Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Television Media Hardware

TiVo, ReplayTV Agree to Limits 325

Grump writes "This story reports that 'The makers of TiVo and ReplayTV digital video recorders have agreed to limit how long consumers can keep pay-for-view movies stored on future versions of the VCR-like devices.' Is this fair, or erosion of more fair-use rights?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

TiVo, ReplayTV Agree to Limits

Comments Filter:
  • The Divx Road (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stecoop ( 759508 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @04:13PM (#10216024) Journal
    As I recall in the recent past, a well-known seller tried to limit viewing of movies by introducing the Divx technology whereby, the machine would connect to a server to get a key to view. Now if Replay or Tivo try this then there will be a backlash from the consumer. What would be ironic is if one of these PVR manufactures goes bully up than I suspect that the software community will pickup the fragments and produce code to do whatever the original community want.

    On a side note, I watch a video program on my PVR from PBS that was for educational instructional use and it had a disclaimer at the beginning stating that copies could be used up until 2006 or so. I don't have any intent on keeping the program that long but why should I depend on a 3 party source to keep and maintain material. A distributed system where PVR owners share programs is just about to become a rally by certain. This peeves me - the thing that manufactures/groups worry about the most is usually good for them and the consumer.

    To sum the two paragraphs together: the video material should be in an inter-dispersed local (PVRs) and not limited because of popularity (Fair use). In fact the material should only survive if it is popular enough to be wanted/distributed from enough people wanting to exchange the information - If no one wants it then it would disappear.
    • You might think that. However, as far as I know, there is still no way to play a DivX movie. If Goodwill didn't slap a $5.99 price on them, I might try here someday... anyone feel like mailing me one?
    • what are your usage rights with a TiVO? what they want you to have. it's a locked technology with asterisks all over, licensed, and tightly bound. you have the right to watch something that they allow you to watch.

      on a "purchased video," which really is a purchased piece of media with a little licensed artwork on the label and case and a licensed video production embedded in its code, you have a limited right of personal viewing without any rights for re-release or commercial or non-profit showing to gr
  • Bastards.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by grub ( 11606 ) <> on Friday September 10, 2004 @04:13PM (#10216031) Homepage Journal

    These two competitors have agreed on a completely arbitrary limit for recording PPV shows. Why? Think about it: the PVR market is growing. Rather than focusing on new features for the consumer (ie: "We offer 1.5 times the PPV time-limit over our competitor.") they've come to an agreement that is good for no one but themselves. There's no way in hell that they just decided to do this, the entire agreement has the fetid stink of collusion.

    Take control, this is yet another reason to dump TV entirely and download what you want to watch.

    Sorry, it's Friday, I'm in RantMode and I have First Damn Post.
    • Re:Bastards.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by IronChef ( 164482 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @04:52PM (#10216508)
      These two competitors have agreed on a completely arbitrary limit for recording PPV shows. Why?

      Replay took away the ability to automatically skip commercials in their newest units? Why? Because they got their ass sued off over that feature. So they caved and took it out.

      It doesn't matter if you are in the right if you can't afford to prove it.

      Don't blame TiVo and Replay, blame the broadcasters who are really the ones who want to control what you do.
    • Re:Bastards.. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by aussie_a ( 778472 )
      Take control, this is yet another reason to dump TV entirely and download what you want to watch.

      Except that's illegal of course. There's no excuse to break the law. If you don't like a law, fight to have it changed. If you don't like this limitation, find a legal way to get around it or don't use TiVo or whatever else will make you happy. Buy your movies instead of keeping them on TiVo. Boycott the movies and only watch stuff from indi sources, there's plenty of free content on the internet.

      When you b
  • On other news (Score:5, Informative)

    by Guiri ( 522079 ) * on Friday September 10, 2004 @04:14PM (#10216035) Homepage
    MythTV 0.16 [] has been released today.


    • Great, now if I could just get a digital cable decoder card that was supported by MythTV.

      Just out of curiosity, if I set MythTV up with two baseband video capture inputs (no tuners, just video capture), and feed the video in from two digital cable boxes, can MythTV run an IR Commander-type output to seperately control the two cable boxes?
      • Should be able to with two IR transmitters and a properly configured lirc.
      • Re:On other news (Score:2, Informative)

        by b96miata ( 620163 )
        Yes, it can. (I don't use this currently but have helped a friend set it up) We had svideo/audio running from the cable box into a wintv pvr-250, and a serial ir emitter (he chose to use a premade, somewhat expensive one from actisys, but there are many plans to build your own) the ir emitter was simply taped in front of the cable box and interfaced through lirc. then you just give myth the name of a script that changes the channels (skeleton scripts are provided, it basically just sends the digits in
    • Right. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sulli ( 195030 ) * on Friday September 10, 2004 @04:34PM (#10216302) Journal
      And do you really think Joe User will contend with:

      mythtv-suite []

      ATrpms - by Distribution > common > mythtv-suite
      Meta-package dragging in all of MythTV and add-ons.

