MDAPI: Pros and Cons

Discussion in 'General Development (no feature request here!)' started by CodeMonkey, February 14, 2006.

  1. CodeMonkey

    CodeMonkey Portal Pro

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    I created this as to not hijack the TTPremium thread. Please be polite.


     
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  3. mPod

    mPod Portal Pro

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    Please be aware that this thread will be closed/deleted as soon as illegal stuff gets mentioned or discussed here. And in this case it doesn't matter if it's illegal in your country or not.
     
  4. Borsalino

    Borsalino New Member

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    Just a thought

    If MDAPI is banned because it makes illegal decoding of television programs possible (and as i do not live in a bubble I am sure the main reason why people want it is decrypting), Divx support should be removed just as well as most of the movies/clips viewed are not legitimate backups of owned DVD's. But this line of thoughts will move the argument to a more philosophical field.
    (I must add that I have no interest in seeing MDAPI included not for decrypting nor for any other possible use)

    All the best
    Borsalino
     
  5. liborc

    liborc Portal Pro

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    Thanks CodeMonkey, though I guess everything has been said on this topic elsewhere in this forum.

    Here's what I have to say:
    1) MDAPI and ProgDVB API plugins are by no means limited to descrambling TV channels. Possible other uses are DiSEQ, EPG, OSD, AC3.
    2) Even when using a SoftCAM descrambler, no legal responsibility lies on Mediaportal developers or community but solely on the user him or herself.
    3) Opening an application to third party plugins is a common practice. Legal issues on the content provider's side arise only for a) the makers of the plugin that decrambles encrypted signal, and b) the person providing the necessary keys. Also, it is true that some of these plugins violate the scrambling system patents they emulate. However, it would be a pitty to cut off all the non-SoftCAM plugins for this reason, as even a MDAPI/ProgDVB API enabled version of MediaPortal would not be able to descramble any protected content. (And thus would be, juste like it is now, totally unable to violate any law or patent.)

    This is not alibism but a real need. Myself, I have a legal subscription to two satllite bouquets but can only use them from my STB which I would like to get rid of and replace it with my MediaPortal based HTPC - and SoftCAM would just spare me money for buying new hardware (well, it wouldn't fit within my htpc case anyway...)

    I thus see only "Pros" and no real "Cons". No threat to MediaPortal and a lot of additional useful features for its users.

    Libor
     
  6. dman_lfc
    • Team MediaPortal

    dman_lfc Retired Team Member

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    We agree with yout Liborc but it does not stop people asking how to do descrambling it and why xyz illegal plugin does not work with MediaPortal etc etc.
    We just won't tolerate or support it if we get such people asking these questions.

    Those are some of the cons from our side.

    If it gets done, it gets done but people will have to accept thats the way it is.

    DMAN
     
  7. CodeMonkey

    CodeMonkey Portal Pro

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    liborc: As you can see just from this short thread and all the others, this topic carries a lot of passion with it. Yes there are numerous Pro's which you have mentioned, but the MP developers would rather error on the side of caution than open up themselves, and this very nice open source project, to possible legal actions.

    Whether or not MDAPI gets added to the mainline MP remains to be seen. I personally hope it does but as DMAN notes there almost certainly would be posts about why doesn't 'list your favorite softcam plugin here' work.
    If it does not make it into mainoine MP (and I doubt it will) others can add it and make the patches available if they wish. That's one of the beauties of open source. What eventually happens we will just have to wait and see I guess.
     
  8. draktheas
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    draktheas Retired Team Member

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    Personally, I understand not opening yourself up to legal action. However, I would like to point out that no legal counsel in their right mind would attempt to take legal action on support for a generic plugin framework that is in use by at least 5 other applications. Nor on a policy of non-tolerance regarding posting or discussion of decrypting signals.

    As long as the MDAPI framework is supported generically (which it has to be in order to make use of all the plugins available) and the policy of non-tolerance on the boards holds, I can't see any reason not to add support for this.

    I have been planning on writing support for MDAPI for over 2 months now and still plan to do it as soon as I am done with the TechnoTrend Premium support. Whether I do it as a patch or within MP, I will do it nonetheless. I prefer that it be a part of MP as that opens up a whole lot of useful plugins that MP developers won't have to write or duplicate and saves a lot of work.

    I personally want to use it for Network multicasting, so I can watch on any computer in the house and there are a number of good plugins for that already written in MDAPI.

    In my opinion, outlawing MDAPI as a framework from MP, is kind of like outlawing blow torches because they can be used to light a crack pipe. We just have to have a policy of 'no smokin' crack' (ahem, on the boards).

    Just my 2 cents,
    Drak
     
  9. CodeMonkey

    CodeMonkey Portal Pro

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    I agree with you on all points. I like the idea of this particular plugin as well. I am currently in a hotel room in Stockholm and wouldn't mind watching my MP which is setup at home in NY :) Nothing against Stockholm TV, but this hotel only has a few channels and only 2 that I can understand (in English :) ). Not sure how well that plugin would work on a WAN but it would be fun to try :)
     
  10. wishywashy

    wishywashy Portal Pro

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    I beg to differ, at least here in the States. The legal system for technology is all jacked. Take for instance, the dismisal of DUI charges in the state of Florida. The defense lawyers claim there is an error in the source code of the breathalyzer machines that can elevate the readings. This is absolutly impossible. The makers of the machines have demonstrated it is untrue but won't release their code because of trade secrets.
     
  11. jawbroken

    jawbroken Portal Pro

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    I am not sure how this applies to the current discussion (just an example of the general issue of technology and the law?) but I agree with the dismissals. The public should have the right to understand how these things work if they are going to be used to prosecute them.
     
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