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Modded Boxes Legal ? (Appeal Court)

DW190

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#1
h**p://www.techwatch.co.uk/2008/06/13/hardware-mods-declared-legal/

In a court case likely to have an impact on the cable industry, a landmark ruling at the Court of Appeal has determined that modifying the hardware of an Xbox does not breach copyright and patents laws.

Neil Higgs, 38, trading under the name of Mr Mod Chips, was taken to court for selling modified chipsets for use in Xbox gaming consoles.

Judge Jacob ruled that modding an Xbox with third-party chips which could allow multi-region and even pirate game play, and related hardware modifications, was not in breach of the law.

If extrapolated to hardware modifications in general, it would also mean that modifying cable box receivers would also be exempt from the relevant copyright and patents act from Brussels.

This could also impact recent cases where companies selling chipped cable boxes have been fined.

However, even if modifying hardware is not illegal, users should remember that software piracy and accessing pay-for TV for free are and are done so at the users own risk.

In the meantime, even though modifying an Xbox has now been ruled as legal, consumers should be warned that it almost certainly invalidates relevant warranties and manufacturer guarantees.
 

ice2004

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#2
Since a cable box isn't yours to modify in the first place how would this have any impact?
 

Rat

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#4
its wrong to modify any box and plug it into a feed to obtain free illegal tv
 
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#6
To clear something up - its a dreambox.

Is it illegal for me to get the FTA channels? Thats all I use it for.
 

nozzer

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#7
In a court case likely to have an impact on the cable industry, a landmark ruling at the Court of Appeal has determined that modifying the hardware of an Xbox does not breach copyright and patents laws.
In most cases, modification of a stb would break other laws regarding the circumvention of encryption systems and stealing of content. I doubt that copyright and patent laws would come into it.
 

nozzer

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#8
To clear something up - its a dreambox.

Is it illegal for me to get the FTA channels? Thats all I use it for.
Its not illegal as such but it is against the terms and conditions of all UK cable companies for you to connect any unauthorised equipment to their system. Doing so leaves you open to them terminating your connection.
 

DW190

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Its not illegal as such but it is against the terms and conditions of all UK cable companies for you to connect any unauthorised equipment to their system. Doing so leaves you open to them terminating your connection.
Where are these terms and conditions? What is authorised and what is not?

Anyone can connect the cable directly to their television to obtain Terestrial TV. (This is not an option in a block of flats near me, its the only access to TV) They are not allowed aerials or dishes but must connect to the internal cable.

Once the Analougue signal has gone the only alternative will be to connect a digital decoder between the cable feed and the analogue tv to decode the FTA channels.

Simple question for the Company: Can I connect a decoder to obtain FTA channels. If the answer is No I am being discriminated against.
 
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#10
Its not illegal as such but it is against the terms and conditions of all UK cable companies for you to connect any unauthorised equipment to their system. Doing so leaves you open to them terminating your connection.
I gave up with cable ages ago. My box came with the DVB tuner as well as the cable tuner.
 

nozzer

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#11
Where are these terms and conditions? What is authorised and what is not?

Anyone can connect the cable directly to their television to obtain Terestrial TV. (This is not an option in a block of flats near me, its the only access to TV) They are not allowed aerials or dishes but must connect to the internal cable.

Once the Analougue signal has gone the only alternative will be to connect a digital decoder between the cable feed and the analogue tv to decode the FTA channels.

Simple question for the Company: Can I connect a decoder to obtain FTA channels. If the answer is No I am being discriminated against.
In theory, you aren't supposed to connect anything whatsoever to the cable system that isn't authorised by the cable co.

As you are in a block of flats then it may be that you have implied permission to connect your TV directly to the feed (is it actually a direct cable feed or is it from some kind of distribution system). Its doubtful though, that you will have permission to connect any form of digibox except those supplied by the cable co. This is something you will have to take up with your landlord.
 

DW190

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#12
In theory, you aren't supposed to connect anything whatsoever to the cable system that isn't authorised by the cable co.

As you are in a block of flats then it may be that you have implied permission to connect your TV directly to the feed (is it actually a direct cable feed or is it from some kind of distribution system). Its doubtful though, that you will have permission to connect any form of digibox except those supplied by the cable co. This is something you will have to take up with your landlord.
I dont live in the flats. They are warden controlled flats for the elderly.

The cables are direct feed and work just like any other cable feed.