      This package is only useful in conjunction with apt-get, yum, or any other automatic dependency resolver.

      It merely contains dependencies to all other required myth components, which in turn drag in further dependencies.

      If you have an atrpms enabled apt-get or yum, all you have to do is
      apt-get update && apt-get install mythtv-suite

      yum install mythtv-suite

      Have a look at the multimedia rpms to browse through the actual packages. Instructions for installing/configuring apt-get and/or yum are at the front page.

      NOTE: drivers are not installed with mythtv-suite. If any rpms for a driver exists, you can still use apt-get or yum to install them.

      NOTE: While rpms make installing mythtv and dependencies very easy, configuring mythtv/xmltv etc. is still needed. Please read carefully the documentation at the official mythtv web site. There are also walkthrough guides like Jarod C. Wilson's guide and Tyler Butler's installation guide also for the PVR-250.

      And this is on the precompiled binaries page! How the heck will any non-Linux-geek figure this out?

      Someone really needs to compile a MythTV LiveCD (or whatever) that you can just install and run on a PC with suitable video hardware. Having to figure out all this Linux mumbo-jumbo, or worse, compile it yourself, is a recipe for saying "screw it" and going back to TiVo, restrictions or no.

  • TiVo Limits (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JWSmythe ( 446288 ) * <> on Friday September 10, 2004 @04:14PM (#10216038) Homepage Journal
    That's crap!

    Not that the story is wrong, but the idea is bullshit.

    I have a TiVo and I upgraded it with a 140Gb drive, so I get over 100hrs of storage. I use it in exactly the way they should want someone to. I'm not a couch potato, I work for a living. There are shows I like to watch, but I usually don't have time to just sit down at watch when they're on. I usually start watching television around 2am. For years, this meant I watched crap. Now that I have a TiVo, I can watch good shows.

    We'll use their example of '6 feet under'. I may not get a chance to watch it til a week later. Should I miss the episode because they decided to set an arbitrary limit to how long I can keep it stored? What if I'm out of town for work for a week? Can't I come home, and catch up on the episodes that I missed. Yes, this has happened more than once, and it's *REALLY* nice that I can do it.

    I haven't seen any black market shops selling '6 feet under' episodes recorded with TiVo.

    How about PPV movies? My girlfriend has watched movies, and recorded them (on the TiVo). I may sit down a week or two later, and watch that movie. Fair use. The household paid for it. Or more like, *I* paid for it. If we had been home at the same time, we would have watched together. So if this goes through, now she'll see the movie or show, and I'll be out of luck?

    They're not afraid of piracy, they're looking at possible revenue that they're missing. They could possibly get an extra PPV viewing fee because I would possibly buy it twice. Well, that's wrong, I wouldn't. I won't pay twice, I just won't watch it til it comes out on HBO and I happen to be sitting there.

    As for '6 feet under', I actually was into that show in the first few seasons. I didn't have a TiVo, but my schedule permitted me to be at home to watch it. At the time, I didn't own a TiVo. My work schedule changed, and I missed several episodes, and was lost about the story line when I tried to start watching again. If I had a TiVo then, I could have spent some time catching up on old episodes, and still been interested in the series. Now that's a show I simply don't watch. It's a waste of their broadcasting time, because I don't know what's happened previously.
    • Its their content. Its their business how they license that content to you.

      Although it pisses me off as much as anyone else on here that these content companies want "do not record", "only play until xxx", and "do not copy" type flags on their content, I do believe they've got every right to do that since the material belongs to them.

      If you don't like it, don't watch it. There's lots of far higher quality movies, programs and music out there from people who aren't as fixated on keeping strict controls.

      • "Its their content. Its their business how they license that content to you."

        I'm glad that most people don't take your attitude to business.

        "This is my land. You should be lucky I'm allowing you to farm it."

        Feudalism was replaced about 500-600 years ago. We're not about to bring it back in the realm of entertainment.
      • by BrookHarty ( 9119 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @04:54PM (#10216530) Homepage Journal
        Its their content. Its their business how they license that content to you.

