a band-aid that would be in place for just a few weeks we are not prepared to commit the necessary resources or mess up our proven system with a kludge.

We understand the frustration you are all feeling at the moment with the unfortunate delay that is necessary to legally provide you with guide for 7HD & TEN HD, as we have stated several times we have a plan in place that we are currently working through, we want to get the guide to you as quickly as we can but our hands are tied. Considering that we still have the appeal from channel Nine pending in court we would be foolish to do anything even bordering on "grey" with respect to copyright.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: IcedCoffee on January 10, 2008, 05:08:11 PM
Quote
No, the current SD to HD option, applies to several other channels (ABC, Nine, SBS) too. Which would force inaccurate TV guide data for SevenHD and TenHD channels onto those users.

Unless a separate SD to HD option was added, specifically for the SevenHD and TenHD, as suggested elsewhere.

Point taken - as well as the point made later that it is probably not worth the effort for Ice to do a temporary Kludge to add a separate option since the solution is supposedly a few weeks away.  Had they considered the kludge in November however.. it would have given them and us three months of a better option than is currently available. 

I am still intrigued as to how by watching weeks of programming, they can then suddenly be able to predict the future.  I can kind of see that they can predict the next episode in a tv series as they can look at overseas guides that describe episodes (although there have been many times that 7, 9 and 10 have messed up the order of the episodes.)   When it comes to predicting movies, how is it possible to know what the networks are going to screen by guessing?  They have to read it off some guide unless the networks put out some sort of press release of what movies are to be shown in a form which is not copyrighted.

What a ridiculous situation we in Australia find ourselves in ;-)  I as a user can manually look at any tv guide online and manually program my DVR,DVD Rec or VHS machine with that info, but it is not permissible for me or anyone else (Ice) to write a program that extracts that freely available info to automatically program my DVR.  However a judge has ruled that if the same info is compiled by people watching and predicting the info it is then OK.  Sigh.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: prl on January 10, 2008, 05:53:36 PM
...
What a ridiculous situation we in Australia find ourselves in ;-)  I as a user can manually look at any tv guide online and manually program my DVR,DVD Rec or VHS machine with that info, but it is not permissible for me or anyone else (Ice) to write a program that extracts that freely available info to automatically program my DVR.  ...
That's (from my limited understanding) exactly one of the sorts of things that copyright law is intended to give the copyright owner control over - the making of derivative works, i.e. making a new version based on the original. The information isn't "freely available". It's copyrighted.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: IcedCoffee on January 10, 2008, 07:34:31 PM
That's (from my limited understanding) exactly one of the sorts of things that copyright law is intended to give the copyright owner control over - the making of derivative works, i.e. making a new version based on the original. The information isn't "freely available". It's copyrighted.

OK I kind of walked into that :D - I'll elaborate a bit more...
Yes from my limited understanding that is the situation however I believe it is relevant where there is copyright material in the first place.     A list of data eg telephone book, list of people who got married, died, born etc is arguably not copyright as it is factual information in the public domain.  A factual news story that appears in a newspaper is a copyright article in the sense that the writer has composed the words around the facts, however the facts themselves are not copyrighted.  If a murder happened, it happened and anyone can write an article about it listing all the facts.  Since the tv list of what is on is a factual list, I don't IMHO think that should be copyrightable.  That is what I meant by comparing my use of the list in an EPG form to that of manually using the list to program the device.  If one is legal then so should the other be.

Certainly the layout of the program is copyright, but then the EPG layout is distinctly different to the listings produced by the networks.  I can see an argument where the descriptions of the program are copyright however, it doesn't seem to me that the local networks write their own descriptions of most of the programs as most are the same as that listed on US sites so if anyone holds copyright in those descriptions it should be the US writers.  Unfortunately it seems that in Aus a legal precedent was set whereby a telephone book's list of phone numbers was considered to be copyright - an opposite precedant was set in the US.

It also seems to me that the info is "freely available" in that it is available from numerous sources not just the network list themselves but the numerous online and offline publications, as well as a listing on the digital guide channels that list the shows of the day and of course by turning on a TV and watching it you will see the program being screened. There is no copyright notice on most if not all of these lists.

