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Thread: What about 'Test Cards' and Tivo?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
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    2

    What about 'Test Cards' and Tivo?

    I have no problem with paying for the guide service. what about
    problems with... uh, test cards and the info that gets uploaded back to tivo. One day, DirecTV will ask TiVo for its information on the viewing habits of its subscribers.
    When DirecTV sees people viewing 20 PPV per month and all sporting events, They will do a little investigating and find those people. Maybe they will even send them a bill for all the use they did while 'testing' the cards.
    Forget about privacy, this is all about money.

    I think the best bet is don't use TiVo with Test cards.
    Any thoughts on that?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    28
    If you have a DirecTiVo use the ServiceState hack and stop calling TiVo, you will still have the guide. If you have a standalone call TiVo and "opt out" of the anonymouse data collection. Even if DTV found a way to learn what you have been watching on your SA TiVo they could not prove you actualy had access to it. My DirecTiVo is not hacked and it still tries to record suggestions from channels I don't subscribe to...

    In other words, don't wory about it too much, but I still would not test a DirecTiVo that has not been ServiceState hacked.

    -GhostInTheMachine

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
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    34
    I can't believe that you are actually that naive. DirecTV wouls subpoena the records then sue you. Even if they do not have all of the information, you would spend countless sleepless nights wondering about the lawyer fees and whether they CAN somehow make the judge believe the circumstantial evidence. You most certainly can lose a trial on circumstantial evidence, and if they are suing you for some ridiculous number, like $100,000 you have to sweat them winning that, then taking a lien on your house, car, etc garnishing your wages.

    DirecTV has been going after people with a vengence for quite a while now. For the $600 per year that you are saving (less if you count the cost of the hardware you are using or the "test card" you bought) you are risking an awful lot.

    A

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
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    And I thought I was paranoid. I have never heard of DirecTV going after people testing for personal use only. For the most part they only go after people making a profit off of DTV hacking. You are right, they could subpoena TiVo for your records. But they won't have much to go on if you have a stand alone TiVo and have "opted-out" of the "anonymous" data collection. Also, they won't be able to subpoena TiVo unless they have some reason to believe you are pirating.

    You are right, there is a risk that DTV will find you. If you are pirating there is always a risk they will find you. In reality, they will not take the time to find you through TiVo. It would cost them too much to sift through all that data just to find a few individual piraters. And they will piss off a lot of people when they turn up a few false positives. DTV's strategy has always been to go after the supply chain and target those profiting from others. This is their best strategy and I canít see it changing anytime soon.

    Your argument is a good one against DTV pirating in general. It is a risk, and the possible damage is great. From reading the original post Ponkie has already decided to test. I don't believe using a TiVo in a testing environment creates an appreciably greater risk of detection, as long as you follow the precautions outlined in my previous post.

    -GhostInTheMachine

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
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    34
    So, did you happen to catch yesterday's news at all? Still think you are safe pirating DirecTV? I hate to say I Told You So, but....

    A

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
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    657
    from http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn , yesterday

    "Hughes Electronics' DirecTV unit has adopted a new tactic to combat escalating problems with illicit viewers: For the first time, it is preparing to sue and seek punitive damages from individuals who illegally receive satellite-broadcast programming."

    how do they find potential "pirates"?

    "DirecTV Spokesman Bob Marsocci confirmed that the company has launched what it calls "an end-user campaign," including mailing strongly worded letters to potentially thousands of individuals and families suspected of pirating DirecTV signals. As many as 100,000 names and addresses were collected by the company from earlier searches of alleged bootleg access-card operations, according to industry and company officials, while some of the illicit devices still can be obtained on the Web. A sample letter from the company warns that "modifying devices to gain access to DirecTV" subjects users to damages well in excess of $100,000, and it urges recipients to avoid litigation by signing documents promising to avoid "satellite signal theft" in the future."

    DOH!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    28
    I will bet you money they are not data mining TiVo for the pirate names. The rumor is that they are getting a list of suspected pirates from the FBI raids on distributors.

    Anyway, I still believe that you will not get a letter if you follow the directions above, even if DTV is using TiVo data. If you don't send TiVo any useful data, then they don't have any data to give DTV.

    -GhostInTheMachine

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Bergen County, NJ.
    Posts
    701
    What was the news?

    Originally posted by aram1s
    So, did you happen to catch yesterday's news at all? Still think you are safe pirating DirecTV? I hate to say I Told You So, but....

    A
    - Vadim
    Administrator

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    657
    GITM,

    "I will bet you money they are not data mining TiVo for the pirate names. The rumor is that they are getting a list of suspected pirates from the FBI raids on distributors."

    your right on the money. the key phrase is:

    "As many as 100,000 names and addresses were collected by the company(dtv) from earlier searches of alleged bootleg access-card operations"

    you hit it right on the head again with:

    "If you don't send TiVo any useful data, then they don't have any data to give DTV."

    looks like they are going after customers on busted dealer lists.

    Vadim,

    see my post above.

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