        But the distribution methods are not theirs, this is why they are lobbying to control both content & distribution.

        Take baseball, aired on public tv, they block home games, so the content owners can try to make more money, when in fact they are sponsered by the public (for the stadium) and agree to air games.

        Regulations worth both ways, there is no reason you have to give content providers a gold ruler, and make everyone else measure up.

        If they don't want to follow our standards, they can keep their content off tv. Works both ways.

      • by Yebyen ( 59663 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @05:57PM (#10217096) Homepage
        Your view of intellectual property is flawed. Physical objects can be created or destroyed. They are composed of natural resources. Ideas are natural resources, just like anything else. Creative content is created from ideas, just like physical property is constructed from other resources.

        Physical property can be transferred from one person to another. If I give you something physical, I do not have it anymore. If I give you some creative work or idea, I can still give it to others, and I have not lost anything. The idea of "property" does not transfer completely from physical objects to ideas. After understanding these differences, we can now discuss the current legal and economic situation of physical security versus security of intellectual property.

        It is my right to protect my physical property through physical security. There are laws which punish those who would violate my physical security, because they will be depriving me of my right to my own property.

        Bring this over to intellectual property, and you see that the model no longer fits. It is my right to protect my intellectual property through technical or other security. There are laws which punish those who would violate security on intellectual property, because (???) why? The owner hasn't lost anything but some "right to profit" which is not codified anywhere.

        I do not have the right to profit from a flawed business model. The owner of some content wishes to prevent me from doing something which I could do legally, if his security was not in place. When I break his security, the only law I have broken is the "no breaking security" law. This is not equivalent to trespassing or theft, because no crime is being committed, besides "breaking the DMCA."

        In the world of physical security, it is illegal to pick the lock on someone else's door without permission, because it serves no legal purpose. Whether you are going to steal from their house or not is immaterial, because there is no other valid reason to pick their lock. In the world of intellectual property, it is now illegal to "pick the lock" on a "protected" file, IN SPITE OF the fact that there are many legal uses, including exercise of my fair use rights.

        Copyright in this country was fought bitterly until the idea of fair use rights were created as well. Many years later, the companies with their found copyright powers want to remove our fair use rights through technical security, and expect laws to prevent us from "picking the locks." Do you see my point?

        The only loss to the author is the ability to charge me extra for something which I should be allowed to do anyway.
    • Re:TiVo Limits (Score:5, Informative)

      by crow ( 16139 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @04:28PM (#10216222) Homepage Journal
      Or in my case, we recorded "24" on our ReplayTV and didn't start watching the second season until we had the whole season. We've had other shows on there over a year because we just hadn't gotten around to watching them. Time limits defeat the whole purpose of a PVR.
      • Re:TiVo Limits (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Mr Guy ( 547690 )
        Again, your situation is not what they are talking about here. What they are talking about here is more like you bringing a blank dvd to Blockbuster and having them burn you a copy of the shows you missed, then requiring you destroy the dvd after a certain time frame.
        • Re:TiVo Limits (Score:5, Insightful)

          by crow ( 16139 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @04:46PM (#10216444) Homepage Journal
          That's a flawed analogy.

          Sure, they're only talking about PPV now, but that's content that currently you can record on a VCR and keep forever, so why not on a PVR?

          The PVR companies are agreeing to this because they can't afford the legal fight, and the media companies are pushing for this because it will be much easier to get this written into law once if they can say it's already common practice.

          And what's to stop them from applying the same technology to non-PPV shows next year?
    • I'm not a couch potato, I work for a living. There are shows I like to watch, but I usually don't have time to just sit down at watch when they're on. I usually start watching television around 2am. For years, this meant I watched crap

      I'm honestly confused here. You're not a couch potato, but you'd rather watch crap on the TV at 2am than turn it off and do something else?
    • While reading your post something dawned on me. Your mention of 6 feet under got me thinking of On-Demand (This might just be what comcast calls it). Basically its kind of like Tivo, but provided by the cable company. It lets you pick shows that have been on over the last few weeks and watch them whenever you want. Its been great for watching HBO shows that I can't watch on Sundays.

      Could this be the result of some pressure from the cable companies or premium channels. Comcast and others would obviousl
    • Re:TiVo Limits (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SpecBear ( 769433 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @05:05PM (#10216645)
      Yes, this is pure crap. But hey, providing decreased functionality in hardware in order to protect the content business has worked so well for Sony, right?

