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Thread: hacker ethics (split from: HD-TIVO exploit bounty)

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiros
    Lenroc,
    Your talking out your ass!
    Try looking up what a Copyright, Trademark, and Patent each protect before you continue using the terms. :-P

    http://www.patents.com/copyrigh.htm
    Also:

    http://www.chillingeffects.org/derivative/

    A tcl program written by hand, like tivoweb, is not a derivative work and therefore is owned solely by the authors. You don't "lose" a copyright by copying your code to a machine you didn't build.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiros
    Lenroc,
    Your talking out your ass!
    Try looking up what a Copyright, Trademark, and Patent each protect before you continue using the terms. :-P

    http://www.patents.com/copyrigh.htm
    I have, thanks, long before this thread.

    Care to dispute any specific points?
    Questions? Problems?
    1. How to avoid asking needless questions
    2. How to ask smart questions

    "... and this is your computer on drugs. Any questions?"

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by lenroc
    No, in many cases it would not. For example, TivoWeb "modifies" a TiVo by running a HTTP server on it. That does not make TivoWeb a derivative work of anything copyrighted by TiVo, Inc.

    Similarly, the new killhdinitrd is a block of code that is copyrightable. It happens to take a Tivo kernel as input, and output something that is a derivative of a Tivo kernel, but that does not mean that the killhdinitrd code is a derivative work itself.



    As mentioned, I was not part of the original debate. But you certainly need to know what a copyright is and does before you start such a debate, no?



    This is generally wrong. However modifying your Tivo is prohibited by the agreement you signed when you activated your TiVo (for SA users, at least, I know this is true. I can only assume there is similar language for DTiVo users...). Again, hacking your TiVo is prohibited by TiVo, Inc. It is a breach of your contract with them. Releasing tools to hack your TiVo may or may not be illegal, but in most cases it is not a copyright issue (if anything, I'd suspect the DMCA).
    The only real copyright issue that the tivo hackers deal with is sharing of images. Basically copyright (as is indicated by "copy" in the word) only deals with copying the software involved. Until the DCMA came along, except when prevented by contracts between you and the person that wrote the software (read EULA), it was fully legal to play with the software you got and make it do whatever you wanted so long as you took liability for damages you caused with the modifications.

    As for the other couple issues I heard people mention in this thread, trademark protects the "image" of the company so we couldn't distribute our hacks with the tivo logo (or probably technically the tivo name). Patent covers particular methods so if we distributed software that did a "trick play" we would violate a patent that tivo holds. I doubt they hold a patent on inserting code into the kernel image but I may be wrong
    Malfunct

    HDVR2 - 120hours - Extraction enabled
    SD-DVR40 - Unhacked (for now)

  4. #19
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    Ok, for the sake of the argument, lets say a TCL you write is original and you can copyright it. THIS I don't dispute. I fully agree you can copyright a TCL script.

    The problem, as I see it, comes when this TCL script is illegal to begin with.

    I think we all can agree that modifying your Tivo and any activities relating to doing so is illegal, a violation of the license agreement.

    If something is illegal, how can you legally protect it?

    If you are a drug dealer and you come up with a new recipe for crack and then you "copyright" it... if a rival gang steals your recipe can you sue them for copyright violations?

    Of course not, because crack is illegal to begin with and both sides would likely end up in jail.

    Its the same thing in this case... circumventing the Tivo protection is clearly illegal (wether it be DMCA or copyright -- who cares anymore ). So if I went and claimed the code for myself is HD Team going to sue me? thats absurd. We would likely both end up in jail or fined for violating the DMCA or copyright or whatever.

    If you can't back up your copyright in court, you have no copyright.

    HD Team can't back up a copyright on the code, so technically they have no copyright.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SledgeHammer
    Ok, for the sake of the argument, lets say a TCL you write is original and you can copyright it. THIS I don't dispute. I fully agree you can copyright a TCL script.

    The problem, as I see it, comes when this TCL script is illegal to begin with.

