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Thread: Selling a prom-modified tivo? Good/bad idea?

  1. #1
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    Selling a prom-modified tivo? Good/bad idea?

    I have 3 prom-modified R10's. I will be taking them out of service soon. They all work without issue. I was thinking of selling them on ebay. Before anyone asks, I will remove my hacks. My question is whether or not it would be wise/unwise to list a physically modified Tivo on ebay.
    They say beer will make me dumb. It are go good with pizza!-----------
    3XR10, prommed, 3xdvr40,4xdvr39, all networked, ranging from 40GB to 750GB

  2. #2
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    I don't see a problem as long as you disclose it. Say that the software is "standard" and has no "hacks", but the PROM has been reprogrammed to allow for such hacks should the new owner wish to install them. Be sure to say that you will not provide support for installing hacks.
    Steve

  3. #3
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    The PROM mod does not contain any copyrighted hacks so you should be OK selling the R10's with a PROM mod as long as no hacks are installed. A PROM-modded Tivo is not really considered hacked but more like "hack ready". It will behave just like a stock Tivo to the end user.
    Please don't PM me or any other members looking for personal assistance. You'll do better by posting (after you've exhausted the search feature, of course) and taking advantage of the collective expertise of the membership instead of a single individual that may or may not be able to help you. Thank you and enjoy your stay at DDB!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by captain_video View Post
    The PROM mod does not contain any copyrighted hacks...
    What about the PROM code itself?
    .-=Omikron=-.

    TiVo Series4 Premiere Development HERE

    Do you have a PROM related question? Check HERE and HERE before sending me a PM. Any questions that have already been answered will be deleted if sent via PM.

  5. #5
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    Well, the contents of the PROM, other than the mod, are TiVo's, but you'd be including that code even with a stock TiVo. You are not separating it.
    Steve

  6. #6
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    Like stevel said, the PROM code was already present on the Tivo, so you're just including something that was already part of the stock unit, albeit in slightly modified form. The hack itself is not copyrighted since the basic code belongs to Tivo and not the hack developer. Now, if you were using a script to perform the PROM mod then it might be viewed differently since the script itself would have been developed and copyrighted by someone, as in something along the lines of killhdinitrd. AFAIK, hacking a PROM involves changing some of the data using a hex editor on the extracted PROM image and then burning that new image to a replacement PROM (usually a compatible PROM that has been socketed). Of course, someone had to determine the exact memory addresses that needed to be modified, but even that isn't something that could normally be copyrighted. If the original code were being replaced by different code that was developed by someone to enable the Tivo to do certain things then we'd be looking at a whole different ballgame.
    Please don't PM me or any other members looking for personal assistance. You'll do better by posting (after you've exhausted the search feature, of course) and taking advantage of the collective expertise of the membership instead of a single individual that may or may not be able to help you. Thank you and enjoy your stay at DDB!

  7. #7
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    If you have the original prom, stick that back in and sell it as a "socketed" R10.

  8. #8
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    Only one of the three is actually socketed. The other two were done with the "piggyback" socket method. They have worked flawlessly for me for a year and a half now, so I'm reasonably confident in the work I did on them, just not so confident that I want to encourage someone to remove/reinsert proms.

    I'm not really worried about copyright issues here. If I were to decide to leave a hack or two on the drive at sale time, it would only be enough to enable telnet/ftp access. That can be done entirely with GPL resources (no need for a killhdinitrd kernel here). If I did that, it would be more as a courtesy to the buyer, in that pulling the drive would not be necessary.

    I was more worried about any potential liability that might arise from selling a hardware modified video device on a place so public as ebay. The more I think about it, the more I lean toward just offering them in the FS/FT forum here when I'm done with them.


    Quote Originally Posted by stevel View Post
    Be sure to say that you will not provide support for installing hacks.
    Is there a liability based reason why I should do that, or is it just to keep me from being bugged about "helpmehelpme hack this". I wouldn't mind helping someone to hack this box, but I don't want it to come across as that support is included in the sale. (Not trying to sell anybody's hacks here, I'm just retiring 3 boxes and putting the proceeds in the HDTV fund).
    They say beer will make me dumb. It are go good with pizza!-----------
    3XR10, prommed, 3xdvr40,4xdvr39, all networked, ranging from 40GB to 750GB

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashHD View Post
    Is there a liability based reason why I should do that, or is it just to keep me from being bugged about "helpmehelpme hack this".
    Just to keep you from being bugged. We see lots of people who buy "hacked" TiVos on eBay come here and try to get help. Even though you're selling it with hacks removed, even a mention of hack possibilities will have people (maybe not even the buyer) try to ask you about it.

    I don't see any liability issues as long as you're upfront about it.
    Steve

  10. #10
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    I'd be willing to talk someone through it, but only the buyer, and only if the buyer's competent...not someone who would respond to my instructions with a "which part is the hard drive" sort of question. Being an auction, I can't really put a conditional service in it. The more I think about it...no support included really seems like the best choice.
    They say beer will make me dumb. It are go good with pizza!-----------
    3XR10, prommed, 3xdvr40,4xdvr39, all networked, ranging from 40GB to 750GB

  11. #11
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    I've never offer or expect support on an eBay item in the first place, so I don't see how a TiVo would be any different.
    .-=Omikron=-.

    TiVo Series4 Premiere Development HERE

    Do you have a PROM related question? Check HERE and HERE before sending me a PM. Any questions that have already been answered will be deleted if sent via PM.

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