      When I first read about plans for set-top boxes that enforced such limits I thought, "Why would I buy such a thing when there's Tivo?" I was considering building a PC-based PVR, but when I looked at the time and cost involved I thought "Why go through the trouble when I can just buy a Tivo?"

      Now it seems that they're slowly but surely pressuring the PVR manufacturers to do their dirty work. Of course, this could ultimately kill the market, or at least leave it vulnerable to a a newcomer. For the first time in a long time, I'm looking at MythTV.

      Here is my message to the industry: There is no legitimate reason a PVR shouldn't be able to do everything my 10-year old VCR can do. Hardware that I purchase and own should not conspire against me.
    • Re:TiVo Limits (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dirk ( 87083 )
      While I completely agree that there should be no limits on recorded programs off of regular channels (like CBS or HBO), you seemt o not know what PPV stands for. PPV means Pay Per View. The entire concept is that you pay and you get to watch it then. You pay for 1 viewing of the movie. Why in the hell would you think that you should be able to record that and watch it a different time? The entire concept is based around you paying for it and watching it then. That's like paying to see a movie in a the
    • Re:TiVo Limits (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Quarters ( 18322 )
      Could you even be bothered to read the article summary?

      The time restriction is for PPV movies, not for any other content. Your episode of 6' Under will still be there next week.

      OnDemand and DirecTV's PPV system already work with a restriction. You pay for a movie/show and you have 24hrs in which to watch it. After that your access to the media is removed. How is this any different than what TiVO and Replay are instituting?

      It's called Pay Per View, not Pay Per I-Get-To-Keep-It-For-As-Long-As-I-Damn-Wel

  • Stupid (Score:2, Insightful)

    by helmespc ( 807573 )
    So I guess I better keep that VHS a little longer... feh....
  • Something else... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dubdays ( 410710 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @04:15PM (#10216057)
    Is this fair, or erosion of more fair-use rights?

    Sounds more like collusion to me.
  • Fine with me. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by User 956 ( 568564 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @04:15PM (#10216059) Homepage
    That's fine. I'll just start storing them on my hard drive. That, or I'll quit ordering Pay-Per-view altogether and just sign up for Netflix so I can burn DVD-R copies like everyone else.
  • by lukewarmfusion ( 726141 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @04:17PM (#10216082) Homepage Journal
    First, can you still pull that content off your Tivo/ReplayTV and put it on something else? Yes.

    Second, is the time limit as long/longer than a rental? I tend to look at this service as a replacement for going to my neighborhood video rental store. Is the quality, price, rental time limit, etc. comparable? If so, and it removes the hassle of driving out to the store, plus finding a movie that's actually in stock, then it sounds like a great deal to me.

    What fair use rights are being eroded when you rent a movie for the night and return it the next day?
    • None. The movie is being offered with a particular set of terms and the consumer is free to choose.

      For a time people were permitted to retain content simply because creators and distributors didn't have the technical ability to limit use. But as far as I can tell just because we can record content off of TV to watch it later doesn't mean it is mandatory for the content to be produced in such a way as to make recording and retention feasible.

      People get used to having things a particular way and begin t

    • "First, can you still pull that content off your Tivo/ReplayTV and put it on something else? Yes."

      Is there an easy way to do that with Tivo Series 2 yet? I've been under the impression that it's quite hard, even with the wireless network connection.

      I was fearless in adding drives and other hacks to my series 1, but I have yet to even open up #2 for fear that it's just too complicated and my girlfriend will get mad at me for breaking our Tivo.
      • "Is there an easy way to do that with Tivo Series 2 yet? I've been under the impression that it's quite hard, even with the wireless network connection"

        Yes, I do believe it is....they do a 2 kernel monte type trick to keep Tivo central from messing with your can do pretty much all you want with series 2 that you could do with series 1.

        I've not done it yet as I want to get my Myth box running before I crack into the tivo case...but, I've read there is a cd iso you can burn that will do the hac

      • That's a good question. In my case I have a ReplayTV 80hr unit and in between it and the television I've got a Panasonic DVD Recorder. It's basically nothing more than sticking a VCR in the loop. Now I have never tried to record a PPV movie on a DVD from my ReplayTV (And I've never tried to record on directly, using only the DVD recorder) but now I'm curious if it can be done.

        I once tried to transfer an old VHS tape (commercial) to DVD with the DVD recorder and obviously it didn't work. Copy protection
    • It's not a form of rental - it's a different service. With rental you are paying for someone opening an rental shop, stocking it on the latest titles, paying the clerks, paying rent, utilities, etc. You pay for the damages copies that need to be replaced, for business risks of buying too many copies of a movie that turns out to be unpopular and for missing profit from a popular one because too few copies were ordered.

