It is not a LEGAL (not legule) issue. It is just a RUMOR (not roomer). Want proof? Clubhouse were just recently added. They were added LONG after the whole "video sharing removed for legal issues" rumor was started. And in clubhouses, there are flatscreen TV's mounted on the wall. Now why would they add this to a brand new feature if there is absolutely no use for it? There may be a chance that they limit video sharing to clubhouses only, but video sharing WILL be added at a later date in one form or another.
It is most certainly a legal issue. There simply is no legal way to show a video to someone else outside of your own house unless you own that video, and Sony has no way of verifying whether you're showing a home movie or not unless they only allow you to share stuff you've bought from their store. I think it's more likely that the TVs in the clubhouses are going to show content provided via Home, as opposed to letting users push content from their own PS3, which could get Sony in a ton of hot water. I highly doubt they would take that sort of legal risk.
I think this will all really come down to whether the law sees your apartment in Home as a private or public place. You're not legally allowed to show a movie at your office, a restaurant, a summer camp, the public library, your day-care facility, the park, your church, your school bus, etc. without paying $300 - $500 for a Public Performance License. Do people break that law all the time? Sure. Does Sony want to get sued into the stone age over allowing people to do it on their service? No.
The law says that any location outside of your home is considered public for copyright purposes, and even a closed-circuit transmission is deemed a public performance of the work. So really the only way Sony will ever, ever, ever be able to legally let you stream stuff to other people in your Home apartment is to either pay a massive amount of 'blanket licensing' money to cover everyone, or to get your virtual space on their services recognized legally as a private residence. I don't know that either of those situations is very likely. I suspect that, at best, Sony would allow you to watch stuff you bought in the PSN Store with other people who also bought the same video... maybe.
Thank you. You have answered the questions I had about this to a tee. Kudos!
Hey, my pleasure. Glad I could provide a "stragt ansewer".
It's actually a really interesting question... not sure if it's ever come up in the courts, but I bet it will at some point. If you have a 'virtual space' that you treat like a residence in a virtual world, either free or rented from a service provider, does that constitute a private space or not? I'm really not sure. That may be why it's proving difficult for Sony to work out. There's probably no legal precedent for "private showings of copyrighted content in a virtual residence" and they're not sure if they can do it or not. I really think the most likely case is that you'll be able to show and share content that Sony provides (which, given their film, tv and music holdings could be a sizeable library) but not your own stuff from your PS3 drive.
Frankly, you'd need a heck of a pipe to transmit outgoing data at any decent rate from your house to the Home network anyway... most users simply don't have that kind of upload bandwidth. It already takes a minute or so to download the "Twilight" trailer, and that's through Sony's own bandwidth... I can't imagine trying to stream something from some other dude's DSL!
While there could be legal issues involved, it's much more likely that Sony is simply dealing with bandwidth issues. Just look at what happened when they went from private to public beta! Lots of streaming music, pictures, and movies would create a lot of network congestion. Until they can get their service levels up, they are right to not have these items. As the bandwidth and server capacity comes up, I'd expect picture frames first, then music, then the TVs last.
There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.
Can someone answer this though?
How is Youtube still in business? I mean sure we all know about the instance of Viacom vs. Youtube. However, that's only one case, and Youtube is still around.
My basic thought on the subject is why even have an architecture that's based on the user's HDD storing the media? Instead of TVs, why not just make a "Computer" furniture item that shows the same web browser that is ALREADY INCLUDED WITH EVERY PS3? Let's say you even have TVs or a Digital Picture Frame, make them so that the user puts in a Youtube URL to a video, and that's what gets shown when the user enters the private space... now they've shifted the moderation focus over to Youtube, it would be Youtube's liability if copyrighted materials are presented, or whoever presents the content. Having a link to a URL doesn't impose any copyright infringements afaik (if someone knows computer laws very well please let me know if that doesn't hold true). You might also put in extra safeguarding measures that when the user enters your Home space it asks them if they want to open the following URL. Having a "Computer" item though opens up a lot more possibilities. Just think if you had a Club House, where the owner had a computer up with a link to a phpbb forum somewhere for the Club? Now you've got 24/7 message posting that all users can do (not just the Admin posting on a small Bulletin Board in the room) to plan events and converse with the members (even better yet, have forums just like the ones we are now for that monthly fee some of us will be paying for Club Houses). I'm a firm believer in not reinventing the wheel. I think the whole idea of having the videos stored on my HDD and having to be present in my Home space for a friend to view a video or photo is both a ridiculous idea and creates a whole lot of unnecessary steps and duplication of effort. Besides that, sometimes I might want to browse the web when I'm in my Home space, why have to quit Home to go and check the news (assuming I didn't have a laptop)? I think the web browser control idea is actually very efficient because it allows the developers to only have to focus on the existing web browser component of the PS3 instead of maintaining code for a separate streaming viewer.
Just imagine this... you walk into my Home, see some of my artwork that I've posted on Picture Frames. In the main room you see MSN News, ESPN Sports Scores, Stock Quotes I'm following on Yahoo, maybe even the first page of these forums on big Digital "Posters" on the walls... upstairs you've got some videos I'd post on Youtube. Think about yourself having that kind of functionality in your own room, and I bet your imagination is already running wild.
On more of a different topic, they could also have a PS3 item that lets you shell out to games if you're wanting to just start up a game without getting people together for a Game Launch (or play videos/music on your PS3 this way too without having to "quit" out of Home (even though the OS is shelling out to perform the function)).
What do you guys think?