    I think we all can agree that modifying your Tivo and any activities relating to doing so is illegal, a violation of the license agreement.

    If something is illegal, how can you legally protect it?

    If you are a drug dealer and you come up with a new recipe for crack and then you "copyright" it... if a rival gang steals your recipe can you sue them for copyright violations?

    Of course not, because crack is illegal to begin with and both sides would likely end up in jail.

    Its the same thing in this case... circumventing the Tivo protection is clearly illegal (wether it be DMCA or copyright -- who cares anymore ). So if I went and claimed the code for myself is HD Team going to sue me? thats absurd. We would likely both end up in jail or fined for violating the DMCA or copyright or whatever.

    If you can't back up your copyright in court, you have no copyright.

    HD Team can't back up a copyright on the code, so technically they have no copyright.
    Drugs are contraband (illegal to possess), thus you have no property rights in them.

    Some types of software may be contraband, particularly under the DMCA. Can you cite a statute that would pertain to tivoweb?

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by alldeadhomiez
    Drugs are contraband (illegal to possess), thus you have no property rights in them.

    Some types of software may be contraband, particularly under the DMCA. Can you cite a statute that would pertain to tivoweb?
    Not right now, but when they pass the INDUCE act we all need a new hobby.
    Malfunct

    HDVR2 - 120hours - Extraction enabled
    SD-DVR40 - Unhacked (for now)

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by alldeadhomiez
    Drugs are contraband (illegal to possess), thus you have no property rights in them.

    Some types of software may be contraband, particularly under the DMCA. Can you cite a statute that would pertain to tivoweb?
    Like I said, I'm no lawyer... but Tivoweb is specifically made to run on a Tivo box and only a Tivo box. Thus wouldn't it fall under the "its illegal to modify your Tivo" thing? So Tivoweb would be contraband under the DMCA as you say and give you no legal property rights.

    As I said before, I am not trying to stop anything since I am doing it. Just trying to make the point that you can't copyright this stuff in an enforce-able way.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SledgeHammer
    Ok, for the sake of the argument, lets say a TCL you write is original and you can copyright it. THIS I don't dispute. I fully agree you can copyright a TCL script.

    The problem, as I see it, comes when this TCL script is illegal to begin with.

    I think we all can agree that modifying your Tivo and any activities relating to doing so is illegal, a violation of the license agreement.

    If something is illegal, how can you legally protect it?

    If you are a drug dealer and you come up with a new recipe for crack and then you "copyright" it... if a rival gang steals your recipe can you sue them for copyright violations?

    Of course not, because crack is illegal to begin with and both sides would likely end up in jail.

    Its the same thing in this case... circumventing the Tivo protection is clearly illegal (wether it be DMCA or copyright -- who cares anymore ). So if I went and claimed the code for myself is HD Team going to sue me? thats absurd. We would likely both end up in jail or fined for violating the DMCA or copyright or whatever.

    If you can't back up your copyright in court, you have no copyright.

    HD Team can't back up a copyright on the code, so technically they have no copyright.
    That crack recipe could in fact be copywritten. The actual text that represents the recipe is what would be protected. The food itself is not, and I could make it and sell it if I wanted to.

    More to the point, the code that is injected into the kernal could also enjoy copyright protection. If you could devise your own code to have the same effect, and used different code to inject your "clean" code, no violation would occur. Remember when IBM had a lock on computer BIOS? What did the cloners do? You can not copyright a method. Thats what a patent is for. Patent is not an option here due to prior art.
    If you think you are going to collect damages from an infringer, thats another story, especially if you fail to register your copyright prior to releasing it, fail to mark properly etc, etc.
    In this case coming out "into the light" to defend your property would probably end up costing far more than you can collect. If you attempt to show damages, you must be making money from it, which opens up a whole other can of worms:
    http://www.dealdatabase.com/forum/sh...4&postcount=50

    BTW if more than one person worked on the hack, and the activity is found to be illegal, you can add conspiracy (a felony) to the list of federal charges you would be facing.