      With PPV and PVR combination, there are none of these costs/risks. You order the movie, th
  • Why not? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ElForesto ( 763160 )
    Part of the agreement when you buy a PPV movie is that you have a limited window in which to watch it. You didn't buy the right to watch it whenever you want, do why do you demand it anyway? If you don't want to watch it right then, don't buy it right then. This is akin to renting a movie from Blockbuster, returning it 3 weeks late and then demanding no late fees because you didn't watch it until the night before.
    • Re:Why not? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Col. Klink (retired) ( 11632 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @04:22PM (#10216152)
      > This is akin to renting a movie from Blockbuster...

      When you rent a movie, you have taken one physical copy out of circulation. That's not the case if you tape a PPV movie/event.
      • You still miss the point that you have violated the purchasing/rental agreement when you do that. It doesn't really matter if there was physical delivery of a product.
        • There is no valid contract that says that I am not allowed to tape a PPV movie. This was settled in the Sony case. Consumers have an absolute legal right to time shift.
          • Exactly. You're not asking them to provide it via onDemand outside of the provided time window. You have a right to copy it and replay it as much as you wish as long as you're not reselling the viewing.
      • Re:Why not? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by metaomni ( 667105 )
        However the concept remains the same. You're not paying for the movie, you're paying what amounts to a license to view it. Whichever company is issuing that license can set whatever limits they want on it.

        If you dislike the terms of the agreement, you are more than welcome to purchase your own copy of the movie and watch it whenever and however many times you wish.

        Blockbuster leases you tapes. They don't sell them to you (well, at least the rentals)

        • As I said in my other reply, the courts have already decided that the MPAA can *not* limit your right time shift. Otherwise, they would have long ago declared that all broadcasts (or at least all cable) were simply licensed.

          The Supreme Court has already found that time-shifting is fair use and no amount of "license" agreements have changed this fundamental limit of copyright.
    • Where is this agreement written exactly? I don't remember ever signing or even seeing any agreement to that effect.
      • There is always some words to the effect you are agreeing to something that will either be sent to you on request or available in some way when you use Pay per view. Whether or not you chose to read it, or whether or not it's entirely enforceable is someone else's call. When they bill you, you are paying for a service, and that service has an agreement associated with it, somewhere.
        • It's not enforcable unless I see it before I pay for this PPV and sign it. Neither of these has ever happened when I have purchased a PPV, which admittantly is seldom.
          • Enforcability of click through licenses is always a mirky area until they really get tested in court, but the point is that the information is available to you before the point of purchase, and you very likely agreed to the terms in advance, when you first received your tv service.
      • When you click that "OK" button when it says "Buy for the next 24 hours", that's the agreement. You don't have to sign some piece of paper to be bound by terms of sale.
        • The agreement is that they'll provide it for the next 24 hours. What you do with it after that is your business unless you're making it a business(reselling the viewing)
    • Actually, Blockbuster has a thing called Movie Pass where you rent a movie and keep it for as long as you want. I often rent stuff before I'm ready to watch it... that way when I am ready, I have the movie at home and I don't need to stop by the video store. This works especially well for things like new releases when they first come out. You rent it when it's in stock so you don't have to worry about it being out when you are ready to watch it.
    • Limited window? I recently watched a PPV movie that I recorded more than a month ago! Limited window, my ass!
    • I've been known to rent ten or more movies at a time, rip 'em to my harddrive, and return the movies the next day. I'll watch them within a month or two and go in for another batch.

      By the time I've made the decision that I want to watch something, movie stores tend to be closed or I'm just too lazy to go get one (books, etc. are closer).

      Before I started doing this, I rented one or two movies in a year, and would easily go back to that rate if this convenience was removed.
  • Divx deja vue. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Friday September 10, 2004 @04:18PM (#10216096)
    I haven't seen a single advantage to PPV. The movies that I see available on DirecTV have already been out in the movie store for over a month (ie Starsky and Hutch). I pay less at the video store and I get to keep the movie for 5 days...

    So what advantage does a $4.00 movie via PPV (plus additional fees that they might charge) have?

    Let me know when I can purchase DVDs over my Tivo and have a tangible piece of media to store it for life that doesn't take up my TV recording space and I'll be interested. Until then it's just another Divx knockoff that's going to die because no one cares.

    • What advantages? Well two are:

      1) I can spontaneously decide to watch the movie right there and then wehn I see it, no planning required.

