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Closing down Telenet Yelo

As somewhat expected, Telenet didn't took long to respond to this article.
Here's the letter (In Dutch)


Mechelen, 20 april 2011
per post en per mail

Betreft: Yelo-applicatie

Geachte heer,

Wij verwijzen naar uw blogpost

Na onze vorige waarschuwingen i.v.m. digiprogrammer dienen we 
opnieuw vast te stellen dat u de gebruiksvoorwaarden van de
Yelo-applicatie miskent. Het mogelijk maken van Live TV
streaming naar andere devices zonder toestemming van Telenet
is een duidelijke inbreuk op deze gebruiksvoorwaarden. Wij stellen u thans formeel in gebreke bovenvermelde activiteiten
onmiddellijk stop te zetten. Wanneer u deze activiteiten niet
onmiddellijk staakt, zullen wij niet nalaten uw toegang tot de
Yelo-applicatie te beëindigen en gerechtelijke stappen te
ondernemen. Bovendien zal u Telenet dienen te vrijwaren en
te vergoeden voor elke schade, verlies, kost, vordering of uitgave
die voortvloeit uit het oneigenlijk gebruik van de Yelo-applicatie
door uzelf of door anderen. Volledigheidshalve wensen wij u er op te wijzen dat het beschikbaar
maken van Yelo op Android devices slechts mogelijk is wanneer er
sluitende afspraken zijn met de rechtenhouders. Op dit ogenblik zijn
deze afspraken er nog niet. Acties zoals deze maken de afspraken
rond copyrights erg complex en hebben een contraproductief effect. Onderhavig schrijven geldt als formele ingebrekestelling als naar
recht en wordt u verzonden onder voorbehoud van alle rechten en
zonder enige nadelige erkentenis. Inmiddels verblijven wij, Met de meeste hoogachting, Voor Telenet nv, xxx xx xxxxx, Legal manager


Oh well ...
I'm a nice guy so I took down the project and removed the references to the internal Yelo API.
After all, my goal was to demonstrate that bringing the Yelo App to Android wouldn't require that much work as all the key elements are in place already.
Maybe I should write a letter asking for "official permission", heh, we'll see how that goes :-)

I was expecting they would quote their Terms of Use that it isn't allowed to reverse engineer their software or that it isn't allowed to ask other customers for their password.
But they didn't.
Instead they state that "making Live TV streaming available for other devices isn't allowed without permission"
This is not something I read in their terms but then again: I'm no lawyer, just a customer. (shouldn't these things be written for customers?)
Further they claim that bringing Yelo to Android is not possible "because the necessary licensing deals are not in place" 

Erm... they seem to forget that - as stated here and there - most Android devices support Flash and you can simply browse to and look at the flash based TV streams ON your Android.
This works - but playing the m3u8 streams like I did works much better.

To all Android users who have the daring balls to open a website like, log in and watch the flash base live stream: STOP! YOU ARE IN CLEAR VIOLATION!

No? So playing flash videostreams on a website doesn't require a seperate licensing, and playing http live streaming video in an app does?
OK ... if you say so.

Forgive me for breaking the news to telenet, but if that's true they have made themselves a HORRIBLE deal if they have to renegotiate their license for every platform or technique separately.
This almost sounds like the story that TV Channels wanted separate (and cumulative) licenses for rebroadcasting their channels using analog or digital channels.
Oh wait ... didn't Telenet went to court for that and WON? (and of course the Belgian Bloodhound gang of copyright societies appeals)
The reasoning behind their court action was that Telenet has an "All Rights Included" license for broadcasting some TV channels, so if it is allowed to broadcast it through analog cable, it is also allowed to broadcast it through digital cable.

The issue centers around a single question: have viewers the right to view content, for which they paid, anywhere in the home on any device?

The Telenet actions against the copyright societies in court seem to indicate that their stand is a clear: YES!
But if that's the case, why would viewing on iPhone be OK and on Android not?
That's not even a question of "digital" or "analog", it's a micro issue of "what platform"
It's like saying that you can watch digital TV on a Sony TV, but NOT on a Samsung one.

I get it of course: Telenet probably had to made some serious concessions to the TV Channels (and copyright societies) to even be able to stream SOME channels to SOME devices over the internet, and there comes this insensitive cowboy developer walking by, meddling with the precious balance between broadcasters and copyright holders.
But as time proves over and over again, when technology clashes with rigid business models, especially when digital content and intellectual property is involved, it is the business model that has to adapt, NOT the technology.
As for digital TV: Streaming to all kinds of devices can't be stopped

So, Telenet, with your new court victory in your pocket, don't let a small shrimp like me stand in your way and make it happen: Video content (for which customers have paid) available anywhere in the home on any device.

If you do, you'll certainly get my money as customer (As you do now already, lot's of money for lots of years, I might add :-) )



Update: Official reaction by Telenet after the ZDnet picked up the story and after lot's of retweeting on twitter. Thanks for all the support guys!
in short: Yes: you can use the yelo website on Android, no there won't be an Android app soon as the needed security and content rights are not sorted out yet.

Very weird:
1: What a mess: this - again - shows you better build a good webapp then to meddle around with native mobile apps.
2: I'm going to inform me about exaclty what rights customers (endusers) have with digital content. Apparently this is a legal swamp with some VERY bizar twists



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