Watch live cable on my Roku!

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Re: Watch live cable on my Roku!

Postby Nygmvp » Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:51 pm

USTVNow is legally available only to viewers outside the U.S.


To this I must say that you are incorrect. No where in the terms of service listed on the USTVNOW website does it say it is illegal to use USTVNOW in the US. USTVNOW is designed for use by overseas but not illegal for use in the US. For most people living domestically using this service is redundant due to the fact that most people can get the major networks free over the air. I merely was pointing out that this is a option for viewing live tv from within the Roku environment without have to switch inputs on the tv.

The channel app is a private channel, not available in the Roku channel store.


I am not sure why that is an important fact to bring up. Private channels are used all the time by users of the Roku. Private channels are merely not supported by Roku and Roku takes no responsibility for its content or function.

"Borrowing" a friends login to access the Disney channel and ESPN is also illegal and violates the terms of use and if your friend knowingly participates, he too is guilty.


This would be true. However, the phone call I made to my friend also included him adding me as an authorized user to his account. Allowing me to make changes and modification to his services if I wanted to. This I would never do since it is technically not my house but as an authorized user on his account I can legally use his login information.
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Re: Watch live cable on my Roku!

Postby Basil » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:20 pm

Nygmvp wrote:
USTVNow is legally available only to viewers outside the U.S.

To this I must say that you are incorrect. No where in the terms of service listed on the USTVNOW website does it say it is illegal to use USTVNOW in the US. USTVNOW is designed for use by overseas but not illegal for use in the US. For most people living domestically using this service is redundant due to the fact that most people can get the major networks free over the air. I merely was pointing out that this is a option for viewing live tv from within the Roku environment without have to switch inputs on the tv.

From the USTVNow Website:
The service in the continental U.S.A. is available as a TV anywhere service in combination with a regular cable subscription from USTVNow cable partnets.

So, as long as your have a regular cable subscription and that subscription is from a USTVNow cable partner, you're okay. Otherwise, you're violating Terms Of Service.
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Re: Watch live cable on my Roku!

Postby mikebdoss » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:23 pm

Violating terms of service doesn't mean you're breaking any law.

I don't care for USTV Now, and I think what THEY do is illegal. But I don't think users of the service are breaking laws themselves.
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Re: Watch live cable on my Roku!

Postby Basil » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:30 pm

mikebdoss wrote:Violating terms of service doesn't mean you're breaking any law.

I don't care for USTV Now, and I think what THEY do is illegal. But I don't think users of the service are breaking laws themselves.

I don't use it either; I know about it becaue my daughter subscribed to it for use in Germany when her husband received orders there. However, whether something is illegal or not allowed is a distinction with which I see little difference. If it's a violation of TOS, you don't do it. Period. And, if it's illegal, you shouldn't do it. Period.
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Re: Watch live cable on my Roku!

Postby gkl » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:37 pm

mikebdoss wrote:Violating terms of service doesn't mean you're breaking any law.

I don't care for USTV Now, and I think what THEY do is illegal. But I don't think users of the service are breaking laws themselves.


True in and of itself. However, the use of USTVNow in the U.S. violates copyright law because USTVNow doesn't have a license to make the service available in the U.S. Its license is for Americans who live outside the country. (I assume it has such a license; I haven't investigated. What is clear is that it doesn't have a license to make the service available inside the U.S.) Since it lacks such a license, it can't grant a license to anyone to view it in the U.S. Therefore, a viewer who violates the terms of use is violating the exclusive rights of the content owners under the Copyright Act . And that is illegal. It is no different than downloading music files off Napster and Grokster were a number of years ago. If they don't have a license at all, then that makes it illegal to use in any nation which is a party to the Berne Convention.
Last edited by gkl on Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Watch live cable on my Roku!

Postby Elijah_Baley » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:47 pm

Basil wrote:
mikebdoss wrote:Violating terms of service doesn't mean you're breaking any law.

I don't care for USTV Now, and I think what THEY do is illegal. But I don't think users of the service are breaking laws themselves.