      2) I don't have to get off my lazy butt and go to the store to rent it OR return it.

      Don't get me wrong, I never get PPV, but I rarely rent movies either.
    • Re:Divx deja vue. (Score:3, Informative)

      by Xoder ( 664531 )
      Yet another advantage of PPV over video rental: Live events.

      You know, those wrestling and boxing matches that are covered by PPV.
      • we're talking about PPV over Replay and Tivo so I assumed pre-recorded events piped to you and then you can watch later, not live recorded PPV events.
  • by JollyRogerX ( 749524 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @04:18PM (#10216099)
    Their argument for this is bogus. If they think pay-per-view is cutting into the videotape rentals that they so bitterly opposed (you should check out the problems blockbuster had when they first started up), then they should charge more for pay-per-view. It seems like everytime a technological advance comes along, the MPAA has to be dragged kicking and screaming....into a big pile of money. I wish they would stop their whining.
  • by MOMOCROME ( 207697 ) <momocrome@gmail.UUUcom minus threevowels> on Friday September 10, 2004 @04:20PM (#10216129)
    If they really want to get serious about this, it's obvious that they should be working on limiting how long people are allowed to remember the intellectual property they've consumed, much less how long they are allowed to keep it available.

    I know that if I were still in the driver's seat, I would be ordering up plans on how to reliably blank the memories of the stinking mass of sheeple that suck the generous teat of mass media. Not only would it allow us to sell the same thing over and over, none of you bastards would even remember enough to care about 'fair use' and all that malarky. sheesh.

    Ted Turner
    • I see this scored funny but I don't know whether that is accurate or not. I think that while this may sound like hyperbole, the fact is this principle is very much in existence already. Ever read the back of tickets for sporting events? "All accounts, descriptions and images of this event are property of..." If enforced, not only could you not take photos, but they own any description you give of the event as well. You wanna tell your buddy about the game? Sorry.
  • Fair? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kogase ( 811902 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @04:22PM (#10216147)
    It's perfectly fair. I just won't buy from them.
  • by Noksagt ( 69097 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @04:22PM (#10216149) Homepage
    Is this fair, or erosion of more fair-use rights?
    Considering that it is two corporations making a decision to curtail a feature, I wouldn't exactly call it an erosion of fair use. Perhaps it is a sign that fair use has already eroded because they feel compelled to do this, but they aren't exactly making a new law here--TiVo and Replay aren't creating a "Revenge of the INDUCE Act."

    Feel free to continue to practice your Fair Use Rights by using DVArchive [] (or whatever equivalents are out for TiVo. Or buy some OTHER company's PVR. Or find out how to hack the feature back into the units. Or build a homebrew PVR using Freevo, Myth, Sage, etc.

    Consumers still have a ton of options. This is just two corporations making a dumb decision--nothing to see!
  • by AvidProToolsDoc ( 805008 ) <> on Friday September 10, 2004 @04:22PM (#10216153) Journal
    I can't see this argument working well with the current crop of TiVo subscribers, who are used to retaining content for as long as they'd like. With the current TiVo boxes, you can even record off DVD (i.e. rentals) to your TiVo, and watch them as much as you'd like, since the recorder recognizes the Macrovision on the way in, and re-establishes it on output (so you couldn't make a VHS dub of the recorded DVD). I know of quite a few TiVo users that do this, and I can't see them liking losing this functionality. I know I'd be unhappy with this restriction, losing the content in as little as 24 hours.
  • Are they going to require current users to upgrade their box if they want to keep using the service? I see no mention of it in the article.

    If not, I think I'll go out and buy a Tivo this weekend.
  • I've only ever paid for one pay-per-view program. That was the Rolling Rock Town Fair from a few years ago because I was there. I paid for it. I taped it (yeah, what a lamer). And I plan on keeping it.

    Why does someone else have a right to put a limit on how long I can keep a record of part of my life experience.

    Just some food for thought...

    • It doesn't matter if you were there or not. When you rent PPV, you pay and view it in a limited time window. It's an implied contract with you and the provider. The provider gives you access to something for a period of time, and you give them money. It's the same as renting a movie at a store, you play by their rules or don't play the game. If you treasure a life experience, film it yourself. You're breaking the contract you have with the cable provider.

      You can't just do whatever you want, because i
  • by man_ls ( 248470 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @04:24PM (#10216179)
    Instead of, say, limiting the length of time it can be stored, why don't they make it so that (1) once play has started, it must be completed within 48 hours, and (2) once it's finished playing, the file erases itself.

