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TiVo, ReplayTV Agree to Limits

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the there-should-be-limits-to-freedom dept.

Television 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?"

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325 comments

The Divx Road (5, Insightful)

stecoop (759508) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216024)

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.

Re:The Divx Road (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216076)

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?

First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10216028)

FP for a DUPE! Y0rp!

Bastards.. (5, Interesting)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216031)


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.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10216145)


+5 Insightful & Interesting. -1 Not First Post

Re:Bastards.. (0, Offtopic)

Man in Spandex (775950) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216407)

Sorry, it's Friday, I'm in RantMode and I have First Damn Post.
Here it's also friday and since I'm in a rant mode too, that is not the first post, YOU INSENSITIVE.... ah nevermind. CLOD!

Hrm... (0, Redundant)

avalys (221114) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216033)

And how long before someone breaks whatever method they use to perform the restriction?

My bet is less than a month after they're first made available to the public.

Re:Hrm... (3, Interesting)

avalys (221114) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216073)

And if I was a conspiracy theorist, I'd say that the two companies are both trying to make their restriction mechanisms as easily-breakable as possible. Think about it - if you had to choose between a TiVo and ReplayTV device, and a crack was only available (or at least only easily installed) for the TiVo, which one would you buy?

Re:Hrm... (3, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216335)

Well, the Tivo has already been hacked. So, just get your movie from Netflix...then, burn it directly off onto DVD. This would all be digital too wouldn't it?

On other news (5, Informative)

Guiri (522079) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216035)

MythTV 0.16 [mythtv.org] has been released today.

Enjoy!

Re:On other news (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216151)

Exactly... I'm trying to collect the funds necessary to put together a decent MythTV box (probably about $800 CDN is what I'm figuring ). All of a sudden I'm free of restrictions like this that may or may not pop up and instead I have a nice box, that I control, to record TV.

Re:On other news (1)

Suidae (162977) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216172)

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?

Re:On other news (2, Informative)

b96miata (620163) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216381)

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 sequence).

The only drawback is that every time you change, it sends the full 3 digit channel number to the box rather than using up/down, which makes channel changing a little slower than normal. Life would be much easier if digital cable boxes had serial control.

As far as two boxes.....two scripts with a different argument to the rc command. You'd already have to have two video sources set up (one for each capture card) so its just a matter of typing channelscript2 on the properties page for the second, and hooking up another emitter to a second serial port.

Right. (5, Insightful)

sulli (195030) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216302)

And do you really think Joe User will contend with:

mythtv-suite [atrpms.net]

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

or
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.

Re:Right. (2, Informative)

rusty0101 (565565) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216357)

Nah, he or she should just be directed to get a copy of Knoppmyth from http://www.mysettopbox.tv/ [mysettopbox.tv] and follow the much briefer instructions, as well as any special case instructions by looking at the handi wiki pages that are linked to from there.

Re:Right. (2, Informative)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216382)

"Someone really needs to compile a MythTV LiveCD (or whatever) that you can just install and run on a PC with suitable video hardware."

They have: Knoppmyth at MySettopBox [mysettopbox.tv]

I do believe it is about as plug and play as you can get.

Re:Right. (1, Insightful)

atriusofbricia (686672) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216448)

Probably not. But they might deal with:

emerge mythtv

Just checked, does all the dependency work for you in one command. Myself, it just means that I'll buy my second Tivo before the change over or just buy older ones and disable auto update for the software. At least until they make it so you can't do that anyway.

Article text for your convenience (-1, Redundant)

Karma Troll (801155) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216037)

TiVo, ReplayTV agree to limits

PAY-PER-VIEW WOULD BE SUBJECT TO RESTRICTIONS

By Dawn C. Chmielewski

Mercury News


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.

The new technology also will allow Hollywood movie studios and broadcasters to regulate how often movies purchased through pay-for-view services can be watched. Digital video recorders that recognize these new copy restrictions will begin appearing in the spring of 2005. But it could be years before entertainment companies begin to take advantage of the technology, according to ReplayTV President Bernie Sepaniak.

Max Ochoa, associate general counsel of San Jose-based TiVo, said consumers won't be ambushed by the copy restrictions.

Their television screen will display warnings that a pay-per-view movie a viewer is about to rent comes with certain restrictions. The limitations are the trade-off for advanced services, such as video-on-demand, he said.

