Me and Cory aren’t known for our ability to agree over much to do with copyright, but he’s bang on the mark with his post over at Boing Boing about how TiVo won’t save certain shows or allow moving them:
TiVo has added several anti-features to its PVR. Now, some shows can’t be saved forever, or moved using TiVo2Go.
It used to be that it was hard to explain the TiVo. I’d tell people, "It’s like a VCR, but it’s smart enough to program itself."
Now I’ve got a new description: "It’s like a VCR, but it it’s evil enough to screw you over if some rightsholder demands it."
Hey, TiVo: since 1984′s Betamax decision, Americans have had the right to record TV shows even if the rightsholder doesn’t like the idea. That’s straight from the Supreme Court’s mouth. I don’t know what kind of special privilege the enteraintment industry has offered you in exchange for this spectacular display of wanton shark-jumping, but it wasn’t enough. I sold my TiVo when I left California. You can be goddamned sure I won’t be buying another one. Ever.
Note to potential TiVo competitors: MythTV is like TiVo except it includes all the features that the entertainment industry has intimidated TiVo into leaving out. And it’s free. Go make a product out of it, put it in stores, and you will sell a squillion of them. Now that TiVo’s blown its brains out, the field is wide open.
The abilty of people to record and keep shows as long as they want has not only been a great benefit to consumers, it’s benefitted the content industries by preserving interest in shows that would otherwise be forgotten – making it much easier for the content companies to later re-show or release the programmes. Adding a self-destruct on the shows is stupid – it’s like saying that the show has a shelf life, and after that forget about it.