This is a case where I don’t feel my actions are hurting anyone, as I see this as functionally the same as recording a show with a DVR and using the remote hotkeys to skip commercials, but because piracy is a hot topic here I checked with Tom before posting this and got the OK.
Hypothetically if someone liked to download a few TV shows to watch at their leisure from a media server PC instead of using a DVR, and that person used a common bittorrent site to find said shows, and that person got a notice from their ISP (that they also work at) of a complaint against them for downloading one of said shows…
Is there a good way around that, or am I best off backing off or finding a new ISP? From accessing our ticketing system, I can see enough information to see that our ISP apparently logs the file size of all files transferred through the network to each customer, and when a complaint is made they check that log against the file size based on the IP that BayTSP submits to them. A lot of the details are off limits to me though so I can’t get much more information than that.
I looked into a proxy service (BTguard) that supposedly has a minimal monthly charge to route traffic through canadian servers where traffic is not logged. I don’t know if that’s a worthwhile route to try or not. I’m open to anything that can work safely. I’m not out to steal anything. I just prefer watching recorded TV using PS3 media server instead of a DVR due to the responsiveness and ease of organization.
A. Of course its theft. Everything else you have said is a justification.
B. Is the show your downloading from HBO? (they are very aggressive about protecting their shows)
C. There is a surprising amount of cases prosecuted in this area. At least surprising considering that before reading about them I assumed no one really got prosecuted. Purely from an “avoidance of legal action” perspective I would quit doing what you’re doing.
Your ISP ultimately doesn’t care what you download, they just care that they got a complaint. Easiest thing to do is switch your warezing to something a 3rd party can’t track like binary newsgroups or private FTP sites. You won’t be able to access private FTP sites unless you know someone, so, I suggest getting a giganews subscription.
Fortunately we have a system to mediate this disagreement, it’s the court. Neither of us get’s to determine the standard for theft, a judge will. If Lokust agree’s with you then he should keep doing exactly what he’s doing. But I think thats probably a foolish move.
It’s nothing from HBO… it was Top Chef, actually… which I can watch on TV when it’s on, but currently miss due to a scheduling conflict.
I don’t see how it’s theft. I’d pay per episode to download if they gave me the option. Bravo (NBC) still makes their money off me having the appropriate Comcast package to view their programming.
That’s like calling it theft that I rip my PSP UMD’s and put them on a memory card so I can have several games on my PSP without carrying discs around. I’ve paid for the product as much as I can through normal channels.
Regardless I have “quit was I was doing” for now until I can gather more information. I know there are technically savvy people here and that’s why I chose to ask for assistance here.
As a person who operates his own DVR that he built himself, sometimes things break and I have to attend to problems like this because nobody else that I know who runs the same setup possesses the same refined taste that I do. I’m forced to wonder why the hell you’re torrenting when there’s still a perfectly good usenet lurking around the web. There are more than a few sites that you can download the thing you want over HTTPS, which is as close to encrypted as you’re going to get (still not really good enough to beat the packet inspectors, but at least nobody can see exactly what you’re stealing). For my emergency backup needs (like when the emmer effing stupid damned cable box that you have hooked up to the HD-PVR turns itself off for no good reason and you watch all your television on the weekend and so you don’t have time to wait for freaking Monk to show up on Hulu without skipping a week and getting yourself behind) I use EasyNews - they sell you a very affordable small amount of download bandwidth every month that rolls over. I think I’m up to something ridiculous like half a terabyte of available bandwidth to burn.
However, if you want to, you know, stop stealing so much, assembling your own DVR isn’t really as hard as it might look and is quite definitely legal. The software that I use was written by a friend and the hardware, while not precisely free, is certainly affordable when you consider how you don’t have to pay much in subscription costs for the DVR you build yourself.
Brian - thanks for the reply. I’m not familiar with usenet. I certainly wouldn’t consider myself a novice computer user, but I’m not familiar with the best places to find things, not having messed with this sort of thing much before. I’d be interested in the DVR assembly stuff as well - are you limited in terms of programs you can record at once, or is that a limitation of the service provider?
You can feel free to make that argument to a judge but there is no legal exception for downloading copyrighted material if you would have paid if you had the option.
Its a very simple rule. You cannot download copyrighted material without the copyright owners permission. That is theft. Everything after that is no longer a legal discussion but a morale argument.