Macrovision, the Santa Clara company that developed and licensed the copy protection technology, said it should not change the way consumers now use their TiVo or ReplayTV devices. People still will be able to record baseball games or follow every episode of ``Survivor: Vanuatu.''

Rather, 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.

But Fred von Lohmann, senior attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco, described the technology as anti-consumer. ``Consumers are not the ones who are asking for this so-called feature. And I hope that the marketplace will respond by punishing TiVo and Replay and others that do this.''

The copy protection technology also will begin appearing next year on other consumer electronics products capable of recording television shows and movies, such as personal computer ``media centers.''

At issue is the growing storage capacity of such devices. Consumers can now store more than 100 hours of television shows and movies on their TiVo and Replay machines, amassing veritable digital libraries. This makes studios reluctant to release current movies to cable subscribers through pay-per-view for fear that it would undermine lucrative DVD rentals and purchases.

One control would limit recording to 90 minutes -- essentially enough time for a viewer to watch an on-demand movie. Another would allow a movie to be stored for up to seven days but once the film was started it must be viewed within 24 hours. Another would allow unlimited viewing within a seven-day period.

Sepaniak of ReplayTV in Santa Clara said his company's devices already come with an earlier, more rudimentary version of Macrovision's copy protection. It either allows viewers to make copies of a movie or television show or blocks copying.

He said ReplayTV owners are likely unaware that restrictions exist because broadcasters and the studios have elected not to activate the technology.

TiVo Limits (5, Insightful)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216038)

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.

Re:TiVo Limits (0, Flamebait)

Blimey85 (609949) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216215)

For years, this meant I watched crap. Now that I have a TiVo, I can watch good shows.

You mean:
For years, this meant I watched crap. Now that I have a TiVo I can watch the same crap, but whenever I want to, not just when the networks want me to.

Re:TiVo Limits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10216249)

You know, there are a few good shows on TV...

Re:TiVo Limits (1)

uberdave (526529) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216377)

You obviously do not stay up to 2AM very often. Believe me, the quality and variety of shows on at that hour is abysmal relative to those showing at "prime time" (unless, of course, you enjoy watching infomercials).

Re:TiVo Limits (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10216415)

You obviously do not own a PVR.

I went from sitcoms and reruns to NOVA, Frontline, The Wire, The Sopranos, Dead Like Me and Six Feet Under and tons of the Sundance Channel.

If you think all TV is crap, you just haven't looked for the hidden gems.

You do realize thats their perogitive right? (2, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216221)

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.

If the majority of people care, then they will change or go out of business. But the fact is, most people don't care. They're still going to watch "6 Feet Under"...

Re:You do realize thats their perogitive right? (2, Insightful)

legirons (809082) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216427)

"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.

Re:TiVo Limits (4, Informative)

crow (16139) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216222)

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 (2, Insightful)

Mr Guy (547690) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216326)

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 (4, Insightful)

crow (16139) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216444)

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?

Re:TiVo Limits (0, Offtopic)

Blimey85 (609949) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216242)

About Six Feet Under... you can rent it on dvd. I have the movie pass at Blockbuster and I watch most of the shows I like on dvd. It's also available on On Demand if your cable company (if you have cable) offers that. I watch Dead Like Me each week on On Demand... it's available a day or two after the new episode airs. Between renting shows and On Demand, I don't find much use for TiVo so I haven't bought one yet.

Re:TiVo Limits (1)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216243)

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?

I'm not sure you're getting the point (0)

Mr Guy (547690) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216245)

It's for TV on demand. If you're going out of town, don't order it until you get back. It's not going to stop you from tivo'ing the entire season of 6 Feet Under during the year, it'll just stop you from order a high def ppv copy of an episode you missed if you are dumb enough to order it, then never watch it.

Just Use ....... (1)

AciDive (543624) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216045)

MythTV as a better solutions.
You can use teh DVD Rip feature to store all of your DVD's to your MythBoxen's HDD.

Re:Just Use ....... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10216202)

For the love of anything that's holy, stop saying boxen..

Break out the VCRs (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10216051)

I guess its time to go back to what I did before Tivo--record onto a VHS tape to watch whenever I wanted, and delete if I didn't want it anymore.

