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TiVo users fear recording restrictions

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TiVo users fear recording restrictions

Old 09-21-05, 02:17 PM
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The end is near: DRM and Tivo (w/screenshots)

Ok, maybe the thread title is a little overboard. But, nobody quite knows what's going to happen with this. I'm sure DirecTiVos are OK (because that software is never updated) and I'm hoping TiVo DVD Recorders are (because I just got one ). But, the standalone users may not be. It's not looking real good.....

Everywhere you look these days, big media corporations are acting like the boogeyman; taking out lawsuits against file sharing companies, placing heavy restrictions on the use of their media and generally making fools of themselves by attempting to criminalize their customer base and bullying smaller organizations into excessively protecting their content beyond reasonable limits.

It seems that one of these rather annoying and potentially damaging DRM restrictions has been uncovered in TiVo 7.2 OS by user Michael McKay, who emailed PRVBlog to vent his spleen about a red flag that he had never seen before, which appeared next to a recorded rerun of The Simpsons from the early 1990s.

When Michael attempted to view the episode, he got a message explaining that the copyright holder had prohibited any saving of the episode past a certain date and that it could not be copied using TivoToGo.

As PVRBlog explain in its own way, this is a bad idea, for all sorts of reasons -- not least of all because it will eventually contribute to a mass exodus of users into the arms of alternative PVR platforms if it is widely implemented.

TiVo is reknowned for its ease of use and friendly interface, so introducing an unpopular Big Brother-style restriction is not going to do much to encourage customer loyalty, especially if it's enforced on outdated programs. It's a perfectly understandable restriction to place on PPV content -- but not reruns of Who's The Boss or The Six Million Dollar Man.

It also places more control of licensed content back into the hands of the original copyright holder, which pretty much defeats the point of operators purchasing a broadcasting license for the material in the first place.

If it was a mistake on the part of TiVo or the operator (or a bug, as some users are claiming), let's hope it was an honest one; but if it's part of a wider issue, there's going to be a whole lot of angry TiVo users like Michael McKay venting their spleen in the future.





Now, not being able to output to TiVoToGo to burn to DVD is one thing, but why are the studios getting excited about how long it's being saved?
Old 09-21-05, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Chew
Now, not being able to output to TiVoToGo to burn to DVD is one thing, but why are the studios getting excited about how long it's being saved?
That's troubling.

My guess is that they are concerned with future DVD sales. The popularity of the DVRs are taking off and people with these devices are less inclined to purchase TV DVD sets blindly.
Old 09-21-05, 02:39 PM
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those who have tivos should read http://www.pvrblog.com/ about this whole macrovision/drm thing..
Old 09-21-05, 02:44 PM
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Even if it was an "accident" like the blog above states, the fact it's there at all is just as much of a concern.
Old 09-21-05, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Chew
Even if it was an "accident" like the blog above states, the fact it's there at all is just as much of a concern.
YEAH, Im pretty sure that the code didnt accidently write itself, it just accidently activated early.
Old 09-21-05, 03:17 PM
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I hope Tivo is getting a fat check from these companies because they will go down faster than Michael Jackson at a slumber party.

I don't keep shows on the tivo to rewatch. I do, however, keep them on there until I get around to watching them. For example, I still have the first season of both Desperate Housewives and Battlestar Galactica on there that I just haven't gotten to yet. If they start deleting. I'm out. I can see a mass exodus, which would be a shame since they were the pioneers of the dvr revolution. I still have a nice VCR I can hook up if need be.

This will also lead more people to acquiring their shows in other ways, i.e. downloading. Is that what the companies want?
Old 09-21-05, 03:20 PM
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Glad I have a Replay. And if that fails I have DVR computer hardware an software.
Old 09-21-05, 03:30 PM
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They never learn. Offer consumers a reasonable way to acquire media in digital forms, and they will glady pay for it. Try to unreasonably control it, and they will steal it.

das
Old 09-21-05, 03:34 PM
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Holy shit, this is scary.

*runs off to read the article*
Old 09-21-05, 03:42 PM
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Found the related article over at TivoCommunity.com:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=259169

Everyone is calling this a bug. I hope they are right, though I'm concerned that this functionality is there at all.
Old 09-21-05, 03:45 PM
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I sort of got disillusioned with Tivo when they started putting all those promo items in the menu. That and some other things were the reason I started favoring other methods of enjoying "TV my way".
Old 09-21-05, 05:11 PM
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I don't understand how it could be called a bug. It's clearly a feature written into the software. While it may have been accidentally tripped, it exists and is apparently working like it's supposed to work.

