September 22, 2005
-- by Dave Johnson
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.Tivo has to decide who to serve -- their customers or the entertainment industry. If they can get the entertainment industry to pay them enough to compensate for losing all their customers, great. Otherwise...
[. . .] skeptics among TiVo users questioned why TiVo would own such a technology unless the company planned to one day use it.
[. . .] "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."
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