There is no other form of supply to the flats. No Sat dishes or Aerials allowed.

"Implied" is an understatement. There must be permission written into the Tenancy Agreements to connect a TV to the Cable Feed.

Come the change over to digital I dont think the analogue signal will be carried along the cable for the Terestrial channels so it must then be Implied that a decoder can be connected to receive FTA channels.

Another block of flats near to me only has a Sky communal dish. No cable and No aerials allowed. All the flats in the block are given a basic Sky box with FTA channels free. They can of course upgrade to subscription if they wish.
 

nozzer

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#13
Come the change over to digital I dont think the analogue signal will be carried along the cable for the Terestrial channels so it must then be Implied that a decoder can be connected to receive FTA channels.
I doubt if there is any such implied agreement where digiboxes are concerned. This is something that needs to be clarified with the landlords as they may be forced to either purchase stb's from the cable provider or replace the system with something else (freesat distribution maybe ???)

If I remember correctly, there may be some government scheme to help the elderly with the purchase of stb's for digital. I dunno if it would be of help in this situation but it may be possible that any money could be used for the perpetual "rental" of a cable box for free-to-view channels.
 
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#14
This is quite an interesting topic really.

The BBC FTV channels should, apparenlty, be available to anyone who pays for a TV license regardless of deliver. It also appears that any supplier offering these channels needs to ensure that they work according to agreed levels of performance.

So, in theory, anyone could rock up with a cable box and start watching FTV channels and not break any terms and conditions - namely because they didnt sign a contract in the first place to be bound by these terms and conditions.

However, in saying this, I think it is about time for me to switch over to freesat.
 

pinkhelmets

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#15
I'm confused. If you plug a non-modified DVB-C box into a cable feed do you get BBC/ITV and other free channels?
 
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#16
I'm confused. If you plug a non-modified DVB-C box into a cable feed do you get BBC/ITV and other free channels?
you certainly do.

The only channels you dont get are FTV channels.

Simlive - can you explain to me why it is illegal for me to obtain FTA channels over cable?
 

Rat

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#17
yes you do Pink,but I would imagine its illegal to plug anything into there feed without there permission

but Im not 100% sure about that

if you take out there phone line you get FTA TV for £1 I think it is,that covers rental of the box as far as Im aware
 

pinkhelmets

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#18
Hmmm well I wish i knew more about cable. A DVB-C licenced receiver is licenced to receive DVB-C broadcasts and you pay for that priviledge when you purchase the box. Your TV licence allows licenced reception of the PSB channels. If you are not in an agreement with the provider and are not renting equipment from them I fail to see what is so "highly illegal" at this point?
The cable & system into your home may be owned and maintained by the provider, but you do not have to pay rent on that afaik. At the point that system finishes in your home then surely connecting licenced equipment to it for the purpose of receiving licenced public service free broadcasts cannot be deemed highly illegal or illegal whatsoever?

Please tell me where i am wrong so I can understand more :). Are there any court cases of people being prosecuted for receiving free channels?
Thanks guys.
 
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#19
Hmmm well I wish i knew more about cable. A DVB-C licenced receiver is licenced to receive DVB-C broadcasts and you pay for that priviledge when you purchase the box. Your TV licence allows licenced reception of the PSB channels. If you are not in an agreement with the provider and are not renting equipment from them I fail to see what is so "highly illegal" at this point?
The cable & system into your home may be owned and maintained by the provider, but you do not have to pay rent on that afaik. At the point that system finishes in your home then surely connecting licenced equipment to it for the purpose of receiving licenced public service free broadcasts cannot be deemed highly illegal or illegal whatsoever?

Please tell me where i am wrong so I can understand more :). Are there any court cases of people being prosecuted for receiving free channels?
Thanks guys.
none at all so far I dont think.

Plus, you need to take into account the license fee - some of which goes to the cable companies to maintain the FTA broadcast over its system.
 

pinkhelmets

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#20
Eg. If say \/irgin broadcast over their system using the DVB-C standard (which they do), and you use a receiver that is DVB-C licenced (such as a dreambox), then this is fully authorised and totally in compliance with transmission and reception law.
If \/irgin receive money from the licence fee (which they do), they are required to provide free access on the certain channels -certainly not required to use that licence fee to prosecute legitimate users. I have little understanding of cable but at this point there is no way I can accept this as anything near illegal, civil or criminal.