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Thread: Legality of hard disk upgrades

  1. #46
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    Pweed, just for the record, I have no problem with you profiting from selling products containing TiVo's IP. I just don't like the pot calling the kettle black, and on AVS TC, with the issue with the X Factor DVR ethernet adapter, you did just that.

  2. #47
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    Talking

    It is so nice to find a place that attorneys and copyright/patent experts hang out. Crazy us just finished spending $400 per hour for legal help, could have got it here for free!

  3. #48
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    Originally posted by raj2001
    So what makes the TiVo software different in this regard then?
    The TiVo software components are not "merely aggregated" - they are not easily separable from the modified work on the distribution. The TiVo unit itself will not operate without them, and the applications utilize and are dependent upon libraries which are linked to the kernel.

    The "mere aggregation" term in the GPL refers to scenarios such as taking the OS and bundling it with something else, but not for programs that have interdependencies, inter-process communication, shared address spaces, etc. The case of TiVo's implementation is not one of 'mere aggregation' - there are separate works involved, however they really are combined in a way that would be difficult to argue that they have been merely aggregated (the fact that the box won't even function without them is probably enough to warrant that).

    With that said, if you guys want to get all righteous about your beliefs and that what we've been doing is illegal, I would do some more research on what 'mere aggregation' means, and read some of the Stallman interviews I've linked to earlier in the thread, and put together an argument along those lines.

  4. #49
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    define easy

    if you don't know the basic bash commands sure it's a pain

    if you compile your own kernels it's a piece of cake

    and the tivo works quite nicely w/o the pvr sw components. it's kinda lame by current specs but beats anything you could buy uptil about '94

    --
    Riley

  5. #50
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    I *think* pweed is participating in this discussion of free will.

    Further, having worked with staff patent attorneys at work, I am fully aware that they can accomplish nothing without engineers.


    Originally posted by Tracer
    It is so nice to find a place that attorneys and copyright/patent experts hang out. Crazy us just finished spending $400 per hour for legal help, could have got it here for free!

  6. #51
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    Originally posted by pweed
    The TiVo software components are not "merely aggregated" - they are not easily separable from the modified work on the distribution. The TiVo unit itself will not operate without them, and the applications utilize and are dependent upon libraries which are linked to the kernel.
    Oh boy, where shall I start. This is fundamentally wrong on so many levels.

    First of all, the TiVo hardware will operate without the proprietary TiVo components contained in the TiVo software distribution. Sure, I may not be able to record shows, but I can pull up a BASH prompt, run apache (TiVoweb), run a ftp server and compile and run any number of software compiled to run on Linux for PowerPC.

    Secondly, if you're even implying that the "work as a whole" includes TiVo hardware as well as software, that could not be more wrong. The GNU GPL is a licenseUnder US copyright law, hardware (devices, ideas, inventions) are not covered under copyright. We went over this whole argument when jafa was claiming that copied Turbonet boards violated his copyright. The GNU GPL applies only to software contained on a medium (TiVo's hard disk) and not the entire hardware product which happens to have said software loaded on it.

    The "mere aggregation" term in the GPL refers to scenarios such as taking the OS and bundling it with something else, but not for programs that have interdependencies, inter-process communication, shared address spaces, etc. The case of TiVo's implementation is not one of 'mere aggregation' - there are separate works involved, however they really are combined in a way that would be difficult to argue that they have been merely aggregated (the fact that the box won't even function without them is probably enough to warrant that).
    You're implying, therefore, that any program which is designed to run under Linux will be subject to the GNU GPL. After all, they cannot function without making system calls to the kernel. THis could not be further from the truth. Linus Torvalds himself said that proprietary software distributed along with Linux was NOT subject to the GPL. Redhat, SuSE and other companies release software that is proprietary and is not subject to the GPL. Yet it's bundled with their GPL'ed Linux distributions.

    With that said, if you guys want to get all righteous about your beliefs and that what we've been doing is illegal, I would do some more research on what 'mere aggregation' means, and read some of the Stallman interviews I've linked to earlier in the thread, and put together an argument along those lines.
    Oh please, if Richard Stallman had his way, right down to all Microsoft software would be GPL'ed. Stallman's fantasies (don't get me wrong, I think he's done tons for the free software community) simply do not reflect reality. Besides, his idea of freedom is freedom of the source code, which clearly you do not believe the TiVo software is.

  7. #52
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    Originally posted by raj2001
    [B]Oh boy, where shall I start. This is fundamentally wrong on so many levels.

    First of all, the TiVo hardware will operate without the proprietary TiVo components contained in the TiVo software distribution. Sure, I may not be able to record shows, but I can pull up a BASH prompt, run apache (TiVoweb), run a ftp server and compile and run any number of software compiled to run on Linux for PowerPC.

    Secondly, if you're even implying that the "work as a whole" includes TiVo hardware as well as software, that could not be more wrong. The GNU GPL is a licenseUnder US copyright law, hardware (devices, ideas, inventions) are not covered under copyright. We went over this whole argument when jafa was claiming that copied Turbonet boards violated his copyright. The GNU GPL applies only to software contained on a medium (TiVo's hard disk) and not the entire hardware product which happens to have said software loaded on it.