From a morale perspective you are justifying your actions by arguing that you already have the copyright owners permissions to access the product, so doing it in another method shouldn’t matter to you or them. I understand what you are saying, but that doesn’t fit into the definition of theft any more than downloading a PS3 port of a game that you already own for the xBox, illegally downloading a song if you own the CD, etc.
Im not saying you are a bad horrible person. There are definitely shades of piracy and this situation is definitely on the light gray side. But its hard to argue that it isn’t theft.
If Lokust doesn’t want to discuss that part then Im fine with leaving it alone. But if he’s willing to talk about it then I would like to if thats okay with you.
Well, the basics are pretty simple, and there are some other guys around these parts who know it better than me. My current system is sort of a hybrid as I squat like a toad on the transitional period between the old, clear tuning way that cable worked and the new, highly encrypted way that it works. For a basic introduction, you might check the historical archives for the online show Systm - I remember Patrick Norton and Roger Chang assembling a box using one of the more popular products or another. For recording multiple streams, you’ll need one receiver for every stream that you intend to record. There are some new cards that might be coming out in the future that can do big multi-stream recording using a CableCARD to decrypt, but I don’t know of any of them that are available now. Without getting too technical, depending on what kind of tuners you’re looking for they can run you anywhere from a little under a hundred per to about two hundred and fifty.
To build your own DVR you have to go through a bunch of thinking first to determine just what, precisely, it is that you want to do with it which might be suited more to a thread in the Hardware forum. Basically, you need to know whether you’re going to be connecting to a dish or to a cable feed (in the United States, that is - outside of here, things get complicated), whether you’re going to be recording OTA broadcast channels primarily (which means that the digital and HD feeds are required to be in what’s called the Clear QAM and you can tune without needing a box or card from the cable company to decrypt it for you) or pay channels or both or neither. My system is composed of a few Hauppauge products (one PVR250 for SD recording and two HD-PVR boxes for capturing encrypted channels through the analog loophole - I have to pay for two digital receiver boxes, but it’s still cheaper than TiVo) and a SiliconDust HD Homerun and I’ve been happy with it.
The brief history of usenet is that it’s an entity from before time began that has existed as long as there has been an internet and uses a completely different transfer protocol. Your service provider probably has a newsgroup server, because some people use it to do reputable stuff. Getting a news group downloader and a par checker and cetera is probably too much trouble for what you’re looking to do, so I would just head over to EasyNews. You can connect to them over HTTPS and they’ve got a robust search engine that will let you find anything that you’re looking for and they handle all of the parity checks and even unpack some of the files so that all you need to do is throw them together into a queue and pull down a zip file. The presence and prevalence of the files that you’re looking for might not be as good as on torrents, but on the other hand you’re using a secure connection, so for my very occasional hardware failure needs it does the trick.
Another option is to get get a VPN account. This routes all your traffic past your ISP in an encrypted form and shows your VPN-host’s IP-adress when you’re downloading stuff. This way the only one who can tie your torrents to you is your VPN-host. The downside is speed. Anything with decent speed is going to cost you. https://torrentprivacy.com/ seems decent but there are many providers out there.
Ideally you want a provider that doesn’t save logs, and is based in a country where copyright holders can’t demand that they disclose your identity.
Usenet is more of a paid location for downloading. It’s benefits are speed though, since it’s not a shared P2P style of file download. The drawback of this, of course, is that when the world ends and someone sues the various large unlimited usenet binary hosting providers, all the details of what user downloaded what will come out. This hasn’t happened, and there is a lot more to usenet than binary groups.
If you’re interested in this still though: www.giganews.com - the largest binary host with the longest retention. They also offer SSL based download for “stealthy” data transmission. www.newsbin.com - Newsbin Pro, one of the more popular binary download programs www.newzbin.com - A paid site that generates NZB files (think of them as torrent files for newsgroups, a list of everything needed to download for one particular file or purpose (like a TV show.)
The most popular binary newsgroups (besides porn of course) are those for TV shows. You’ll probably find what you are looking for.
I do not condone nor provide assistance for breaking laws, you should only download legally transferable shows. cough
Is SSL even necesary? Or is simply not connecting to a torrent where everyone can see your IP enough?
Anyway I really do appreciate folks pointing me in a safer direction. I figured the P&R side would come up, and it did, but I was not quite condemned as a heretic as I thought I might be. Morally I don’t feel I’m causing harm, and that’s why I’m okay with this, despite the obvious position of copyright law. I can afford to buy my games and movies. I just like being able to watch my couple of shows from my server and have no option to buy them. :(