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PlayOn Cloud

Streaming video recorder for iOS. Recordings never expire.

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JimHolland@jimholland · Director of Marketing, PlayOn
Thanks everyone for the feedback and discussion. Since many of you have asked questions about legality I wanted to post this entry from our blog. It's a question that comes up often, but PlayOn Cloud is essentially just a DVR. You're recording content that you have a right to for the purpose of time shifting. It's behavior that is protected by The Supreme Court. Our PC product which has the same functionality has been around since 2011 without challenge. Apple has conducted a legal review this very app and approved it for distribution via their Appstore. Here is the blog piece we published a few months back with regard to this subject. https://www.playon.tv/blog/playo...
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Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Fortunately, Netflix has this built-in now with offline viewing. Is this legal, @skip721?
Adam Marx@adammarx13 · Freelance writer/editor and music addict
@rrhoover @skip721 I would surmise that, no, it probably isn't 100% legal. The real problem, though, is that tech has created this gray area where legal and illegal blur to some extent. The same is very true with music, particularly because artists have a different end-game than the major corporations (in that respect, major labels) who may hold certain distribution rights. But that's a different conversation. Here, because TV and movies are inherently different than music, the potential illegality and strategy must be considered differently (or at least taken with a truckload of salt). As with music, I see potential paths to get around this without encountering (too much) legal action, but it would require doing the legwork to appeal directly to the creators of the shows and/or whoever holds the creative rights. It's an independent play, and that's how it should be strategized.
Skip Sullivan
Maker
@skips721 · Customer Delight and Content, PlayOn
@rrhoover @skip721 I appreciate the question. Yes, PlayOn Cloud is absolutely legal. It falls under the same consumer fair use as a traditional DVR (and the VCR before that). Our desktop software (PlayOn Desktop) has been around for many years and we added DVR features to that back in 2011. Also, in regards to Netflix and their built in download feature...not all titles are available to download (thousands of titles aren't), and it's only available in the mobile app. With PlayOn, you can record any title and then download to watch on any device. You're not limited to your phone or tablet. Also, each month titles expire from Netflix. Using PlayOn, you can record those titles before they expire to watch offline at a time of your choosing. Once you've downloaded a PlayOn recording, it doesn't expire.
Réda Berrehili@rberrehili · Founder, CEO @ WRD
@rrhoover @skip721 My experience with the TV business makes me say that this is 100% illegal :)
Skip Sullivan
Maker
@skips721 · Customer Delight and Content, PlayOn
@rberrehili @rrhoover @skip721 We can assure you that PlayOn Cloud is legal...it's no different than a traditional DVR. As a consumer, you're allowed to record content you have legal access to.
Réda Berrehili@rberrehili · Founder, CEO @ WRD
@skips721 @rrhoover @skip721 No you can't, because the rights for the contents are negociated considering the territory you're watching them in. So let's say I download a movie in the US which has been negotiated for 0.10cts per view and I watch it in France, territory in which the deal is about 0.15cts per view, the rights bearers lose 5cts per each view.
Skip Sullivan
Maker
@skips721 · Customer Delight and Content, PlayOn
@rberrehili @rrhoover @skip721 That doesn't change how consumer fair use is applied.
Ian Gann@ihgann · Software Engineer at VMware, Inc.
@rrhoover @skip721 Not strictly true. Netflix's offline viewing *does* expire for certain shows. For example, downloaded "Death Note" and it currently shows an "Expired" label next to each episode. This claims it will download w/o expiration.
Giacomo Lawrance@giacomolaw · Author of thenerdystudent.com
@skips721 @rrhoover @skip721 One app I had to download Youtube videos for offline viewing got removed from the App Store. Are you sure this won't too? :)
JimHolland
Maker
@jimholland · Director of Marketing, PlayOn
@giacomolaw @skips721 @rrhoover @skip721 Apple went through an extensive legal review of this product prior to publishing it in the Appstore. Ultimately they too believed this was protected by consumer fair use. It's just a DVR (or VCR if you like) for streaming content. DVR's have been legal for a long time.
JimHolland
Maker
@jimholland · Director of Marketing, PlayOn
@ihgann @rrhoover @skip721 Correct, once recorded and downloaded with PlayOn Cloud it's just an MP4 file. Watch it whenever you can get to it. Record Death Note today and you can watch that recording in a year....or two.
Skip Sullivan
Maker
@skips721 · Customer Delight and Content, PlayOn
@ihgann @rrhoover @skip721 Right...that's one of the things we highlighted earlier. Netflix downloads (in the Netflix mobile app) do expire. Recordings made with PlayOn do not. Once you download a PlayOn Cloud recording to your mobile device or to your PC/Mac, it doesn't expire. Netflix's implementation of their download feature is independent of consumer fair use.
Mubashar Iqbal
Hunter
@mubashariqbal · 2016 Maker of the Year.
Record your favorite shows and automatically download them to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch! Once your recording is downloaded you can watch it anytime and anywhere! Sweeet!
Skip Sullivan
Maker
@skips721 · Customer Delight and Content, PlayOn
Hi all - We hope you dig PlayOn Cloud. We built PlayOn Cloud with versatility in mind - a way for people to record their favorite online streaming content to watch offline without the need for a PC. Every new account includes 5 free recordings. AND, unlike Netflix's native download feature, PlayOn allows you to record any Netflix title, you're not limited to watching on a mobile device....and recordings don't expire!
Ouriel Ohayon@ourielohayon · appsfire, CEO/ isai (VC) co-founder
indeed netflix does not allow to download a huge part of the catalog. but one problem the display of the font and pics are really small ...please change that really unusable right now
Skip Sullivan
Maker
@skips721 · Customer Delight and Content, PlayOn
@ourielohayon - thanks for the feedback. Can you elaborate a bit? Do you mean as you're browsing the various channels in PlayOn (drilling down through the lists of videos)?
Ouriel Ohayon@ourielohayon · appsfire, CEO/ isai (VC) co-founder
@skips721 any thing in your app is way too small. menu buttons/text/catalogs/jackets. you need really a good eye. it should match the same proportion as netflix
Skip Sullivan
Maker
@skips721 · Customer Delight and Content, PlayOn
@ourielohayon Thanks! We have some UI changes planned and already in the works.
Jason Diaz@jxslepton · Freelance Visual Artist
I have a feeling this is one of those awesome apps that apple will pull from the app store. Downloading now...
Skip Sullivan
Maker
@skips721 · Customer Delight and Content, PlayOn
@jxslepton We're confident that won't happen :) We had to go through the same submission and review process as any other app.
Jason Diaz@jxslepton · Freelance Visual Artist
@skips721 any plans for an Apple TV app? Slowly cutting the cord and sounds like this would be a good solution for dvr functionality on the Apple tv
Skip Sullivan
Maker
@skips721 · Customer Delight and Content, PlayOn
@jxslepton Yes, absolutely - we're working on it. In the meantime, you can also download recordings to your PC/Mac (we send a notification email when recordings are complete which include a download link). Once there, you should be able to stream to your Apple TV.
JimHolland
Maker
@jimholland · Director of Marketing, PlayOn
@jxslepton @skips721 PlayOn Cloud works great with AirPlay, so if you have an iPhone/iPad and an Apple TV you should be in business. For now, the phone does have to stay on the same WiFi network when you're using AirPlay.