Something else... (2, Insightful)

dubdays (410710) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216057)

Is this fair, or erosion of more fair-use rights?

Sounds more like collusion to me.

Fine with me. (2, Insightful)

User 956 (568564) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216059)

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.

Hard decision for me (1)

MightyPez (734706) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216067)

Right away I want to cry out that this is BS.

But on the other hand, I never order pay per view. In the extremely rare occasion that I do rent a movie (probably been about 4-5 years now since I have done it, come to think of it) I would rather go out and grab a DVD to watch it in progressive scan. That, and see any extras that are on the disc.

SCrew it. I'll keep recording shows and streaming them to my PC.

It SHOULD be hard... (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216428)

The thing is, it will start with PPV.

Then, since it "works so well to prevent piracy" (with no numbers to back anything up) they will do it on HBO movies. Then, the'll allow Disney to expire everyone's copy of "Beauty and the Beast" sitting on their PVR's because they are going to re-release it again.

When you're dealing with a company like TiVO, you're pretty much fucked. They started out as a "This is a fucking awesome device, give me two!" company, but now they're a lot bigger, they have a lot of vested interest from the media companies, and they WILL bow down to them.

I predict that we'll just start to see more PVR's. TiVO and this other one will just be two of the many. There's really nothing stopping people from making these things. They'll have "Unrestricted PVR's" for sale.

It depends, I suppose (4, Insightful)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216082)

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?

Re:It depends, I suppose (2, Insightful)

Sheetrock (152993) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216205)

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 to think it's a right.

Re:It depends, I suppose (1)

galaxy300 (111408) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216283)

"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.

The old Yardstick (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216083)

Copies of Max Headroom, Alf cartoons, Animaniacs, coverage of Gulf War, etc. all will go when the VHS tapes they are on finally decay.

Seems TiVo and RePlay should remain consistent with this potential span.

After all, I need something to pass down to my children!

Re:The old Yardstick (4, Funny)

Le Marteau (206396) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216154)

Copies of Max Headroom, Alf cartoons, Animaniacs, coverage of Gulf War, etc. all will go when the VHS tapes they are on finally decay.

You say that like it's a bad thing. Sounds like a feature to me.

Why not? (2, Interesting)

ElForesto (763160) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216085)

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? (4, Insightful)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

Re:Why not? (1)

ElForesto (763160) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216192)

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.

Re:Why not? (1)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216225)

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.

Re:Why not? (1)

thaigan (197773) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216393)

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? (3, Interesting)

metaomni (667105) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216336)

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)

Re:Why not? (2, Informative)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216449)

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.

Re:Why not? (1)

iCEBaLM (34905) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216175)

Where is this agreement written exactly? I don't remember ever signing or even seeing any agreement to that effect.

Depends on where you get it from (1)

Mr Guy (547690) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216204)

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.

Re:Depends on where you get it from (1)

iCEBaLM (34905) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216263)

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.

Re:Depends on where you get it from (1)

Mr Guy (547690) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216300)

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.

Re:Why not? (1)

ElForesto (763160) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216247)

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.

Re:Why not? (1)

thaigan (197773) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216417)

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)

Re:Why not? (1)

Blimey85 (609949) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216269)

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.

Re:Why not? (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216372)

Limited window? I recently watched a PPV movie that I recorded more than a month ago! Limited window, my ass!

Re:Why not? (1)

jkf (85908) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216400)

Part of the agreement when you buy a PPV movie is that you have a limited window in which to watch it.

What agreement? Where? I've never had to agree to anything when I've bought PPV or VOD. I've never read anything from my cable company that says I can't record PPV or VOD, so to me, there is no difference between recording those and recording any other channel I get.

I know the answer to this... The unwritten agreement that everyone is supposed to know about and believe in. The same one that says we really should be watching the commercials on network TV. I record my PPV purchases with my ReplayTV and skip commercials. I also copy shows from my RTV and burn DVDs of them. I don't lose any sleep over it.

Re:Why not? (1)

rtaylor (70602) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216455)

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. (5, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

Re:Divx deja vue. (1)

triffidsting (594096) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216144)

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

You don't have to get in the friggin car and drive there. Seriously, they are counting on Joe Sixpack being a sloth.