From US copyright law "Copyright protects the particular way an author has expressed himself; it does not extend to any ideas, systems, or factual information conveyed in the work.  http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

In Australia we have "Fair Dealing" provisions.  A quote from this is If you simply restate public information in your own words, you will not infringe copyright.  http://www.copyright.org.au/pdf/acc/infosheets_pdf/G079.pdf

THis of course is all academic as Ice have taken a position,  Channel 9 have sued and lost but are appealing and Ice's method of compilation it seems is such that they are attempting to compile the info independantly.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: dgaust on January 10, 2008, 08:48:06 PM

OK I kind of walked into that :D - I'll elaborate a bit more...
Yes from my limited understanding that is the situation however I believe it is relevant where there is copyright material in the first place.     A list of data eg telephone book, list of people who got married, died, born etc is arguably not copyright as it is factual information in the public domain.

Actually I think Telstra won a court decision that said that the White Pages was copyrightable material. So a compilation of facts is copyrightable. In most countries it ain't, but in little old backward Oz it is.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: IcedCoffee on January 10, 2008, 09:03:48 PM
Actually I think Telstra won a court decision that said that the White Pages was copyrightable material. So a compilation of facts is copyrightable. In most countries it ain't, but in little old backward Oz it is.
Yeah unfortunately I think that was the precedent I referred to later in my post regarding a list of numbers.  I am still not convinced that it fully translates to the general case that a "list of facts" is copyright though. Consider the example I gave of a newpaper article.  Clearly though for us, we find ourselves in Aus in this strange - I say ridiculous- situation.  As far as I know we are the only country in the world to have copyright in TV listings. 

Oh well, we have a lot of other good things going for us in Aus so the occasional anomaly is to be expected and I guess tolerated.  It still would be nice if we fell into line with the rest of the world though.

Interestingly Tivo will be launched later this year and according to the SMH it will support all the channels.  I wonder if that could lead to an argument that the networks, in only allowing the guide for Tivo and not other providers, are engaging in anti-competitive behaviour.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: pvogel on January 11, 2008, 07:51:15 AM
I am still not convinced that it fully translates to the general case that a "list of facts" is copyright though...

It depends on how the list of facts was compiled. Example: If you were interested in butterflies and had a theory that butterfiles which live in warmer climates have brighter colours, so you put together a list of butterflies sorted by climate preference, you have created a list of facts. Each fact on its own is not copyright but the list is, and I think most people would agree that if I've spent a lot of effort doing the work to make the list, I should have ownership of it. However if someone creates an idential list by their own efforts, good luck to them. So long as they didn't copy my list, I have no claim.  Ownership includes having the right to say you cannot copy my list, whether by hand or digitally.

PV
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: prl on January 11, 2008, 10:07:59 AM
That's (from my limited understanding) exactly one of the sorts of things that copyright law is intended to give the copyright owner control over - the making of derivative works, i.e. making a new version based on the original. The information isn't "freely available". It's copyrighted.

OK I kind of walked into that :D - I'll elaborate a bit more...
Yes from my limited understanding that is the situation however I believe it is relevant where there is copyright material in the first place.     A list of data eg telephone book, list of people who got married, died, born etc is arguably not copyright as it is factual information in the public domain.  A factual news story that appears in a newspaper is a copyright article in the sense that the writer has composed the words around the facts, however the facts themselves are not copyrighted.  If a muredre happened, it happened and anyone can write an article about it listing all the facts.  Since the tv list of what is on is a factual list, I don't IMHO think that should be copyrightable.  That is what I meant by comparing my use of the list in an EPG form to that of manually using the list to program the device.  If one is legal then so should the other be.

Certainly the layout of the program is copyright, but then the EPG layout is distinctly different to the listings produced by the networks.  I can see an argument where the descriptions of the program are copyright however, it doesn't seem to me that the local networks write their own descriptions of most of the programs as most are the same as that listed on US sites so if anyone holds copyright in those descriptions it should be the US writers.  Unfortunately it seems that in Aus a legal precedent was set whereby a telephone book's list of phone numbers was considered to be copyright - an opposite precedant was set in the US.

It also seems to me that the info is "freely available" in that it is available from numerous sources not just the network list themselves but the numerous online and offline publications, as well as a listing on the digital guide channels that list the shows of the day and of course by turning on a TV and watching it you will see the program being screened. There is no copyright notice on most if not all of these lists.

From US copyright law "Copyright protects the particular way an author has expressed himself; it does not extend to any ideas, systems, or factual information conveyed in the work.  http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

In Australia we have "Fair Dealing" provisions.  A quote from this is If you simply restate public information in your own words, you will not infringe copyright.  http://www.copyright.org.au/pdf/acc/infosheets_pdf/G079.pdf

THis of course is all academic as Ice have taken a position,  Channel 9 have sued and lost but are appealing and Ice's method of compilation it seems is such that they are attempting to compile the info independantly.
What you were proposing in the post I originally replied to was to use a program to transform EPG data into the right format for a PVR. I can't see how this is other than a derivative work. It's certainly not "restat[ing] public information in your own words".