    [b]

    You're implying, therefore, that any program which is designed to run under Linux will be subject to the GNU GPL. After all, they cannot function without making system calls to the kernel. THis could not be further from the truth. Linus Torvalds himself said that proprietary software distributed along with Linux was NOT subject to the GPL. Redhat, SuSE and other companies release software that is proprietary and is not subject to the GPL. Yet it's bundled with their GPL'ed Linux distributions.



    Oh please, if Richard Stallman had his way, right down to all Microsoft software would be GPL'ed. Stallman's fantasies (don't get me wrong, I think he's done tons for the free software community) simply do not reflect reality. Besides, his idea of freedom is freedom of the source code, which clearly you do not believe the TiVo software is.
    I've not implied either of the two aforementioned things; so once again, Raj, you are arguing with yourself.

    And while I won't disagree completely with the third statement you've made, the fact is that the GPL does reflect his beliefs, and we are operating within its boundaries here.

    The fact is that the separate works TiVo has created are not merely aggregated, and because they are distributed on the same medium as GPL software, we have distribution rights, too.

    Stop talking out of your ass Raj, and do some reading on the topic of mere aggregation. You are not going to be able to argue this one, just by sitting on your duff and throwing potshots.

    I'm done with this thread. Its a time-waster.

  8. #53
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    Originally posted by pweed
    The fact is that the separate works TiVo has created are not merely aggregated, and because they are distributed on the same medium as GPL software, we have distribution rights, too.
    Then why does TiVo say (go to the setup screen, and do a system status) that their work is copyrighted and unauthorized distribution is illegal (I can't remember the exact verbage. TiVo sits far from my PC)?

  9. #54
    blahman is offline blah blah blah blah blah.
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    pweed, you are wrong. Let's put this another way. You buy a PC, you have it installed such that Linux is installed, and then on a Linux partition VirtualPC is installed with Windows XP and Microsoft Office XP on that. Does that mean you get M$ Windows & M$ Office for free? Does that mean you get the right to distribute M$ Windows & M$ Office for free? NO and NO. Does that mean you get the right to distribute for free the HD image containing these 2 works or a modified version of the HD image? Again, NO and NO. The reason being is that they are complete and separate works even though you bought a whole PC with them and some GPL software. You are however still free to redistribute Linux, and any changes you make to that Linux install that you feel like distributing.

    Get a clue when it comes to the letter of the law you are breaking the law. Ask any attorney.

    Now do I think you help some people, yes. Me I do it myself, but heck someone must be buying your upgrades.

    However, always remember you are living by the grace of Tivo Inc. I'd be putting cash away for the day they do sue you.

  10. #55
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    looks like I won my argument hm

    Looks like I won... yay

    -jeff

  11. #56
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    Re: looks like I won my argument hm

    Originally posted by brage
    Looks like I won... yay

    -jeff
    Well, you haven't. Just because you don't understand the GPL, doesn't mean you've won your argument.'

    And to expand on that, for those of you who still don't get it; the last point made by blahman is not relevant; he is describing mere aggregation, which is in fact discussed as part of the GPL. The example he uses is not related to redistribution of GPL software, so it is not relavent.
    Last edited by pweed; 07-24-2003 at 12:52 PM.

  12. #57
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    Re: Re: looks like I won my argument hm

    Originally posted by pweed
    Well, you haven't. Just because you don't understand the GPL, doesn't mean you've won your argument.'

    And to expand on that, for those of you who still don't get it; the last point made by blahman is not relevant; he is describing mere aggregation, which is in fact discussed as part of the GPL. The example he uses is not related to redistribution of GPL software, so it is not relavent.
    wow you still don't have a clue funny.

    -jeff

  13. #58
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    If you want to get personal about it, I'll point out that it is you who don't have a clue. And unfortunately, its not funny. Its unfortunate that ignorant an malicious people like yourself are willing to represent a shoddy opinion as one of truth, instead of doing the research and constructing a logical argument.

    Good bye!

  14. #59
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    pweed,

    You are wrong, face it. You and anyone else distributing drives with tivo software (hacked or not) on them are breaking the law. If you want to prove yourself, get me the source to all of the proprietary tivo apps and show me that the code is GPLed.

    -jeff

  15. #60
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    Originally posted by brage
    pweed,

    You are wrong, face it. You and anyone else distributing drives with tivo software (hacked or not) on them are breaking the law. If you want to prove yourself, get me the source to all of the proprietary tivo apps and show me that the code is GPLed.

    -jeff
    Isn't TiVo the ultimate dongle? As a owner of the Tivo, I am authorized to use the software, no matter what medium it is on. If I am using a copy of the software that isn't provided by TiVo, but is otherwise identical, everything is O.K.

    If I repair the modem on my tivo, is it illegal? If I put a faster modem on the TiVo than the original, is it illegal?

    If I build my own computer, and put a copy of TiVo software on it, is it illegal? If I modify TiVo code and get free service is it legal?

    GPL won't save you from stealing service.

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