    Let the TiVo store unplayed content for an infinite length of time -- but put strict limits on it once it starts to be *used(
  • Shit like this is precisely why I'm building myself a mythtv [] box. Better quality, unlimited space, no monthly fees, easy networking, easy CD/DVD burning, etc.
  • by GreenCrackBaby ( 203293 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @04:28PM (#10216219) Homepage
    it is intended to allay the piracy and business concerns that prevent the studios from releasing films to cable pay-per-view services on the same day they appear on DVD. Such issues also have made premium cable networks reluctant to offer on-demand services that would allow subscribers to watch any episode of, say, ``Six Feet Under'' they choose, at any time.

    What piracy concerns? DVDs are available for download the second they hit store shelves (or days before as is often the case). Having some movie on a Tivo isn't going to increase the level of piracy.

    "Business concerns" my ass.
    • "Having some movie on a Tivo isn't going to increase the level of piracy."

      This is the "everybody on the planet is as smart as me" position which is prevalent on Slashdot.

      MP3 piracy existed prior to the arrival of P2P software. Smart people like Slashdot readers knew how to use FTP and newsgroups. But when easy-to-use P2P programs arrived, MP3 piracy grew exponentially.

      As big as you think movie piracy is now, it's only going to get bigger. The content providers think that VOD and PPV combined with

  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ ( 559379 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @04:34PM (#10216294) Journal
    "How to permanently keep your recorded data"
  • We're not losing any rights at all!

    It's the right of the studios to release their movies how and when they want by whatever means they want. It's the right of Tivo to, within the confines of the law, put whatever bloody restriction enforcement they want inside their products. The right we have here is to buy or not buy, that's about it.

    We have the right to simply not buy a DVR that enforces such restrictions, or not rent movies that are encumbered by such restrictions. Of course, they're trying to craft l
  • by SamNmaX ( 613567 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @04:37PM (#10216333)
    I've been using a MythTV setup for quite a while now, and I've been using it as anyone would expect me to, to record my shows so I can watch them at a later time. While certainly it is possible for me to store the videos for later viewing, I don't, simply because there is rarely much point in doing so, even with movies.

    I think perhaps television companies are failing to see the true positives and negatives of these systems. Their true problem is not that people will turn their TIVO into a movie library (hence filling it to the point where they won't have any more space), but that they will skip commercials. The most likely response to this, besides desperate legislation, is to build more and more advertising into the shows themselves. Whether this is a good or bad scenerio, I don't know. It means less time wasted with commercials, but content becoming much more controlled.

    The positives of these systems is there is no longer a 'prime time'. Once these systems are wide spread, you can schedule shows at any time, including the middle of the night, and people who want to watch them can.

    As for Tivo and Replays "solution" here, well, not being able to keep pay-per-view stuff forever isn't so bad, though I'll stick with my MythTV box which I have total control over. The bad part of this is that this isn't likely to be the only restriction but the start of many restrictions which will further erode the usefulness of these systems, and even worse, the coming of new laws that would likely have made systems like Tivo illegal in the first place if they came a little earlier.

  • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Friday September 10, 2004 @04:38PM (#10216339)
    Remember, the the original Sony Betamax decision at the Supreme Court didn't say that we were allowed to use VCRs to permanantly archive anything. It said that we had the right to time-shift content we obtained from TV broadcasters.

    Therefore, a TiVo really doesn't have the legally established right to have a "Save Until I Delete" feature. Current TiVo devices offer that "green ball" as a keep-forever setting, but that's really in the gray area that we've never seen any court rulings about how legal that is.

    So, another chip off the "fair use" tree has fallen away from us, but this wasn't really one that was well established to begin with. At least this is also a dent in the "broadcast flag" that might have marked PPV movies as being in a no-DVR-zone...
  • Say the limit were 75 years or something similar to my lifetime. I'd be all for that. I doubt that they are thinking this long term.
  • Hollywood's view on copyright is pretty unrealistic in my opinion.

    When a film is released in cinemas, a large degree of copyright control can be expected by the copyright owner. They can effectivly control the distrobution and showing of the film.

    When the film is released on video and DVD, a large degree of copyright control is lost to the holder. They can only loosly control the distrobution and showing of the film. People can buy films and view them whereever they please, and give the DVD to whoever they please. Maybe even copy.

    However when a copyright holder makes the decision to broadcast a film to millions of people, over the airwaves, potentially to every human in the contry, and in future perhaps the world, it is fair to say they have abandoned all pretence to copyright control. They have in effect duplicated the film about as many times as it can be duplicated, almost infinitly, and in so doing have made a laughing stock of their grounds of complete control over their copyright.

