[opendtv] Re: What a coincidence: Can TV Broadcasters Really Go OTT?

  • From: dan.grimes@xxxxxxxx
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2013 16:42:47 -0700

I get John Shutt's point that a content owner has the right to put their 
content on the internet for free or not, when they want.  Certainly they 
can charge for it.  This is a capitalist economy, after all. 

The problem is everything after that.  If I buy some content, what rights 
do I have to consume it?  Does the content owner have the right to prevent 
me from consuming it repeatedly?  Am I limited to just one screen?  Only a 
certain time?  Only with certain people?  At a certain location?

Does the media make a difference?  Can I move it from one media to 
another?  Does the owner have a right to limit this?  Can I share it 
temporarily with another?  Can I resell it (and remove my rights to it in 
doing so)?  Certainly, I think we can say unlicensed distribution is a 
no-no.  But what constitutes distribution?  Does it matter where I buy the 

Worse yet, if the content owner provides it for free, can they 
discriminate their audience?  What are the allowable forms of 
discrimination?  Location?  Time?  Medium?  Screen size?  If I can capture 
it as it travels freely, what can I do with it after that? 

What constitutes fair use?  We have quite a series of laws to allow it yet 
courts are tied up and companies put under because of them.  (Side note, 
what is covered under fair use is always challenged.  Can I show a 30 
second clip of something on a DVD to a class?  If I stream my lecture, can 
I show the clip?  Can I provide the clip in my online class?  The answer 
is no to all of these, or Sony Media or RIAA or some other organization 
will sue the university--we are required to clear all copyrighted 

We all differ in our answers to these questions, especially between the 
owner and the consumer.  The result is a system full of turmoil.  So yes, 
the system is definitely under manipulation as the war between the owner, 
distributor and the consumer rage.  It's "game" on!  Personally, I think 
we need a media consumer bill of rights.  Not that that won't have 

I do completely agree with John's number 3 about ads in theaters and there 
are answers!  There is a theater in Las Vegas that has reclining lounges, 
sells beer and wine, doesn't have ads before their films and doesn't allow 
cell phones to be on during the film, all for the same price as the other 
theaters.  Guess which theater I go to!  (The only problem is it's always 
full so one must pretty much purchase tickets in advance to get a seat!) 
Capitalism does have some positive results sometimes.


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