I don't use it either; I know about it becaue my daughter subscribed to it for use in Germany when her husband received orders there. However, whether something is illegal or not allowed is a distinction with which I see little difference. If it's a violation of TOS, you don't do it. Period. And, if it's illegal, you shouldn't do it. Period.


Actually it is illegal to violate a TOS that you agreed to. It is just a different set of laws you violate. Contract law instead of criminal law. In other words you , usually, cannot go to jail for violating a TOS but you can be held accountable in civil court and there can be consequences of various kinds.

The reason so many people feel so free to violate various TOS is that it is mostly not worth the effort to pursue litigation in most cases and it is not worth the effort to track down abusers of the system.

USTV Now is, probably, legal to use in the US (if it is legal at all) for those that have a qualifying cable service but it really makes little sense because those folks already have access. As far as the overall service goes: I think it might be illegal but the access it provides for our troops overseas makes me hope it will continue to be available.
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Re: Watch live cable on my Roku!

Postby gkl » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:55 pm

Elijah_Baley wrote:
Basil wrote:
mikebdoss wrote:Violating terms of service doesn't mean you're breaking any law.

I don't care for USTV Now, and I think what THEY do is illegal. But I don't think users of the service are breaking laws themselves.

I don't use it either; I know about it becaue my daughter subscribed to it for use in Germany when her husband received orders there. However, whether something is illegal or not allowed is a distinction with which I see little difference. If it's a violation of TOS, you don't do it. Period. And, if it's illegal, you shouldn't do it. Period.


Actually it is illegal to violate a TOS that you agreed to. It is just a different set of laws you violate. Contract law instead of criminal law. In other words you , usually, cannot go to jail for violating a TOS but you can be held accountable in civil court and there can be consequences of various kinds.

The reason so many people feel so free to violate various TOS is that it is mostly not worth the effort to pursue litigation in most cases and it is not worth the effort to track down abusers of the system.

USTV Now is, probably, legal to use in the US (if it is legal at all) for those that have a qualifying cable service but it really makes little sense because those folks already have access. As far as the overall service goes: I think it might be illegal but the access it provides for our troops overseas makes me hope it will continue to be available.


I think we can safely assume that the cable companies and content providers haven't granted a license for this to be used in the U.S., at least absent an existing subscription with the cable company. That would undercut their own businesses. I have no idea whether they have a license for its use overseas, but that really isn't here or there is the viewer is inside the U.S. As to a viewer in the U.S. who violates the TOS, this is really no different from a user of Napster and Grokster to the extent USTVNow lacks a license. If USTVNow lacks a license to stream to such a user, the user is violating the exclusive rights of the copyright owner.
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Re: Watch live cable on my Roku!

Postby mikebdoss » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:28 pm

gkl wrote:I think we can safely assume that the cable companies and content providers haven't granted a license for this to be used in the U.S., at least absent an existing subscription with the cable company. That would undercut their own businesses. I have no idea whether they have a license for its use overseas, but that really isn't here or there is the viewer is inside the U.S. As to a viewer in the U.S. who violates the TOS, this is really no different from a user of Napster and Grokster to the extent USTVNow lacks a license. If USTVNow lacks a license to stream to such a user, the user is violating the exclusive rights of the copyright owner.


I don't know if there's any case law that would make the second-party copyright violation illegal - if you go to YouTube and view a video with unlicensed copyrighted material in it, you're not breaking the law. Similarly, people who bought Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby" single or album weren't breaking the law even after he was sued for using Queen's music, even though they paid for it.
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Re: Watch live cable on my Roku!