How long before content providers decide to trip it for everything? It's likely only a matter of time.
Old 09-21-05, 05:18 PM
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Tivo is dead.
Old 09-21-05, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by BigDan
I don't understand how it could be called a bug. It's clearly a feature written into the software. While it may have been accidentally tripped, it exists and is apparently working like it's supposed to work.
Something being accidentally tripped is a type of bug. In my mind, at least. It is working like its supposed to work, but not on its intended programs.
Old 09-22-05, 12:02 PM
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TiVo users fear recording restrictions

http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/ptech/0....ap/index.html

TiVo users fear recording restrictions

Thursday, September 22, 2005; Posted: 10:44 a.m. EDT (14:44 GMT)


SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- Many fans of digital video recorders made by TiVo Inc. are beginning to fear that Hollywood studios will one day reach into their set-top boxes to restrict the way they record and store movies and programs.

Among the functions included in TiVo's latest software upgrade is the ability to allow broadcasters to erase material recorded by TiVo's 3.6 million users after a certain date. That ability was demonstrated recently when some TiVo customers complained on TiVo community sites that episodes of "The Simpsons" and "King of the Hill" they recorded were "red-flagged" for deletion by the copyright holder.

Some users also were upset that they were prevented from transferring these red-flagged shows to a PC via the TiVoToGo service.

Elliot Sloan, a TiVo spokesman, called the red-flag incident a "glitch" and said it affected only a handful of customers. "It's a non-story," Sloan said.

Nonetheless, skeptics among TiVo users questioned why TiVo would own such a technology unless the company planned to one day use it.

TiVo and other digital video recorders let users skip commercials and jump around a recording quickly. Since TiVo introduced its DVR in the late 1990s, customers have enjoyed the ability to record anything they want, and store it indefinitely.

But last year, TiVo quietly disclosed that it would employ copyright-protection software from Macrovision Corp. for pay-per-view and video-on-demand programs. According to a post on TiVo's Web site, the software allows broadcasters to restrict how long a DVR can save certain recordings or in some cases prevent someone from recording altogether.

"Program providers decide what programs will have Macrovision copy protection," said the TiVo post.

Matt Haughey, creator of PVRblog.com, the Web site where the complaints first appeared, said some fans are overreacting about the red-flag incident. However, he said he is worried that TiVo has handed Hollywood a means to restrict recordings.

"TiVo would be of limited utility in the future if the studios were allowed to do this with regular broadcast content," Haughey said. "This is like cell-phone jammers. What if you couldn't talk on your cell phone? If customers can't do something with their TiVo that they could in the past, they will stop using it."

TiVo is among many platforms that could be transformed by the entertainment industry's demands for tighter copyright controls.

Broadcasters have also tried to force electronics manufacturers to insert a technology known as the broadcast flag into new televisions to prevent programs from being copied or disseminated on the Internet.

The Federal Communications Commission at one point required such piracy preventions, but those rules were blocked in May by a three-judge panel for the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Congress may get the last word.
Old 09-22-05, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Morf
Something being accidentally tripped is a type of bug. In my mind, at least. It is working like its supposed to work, but not on its intended programs.
I don't know. A bug implies a technical error when it's very likely this was, if an error at all, a human one.

I mean, when the company that created the technology laughs when asked about whether a fuzzy signal could cause the unit to misinterpret and trip the copy protection feature, the idea that it's a technical bug seems slimmer.

But I guess it doesn't really matter what caused it this time. Just knowing that all content providers can choose to trip the copy protection at any time rightfully makes people nervous about the future.
Old 09-22-05, 12:36 PM
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I don't like the 7 day limit as that's bullshit as you'll miss stuff if you go out of time, get behind on a series etc.

Couldn't care less about not being able to copy to VCR, DVD, Tivo to Go etc. as I don't use those features anyway.
Old 09-22-05, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Chew
I'm sure DirecTiVos are OK (because that software is never updated)
Directivo software is updated.
Old 09-22-05, 01:11 PM
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This was covered on the latest TWIT podcast as well. They don't have the show notes for the episode up yet though.
Old 09-22-05, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by kiddk1
Directivo software is updated.
It's not updated by TiVo, only DirecTV. Which is why I think it's "safe".
Old 09-22-05, 01:17 PM
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It get's tivo software updates though. They put one through a couple months ago that added folders and some other organizational options.
Old 09-22-05, 01:19 PM
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If this ever comes down for DirectTV TiVo's, just unplug the phone cord. No more updates.
Old 09-22-05, 01:24 PM
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yeah a week or 2 week vacation is one of the reasons I love my Tivo.. coming back to the shows being deleted due to restrictions like this would be a crock of shit, and then VCR sales would ramp up again

or dvd-recorders, or most likely the Bill Gates PC in the living room recording everything.
Old 09-22-05, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
If this ever comes down for DirectTV TiVo's, just unplug the phone cord. No more updates.
Definitely. I'm pretty satisfied with the current software now that they added the folders.

Would hate to have to deal with the nag messages though.
Old 09-22-05, 01:44 PM
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I have an HD DirecTiVo and had the harddrive crap out on me. The picture would freeze up and the unit would randomly reboot. Something having to do with the "f" software and the crappy harddrives they used. I reinstalled the TiVo software and have kept the phoneline unplugged. 120+ days without an issue, but that annoying message appears every friggin' day. I actually hope it's not much longer until the mpeg4 DVR swapout.

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