    If you want to use your copyright to broadcast your film all over the airwaves, fine. Just don't expect to keep the same control over it as you did the day before. If you blast your movie into my box, I've got it and possession is nine tenths of the law mate.

    It's like an author emailing his book to every inbox on the globe and then complaining when people start printing it out or reading it on their PDAs. Rubbish.

    Hollywood has lost its monopoly on the reproduction of media content. Tought luck. Evolve or die, dinasaurs. Don't drag more innovative compnaies like TiVo down with you. the situation in the UK is a little different. Sky+ actually encourages viewers to record TV content. Maybe it's the lack of a Hollywood there?
  • If you purchase a movie ticket for tonight and hold it until next week, would you expect to be allowed to view it later? No, in fact under most circumstances, you wouldn't even be entitled to a refund if you missed the showing. The problem is that the Studios don't view it as "you paid for it" giving you unlimited viewing rights. No, they view it as "you paid for the ability (access) to view it within their viewing window." Just because you missed the "viewing window" is not their problem. They provided the
  • Pulleeez (Score:3, Interesting)

    by snookerdoodle ( 123851 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @05:02PM (#10216612)
    'Sorry to be a contrarian to the "Intellectual Property Is An Oxymoron" crowd, but...

    In this particular instance, I agree with what they're doing - you paid a certain price to watch a movie for a certain period of time. If you want to record it, go buy a copy and record a backup for your own personal use (TM).

  • by hellfire ( 86129 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [vdalived]> on Friday September 10, 2004 @05:41PM (#10216967) Homepage
    I've seen some very clever posts on this board about the applications of TiVo and ReplayTV to change the industry, some things I didn't even think of before.

    The problem is, however, is that the bigger the industry, the less change is appreciated.

    For example, someone said that with TiVo, prime time will go away and you can schedule your show any time and it will get picked up by one of these recorders. The problem with that is that then there is no longer a need for the executives who run prime time. Their niche is threatened. Plus without prime time pricing, advertising rates fall for those hours.

    And then, if you can fast forward past commercials, rates fall even faster.

    If you can't control the distribution of a movie, there is rarely a need for all the producers and execs responsible for filming and funding movies. The artist makes it, and then distributes it via their chosen medium. The pictures are high budget so they have to make sure money flows in a specific direction. Much of that money has to flow into the pockets of those execs.

    I keep wanting to point out about failures in capitalism, until I realize that this isn't capitalism! Capitalism requires competition and, like so many industries in the US involving media and services, there is so little competition to actually be capitalism. We just conveniently forgot about that chapter Adam Smith wrote about when it comes to media.
  • by lost sheep ( 605129 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @05:48PM (#10217019)
    it is collusion! normally collusion has to do with prices (and sometimes sales territory) rather than features such as this.
    But think of this like an economist: reducing features and charging the same price is essentially the same thing as raising the price (go with me on this one). If two companies agree to limit functionality and maintain their prices (or agree to similar prices, or even simply agree on price) then that really is price collusion.

    Think about this: Ford and GM executives at one point never even spoke to each other for fear of collusion accusations!
  • Porn.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sadr ( 88903 ) <> on Friday September 10, 2004 @06:13PM (#10217202)
    Actually, I'll bet Porn is driving this.

    The price of Porn on PPV is significantly higher than regular movies. According to some friends in the business, the entire PPV business model is based around porn. There's no way they can make a profit based on the random "Let the kids watch some movie they've probably already seen". They just have to offer non-adult programming to make it acceptable to the community.

    Since many people are embarrased to buy Porn, even via mail order, they certainly won't go rent it at the local video store. So they use PPV.

    By expiring it, they guarantee a revenue stream, compared to letting the viewer record a few dozen shows and repeatedly viewing them.

    No mystery here. Move along.

    • Re:Porn.. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by base3 ( 539820 )
      Since many people are embarrased to buy Porn, even via mail order, they certainly won't go rent it at the local video store. So they use PPV.

      Where instead of having the details of their perversions held at a local store, they can enjoy the false anonymity of not having to leave home to indulge them and have their taste for scat fetish bestiality S&M videos entered in a nationwide database with every rewind noted for future reference. Brilliant.

  • by base3 ( 539820 ) on Friday September 10, 2004 @08:42PM (#10218192)
    So long as I get to keep the PPV movies for "limited times" as defined by the Supreme Court "justices" that upheld the CTEA, I'm fine with it.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"