Postby Nygmvp » Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:45 pm

I think it is funny how the initial question posed by the user has turned into a debate on legal issues...The intent of my post was not to start an episode of Peoples Court...it was merely to try to give some insight as to some of the capabilities of the Roku and how its use can aid in cutting the cord. No one here condones engaging in illegal acts. The user was asking a legitimate question on whether or not the Roku was a good fit for them based on their requirements (which I am sure most people have forgotten based on the direction of the conversation) ..I think it is important to give them all the options out there and let them make a decision that works for them. The fact that they have even made it to these forums leads me to believe that they are smart enough to google search the legality of the options out there.
So to try to get back to the original question..I think that the Roku can be used effectively to remove the need to pay for cable. Since most people are looking to watch particular shows, there is enough online content to satisfy that need. Channel surfing is not really an option when making the choice the cut cable and/or sat. TV. If living without this is a deal breaker then perhaps other alternatives should be sought. With the combination of free over the air programming (which may end too) and the Roku I think living without cable is possible. I came from Google TV..loved it...but it ran through my cable box so I no longer use it. It was hard because I loved the internet browser ability and the keyboard, but since I have incorporated a small form factor pc into my home entertainment system with a wireless keyboard and mouse it is no longer a problem. Not to mention having full internet access versus the limitations of the chrome browser included with google tv.
The initial investment to getting ready for cable free living can be little expensive but I think in the long run you will be happy you did.
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Re: Watch live cable on my Roku!

Postby mikebdoss » Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:49 pm

Nygmvp wrote:I think it is funny how the initial question posed by the user has turned into a debate on legal issues...The intent of my post was not to start an episode of Peoples Court...it was merely to try to give some insight as to some of the capabilities of the Roku and how its use can aid in cutting the cord. No one here condones engaging in illegal acts. The user was asking a legitimate question on whether or not the Roku was a good fit for them based on their requirements (which I am sure most people have forgotten based on the direction of the conversation) ..I think it is important to give them all the options out there and let them make a decision that works for them. The fact that they have even made it to these forums leads me to believe that they are smart enough to google search the legality of the options out there.
So to try to get back to the original question..I think that the Roku can be used effectively to remove the need to pay for cable. Since most people are looking to watch particular shows, there is enough online content to satisfy that need. Channel surfing is not really an option when making the choice the cut cable and/or sat. TV. If living without this is a deal breaker then perhaps other alternatives should be sought. With the combination of free over the air programming (which may end too) and the Roku I think living without cable is possible. I came from Google TV..loved it...but it ran through my cable box so I no longer use it. It was hard because I loved the internet browser ability and the keyboard, but since I have incorporated a small form factor pc into my home entertainment system with a wireless keyboard and mouse it is no longer a problem. Not to mention having full internet access versus the limitations of the chrome browser included with google tv.
The initial investment to getting ready for cable free living can be little expensive but I think in the long run you will be happy you did.


We're decades, at least, from an end to free OTA broadcasts (for a variety of reasons). It might get choked with even more advertising, but more likely it'll just keep on truckin', none of the major broadcasters willing to give up on the power to broadcast on their own terms (without someone else's hardware or cable/sat requirements) getting in the way.

With a few exceptions, everything most people want can be gotten legally, even for cord-cutters. Live sports, game shows and specific non-fiction shows are the exception here, but hopefully that'll change too.
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Re: Watch live cable on my Roku!

Postby Nygmvp » Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:56 pm

We're decades, at least, from an end to free OTA broadcasts (for a variety of reasons)


I don't know about decades, the legal battle that Aero has with the major networks could put an end to it. I agree it could be a long time coming but if the major networks don't get the outcome that they want (which is royalties from Aero) from that case they may start encoding/scrambling there broadcast signals.
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Re: Watch live cable on my Roku!

Postby kc8pql » Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:01 pm

they may start encoding/scrambling there broadcast signals.


Broadcasters can't do that and still use the public airwaves. They'd loose their FCC licenses.
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Re: Watch live cable on my Roku!

Postby Nygmvp » Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:04 pm

kc8pql wrote:
they may start encoding/scrambling there broadcast signals.


Broadcasters can't do that and still use the public airwaves.


I agree but depending on what happens..you never know...There could be shift and they could possibly stop using public airwaves. I don't see it happening but <The entropy of a perfect crystal, at absolute zero kelvin, is exactly equal to zero. - Third Law of Thermodynamics> for a long time we thought the world was flat.....
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Re: Watch live cable on my Roku!

Postby kc8pql » Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:06 pm

All airwaves are public, regulated by the FCC.
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Re: Watch live cable on my Roku!

Postby Basil » Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:24 pm

Nygmvp wrote:I think it is funny how the initial question posed by the user has turned into a debate on legal issues...

This is why we can't have nice things.
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