I don't believe that it is the layout of the guide (alone) that the copyright lies in; it's primarily in the words of the author(s).

As for copyright on the guides, it doesn't really matter whether they have a copyright notice: "Material is automatically protected by copyright in Australia, under the Copyright Act 1968 ..." and more explicitly, "The copyright notice is a written statement in a form such as “© Stuart Pitt 2005”. In Australia, as discussed above, there is some benefit in using the notice as it will often raise the presumption that the person or company named in the notice is the copyright owner of the relevant material, unless this is disputed. In other respects, the notice has no legal effect in Australia and in most other countries. ... Material that meets the requirements for copyright protection is protected whether or not the copyright notice is used." Australian Copyright Council Information Sheet GO84v2, Protecting your copyright, http://www.copyright.org.au/G084.pdf.

However, even though it's not strictly necessary, all 5 major channels' program guide web pages have copyright notices, the OurGuide TV guide web site has a copyright notice, and IceTV itself has one, and it very explicitly states that it may only be used under the terms of IceTV's license: "IceTV's EPG is its own, original work and IceTV owns the copyright. You may not copy or distribute it in any way except for the personal use for which you obtain license when subscribing to the service." It's also been noticed on the Beyonwiz forum (because the Beyonwiz doesn't display the © symbol correctly in its EPG) that some stations have started adding copyright notices to the FTA EPG.

The Nine law suit against IceTV shows that the stations definitely regard their program guides as copyright, and as I understand it, IceTV's defense wasn't that Nine had no copyright on its guide, but that the IceTV guide was constructed in such a way that Nine's copyright wasn't infringed.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: markb on January 11, 2008, 11:30:22 AM
...  and I think most people would agree that if I've spent a lot of effort doing the work to make the list, I should have ownership of it.

Well I don't agree! There's little innovation in scouring the web and compiling a list of public facts. So any simple list I compile should be copy-rightable? It's easy to come up with silly list examples but what delineates a list worthy of copy-right from one that's not?

It's clearly un-enforceable and any law so vague should not be a law. Just because a precedent has been set (e.g. the Telstra case) does not mean it is sensible or right.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: IcedCoffee on January 11, 2008, 12:25:34 PM
What you were proposing in the post I originally replied to was to use a program to transform EPG data into the right format for a PVR. I can't see how this is other than a derivative work. It's certainly not "restat[ing] public information in your own words".

I take your point.  I am just exploring where the line is drawn in the new media.  eg The network's online guide is intended for the public to be viewed in a browser.  In my browser, I may change the fonts, switch off images etc - this is not seen as infringing copyright.  My browser may have other features, eg be smart enough (via a plugin browser helper object) to eg highlight in red, things that interest me - say the name of a show.  (This is not unlike say the Google toolbar that can highlight search words in the page in different colours.)  My browser could be smart enough such that if I click on the names of shows in red, it can send that info to my Media Centre application so it can be recorded.  All the while I was simply using my "smart browser".  

What I am getting at, is at what point am I no longer using a browser and now infringing copyright?  The networks don't specify which browsers I must use or what the browsers functionality should be.  If I were to manually do the steps it is OK but if my browser is smart enough to automate it, I am no longer allowed to use this "smart browser".  I am simply saying that it is interesting that there is a distinction between the two.

I don't believe that it is the layout of the guide (alone) that the copyright lies in; it's primarily in the words of the author(s).

Yes OK so if I list a set of formulae such as e=mc2, F= ma, etc even though these are known formulae I can still claim copyright in the list.  If someone now takes that list, and add other formulae and adds descriptions and explanations, I think I would have a very hard time claiming you infringed since my originalwork was a list of facts that I don't own.  

The Nine law suit against IceTV shows that the stations definitely regard their program guides as copyright, and as I understand it, IceTV's defense wasn't that Nine had no copyright on its guide, but that the IceTV guide was constructed in such a way that Nine's copyright wasn't infringed.

I agree that this was the position taken by the stations.  I also believe this position relied on the precedent set by the telephone listing case.  In my view I think this position should be challenged as I believe it was in the US where straight telephone listings are apparently not copyright.  It seems to me that Ice TV chose not to challenge whether Channel 9 can have copyright in the listing.  I am guessing they decided it would be harder to win that case then to prove that the guide was constructed independantly and chose the path that gave them the greatest chance of victory.  