    BTW: Good work guys!
    Last edited by Tiros; 08-04-2004 at 01:27 PM. Reason: Props

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by SledgeHammer
    I think we all can agree that modifying your Tivo and any activities relating to doing so is illegal, a violation of the license agreement.
    Oh, how did I miss this one...

    Violating a license agreement is not necessarily breaking the law.

    Not every TiVo owner is bound by any particular version of the service agreement.

    Not every agreement is enforceable.

    A program doesn't breach the service agreement, since it is not a party to the contract.

    (Most) software is speech.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by SledgeHammer
    .

    If something is illegal, how can you legally protect it?

    If you are a drug dealer and you come up with a new recipe for crack and then you "copyright" it... if a rival gang steals your recipe can you sue them for copyright violations?
    A book that describes how perform illegal actions (make a bomb, mfg illegal drugs even rob banks) can still get a copyright.

    The major question is if the copyright will be enough to persuade E-bay to kill auctions and to stop outfits like ptvupgrade.com from distributing the script.

    Actually it's win win. Either the copywrite can be used to persuade E-Bay to block the autions OR the hack is illegal and the E-Bay auctions can be blocked. I wouldn't be surprised if both the hack authors and tivo wind up asking E-Bay to kill auctions.
    Last edited by newbie; 08-04-2004 at 03:08 PM.

  11. #26
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    Illegal or not the point is moot if no money is being made.
    The only ones who have anything to worry about are those who try to make money from something like this.
    Thats why this bounty business is disturbing. It is sure to get attention, it already did. I doubt Slashdot would have printed the article if it were not for the bounty. Thats what made the story interesting. Clearly the use of a charity is intended to deflect liability due to personal financial gain. It might work. It might not. Money is involved, and usually thats all it takes. Now another user is requesting support via a bounty. If this keeps up, this board is going to be in trouble.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by SledgeHammer
    The problem, as I see it, comes when this TCL script is illegal to begin with.

    ...

    If something is illegal, how can you legally protect it?

    If you are a drug dealer and you come up with a new recipe for crack and then you "copyright" it... if a rival gang steals your recipe can you sue them for copyright violations?

    Of course not, because crack is illegal to begin with and both sides would likely end up in jail.
    if a drug dealer discovers a way to make something like morphine that's cheap & effective he may not be able to legally produce & distribute it.

    that does NOT mean that he can't get a patent & licence it to pharmaceutical companies that can


    glaxo-whoever probably isn't interested in new flavors of crack as such, but there's a LOT of research into opiate inhibiting 'vaccines'

    it's entirely possible that somewhere somebody noticed a bad batch cured a few customers. if the chemist took notes or there was enough left for analysis...


    --
    Riley
    ---
    Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat all day and drink beer

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiros
    Illegal or not the point is moot if no money is being made.
    I suspect the key thing in practice is not "is money being made by hacker x" but "is money being lost by media company y".

    The company I work for just got a very heavily worded cease and desist order from Columbia because one of our staff had stupidly used BitTorrent to download some video on a company PC. The valuable intellectual property in question? An old episode of the X-Files.

    Now it wasn't a TiVo .tmf, but it might have been. And you can bet that TiVo is under a lot of pressure to stop this happening.
    Stuart

    Newbies - see if your questions are answered here Experts - can you add to the knowledge stored here? Developers - are your hacks listed here?

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanderton
    I suspect the key thing in practice is not "is money being made by hacker x" but "is money being lost by media company y".
    To clarify my point:
    Hacker x is making money = criminal charges.
    Media company y losing money = civil suit.

    Thats why it is safest to just release for free without strings, anonymously or just keep it to yourself.

  15. #30
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    Ah, yes; I keep forgetting that "the land of the free" has the DMCA.

    Fortunately we don't have such a thing here - yet - so all potential "offences" are civil breach-of-contract affairs.
    Stuart

    Newbies - see if your questions are answered here Experts - can you add to the knowledge stored here? Developers - are your hacks listed here?

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