Thanks for all the responses to my "layman" arguments.  In truth I generally agree with you and PVogel in relation to the way the law currently stands but enjoyed the opportunity to explore some arguments as some laws, in my view, could be improved to serve the community better.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: Marc on January 11, 2008, 12:29:06 PM
The Nine law suit against IceTV shows that the stations definitely regard their program guides as copyright, and as I understand it, IceTV's defense wasn't that Nine had no copyright on its guide, but that the IceTV guide was constructed in such a way that Nine's copyright wasn't infringed.
Correct.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: prl on January 11, 2008, 12:56:38 PM
What you were proposing in the post I originally replied to was to use a program to transform EPG data into the right format for a PVR. I can't see how this is other than a derivative work. It's certainly not "restat[ing] public information in your own words".

I take your point.  I am just exploring where the line is drawn in the new media.  eg The network's online guide is intended for the public to be viewed in a browser.  In my browser, I may change the fonts, switch off images etc - this is not seen as infringing copyright.  My browser may have other features, eg be smart enough (via a plugin browser helper object) to eg highlight in red, things that interest me - say the name of a show.  (This is not unlike say the Google toolbar that can highlight search words in the page in different colours.)  My browser could be smart enough such that if I click on the names of shows in red, it can send that info to my Media Centre application so it can be recorded.  All the while I was simply using my "smart browser". 

What I am getting at, is at what point am I no longer using a browser and now infringing copyright?  The networks don't specify which browsers I must use or what the browsers functionality should be.  If I were to manually do the steps it is OK but if my browser is smart enough to automate it, I am no longer allowed to use this "smart browser".  I am simply saying that it is interesting that there is a distinction between the two.
The Copyright Act basically says that all unauthorised copying of a work in which copyright subsists is an infringement, and lays out some cases in which it's not (e.g., fair use for research, timeshifting a broadcast TV program, etc.). No doubt there's a lot of case law that clarifies :) what those situations are. It's then up to the copyright owner to say under what circumstances copying is allowed.

I'd guess that owners of the copyright on the Web page would be OK with the automatic highlighting function (and I've no idea whether it would be an infringement). The "and send to a media player" function might well be an infringement, but it may not be something they would consider worth their while pursuing (just as the record companies don't routinely pursue people for ripping CDs for personal use in an MP3 player, even though I imagine that's an infringement).

I'd expect, though, that if someone screenscraped the stations' online TV guides and repackaged it for sale as an EPG for PVRs then the stations would be very likely to pursue it. That's a practice that IceTV appears to be being very careful to avoid.

Copyright owners will always face choices about whether certain infringements of their copyright are worth pursuing.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: IcedCoffee on January 11, 2008, 01:15:24 PM
I'd guess that owners of the copyright on the Web page would be OK with the automatic highlighting function (and I've no idea whether it would be an infringement). The "and send to a media player" function might well be an infringement,
It seems to me to be a contradiction in the case where the "and send to a media player"  is considered an infringement, but the process where I manually do that step is not considered an infringement.  After all aren't I essentially just a very sophisticated fully programmable machine?  ;D

I'd expect, though, that if someone screenscraped the stations' online TV guides and repackaged it for sale as an EPG for PVRs then the stations would be very likely to pursue it. That's a practice that IceTV appears to be being very careful to avoid.
Agreed but what if someone sold a "smart browser"?  The company are not doing the scraping just selling a tool that can be configured to do it.  Of course this gets into all sorts of other debates eg bittorrent, napster, telcos and ISPs being held responsible for content passing through their network etc  The law is still struggling to deal with these examples.
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: prl on January 11, 2008, 02:26:55 PM
... After all aren't I essentially just a very sophisticated fully programmable machine?  ;D ...
That's more or less what the Turing Test (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_test) tries to establish (though usually from the reverse perspective) :)
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: adsjc on January 16, 2008, 10:08:11 AM
Yay we got Ten HD and 7HD Data!

Hopefully this will make some people happy! (Just don't mention Battlestar Galactica is missing :-X)
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: Matt at IceTV on January 16, 2008, 02:12:48 PM
An official Service Announcement has just been made regarding the 7HD & TenHD Guide listings within the IceTV Guide on the News & Blog section of the IceTV website;

www.icetv.com.au/news/?p=103 (http://www.icetv.com.au/news/?p=103)

We thank all users for remaining patient while we compile our HD Guide listings for these two new Channels.

Cheers,

mattk
Title: Re: Information on new HD Channels & response to FreeTV's EPG Announcement
Post by: chopper on January 17, 2008, 01:25:19 PM
Thankyou.