Re:Divx deja vue. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10216166)

I guess because I live in the suburbs of a bigger city I have 5 video stores in two miles of me (probably more but this is off the top of my head) I could never be that lazy.

Re:Divx deja vue. (1)

jmcmunn (307798) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216195)


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. (2, Informative)

Xoder (664531) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216279)

Yet another advantage of PPV over video rental: Live events.

You know, those wrestling and boxing matches that are covered by PPV.

Their argument is bogus (4, Funny)

JollyRogerX (749524) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

half arsed measures. (3, Funny)

MOMOCROME (207697) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

signed,
Ted Turner

Re:half arsed measures. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10216366)

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

Hmm, my brain seems to have this feature. Better return it to the store.

Eroded Rights? Please (3, Insightful)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216149)

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 [dvarchive.org] (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!

Re:Eroded Rights? Please (1)

maharito (626909) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216317)

I agree. There are plenty of options left. But I'm slightly confused as to how being able to copy pay-per-view is a fair use right. I was under the impression that fair use entailed being able to make archival copies of physical media on which you owned a music album / movie / whatever. So anyway, I might not understand fair use in its entirety. If my understanding is somewhat like swiss-cheese, please do correct me, because I'd like to understand. If, however, I understand well enough, then I'm not sure you can even apply fair use to pay-per-view service. Just something for both my edification, and to throw an idea out there. But like I said, please do correct me if I'm wrong about this whole fair use thing. I'd like to understand exactly how liberally I can apply it.

But will it play in Peoria? (3, Insightful)

AvidProToolsDoc (805008) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216153)

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.

On NEW devices? (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216161)

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'm a movie star (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10216162)

I'm a movie star: and I think this is agood idea.

I'm someone who thinks I should get stuff for free: This is a bad idea.

Which one are you?

only YOU can decide.

I pay for it, I should get to keep it. (1)

Java Pimp (98454) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216170)

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...

Re:I pay for it, I should get to keep it. (1)

LighthouseJ (453757) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216330)

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 in instances like these, what you think is right isn't the same as what you think is being legal. Your provider has rights too.

Re:I pay for it, I should get to keep it. (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216414)

There IS no "limited window" with DirecTV! And introducing any such limit will, at best, cost them my PPV money, at worst cause me to cancel DTV!

why not actually limit views? (4, Insightful)

man_ls (248470) | more than 9 years ago | (#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(

Driving customers away (1)

cslarson (625649) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216186)

It seems that tivo should be doing things to keep customers rather than drive them away. I view Tivo in a similar way as I view AOL's demise. It was a good idea at the start, but in the face of better cheaper technology proved to be an untenable business arangement... at least at the prices they are trying to charge. My friends cable company is about to install a dvr in place of their cable box as apart of their survice package (not sure if they're paying extra, although I don't think they are). This is most likely the future of this kind of service.

Re:Driving customers away (4, Insightful)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216425)

Uhh have you used any of those so-called DVRs? They aren't even remotely close to a Tivo. I understand from a business perspective Tivo is F'ed, but I would never in a million years pay my cable company 5 bucks a month just to save 7 bucks a month over Tivo's cost to get the incomparably worse DVR service.

Collusion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10216208)

Isn't this anti-competitive collusion? Sounds to me like they're both ripe for being sued under various states consumer protection laws.

more corporate bullshit (1)

RelliK (4466) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216209)

Shit like this is precisely why I'm building myself a mythtv [mythtv.org] box. Better quality, unlimited space, no monthly fees, easy networking, easy CD/DVD burning, etc.

Does this make sense to anyone? (4, Insightful)

GreenCrackBaby (203293) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216219)

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.

Make more content available, not less (1)

freshfromthevat (135461) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216229)

It seems to me that the PVR manufs are trying to make more content available, not restrict us on content they already get for us. By having a policy on the table, they can offer the PPV providers more customers and offer PVR users access to movies as soon as they are available on DVD, rather than months later.
This could be a win for us PVR users. This could only be a loss for us PVR users if the PVR providers were somehow forced (forced I say) to implement these new restrictions on content we already get.

Why can't you just... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10216237)

do the same thing as these technologies with a computer and software? For the techie is this a non-issue or am I missing something about what they offer? If a company starts creating limits on what you can do for no reason other than for their own selfish interest, perhaps it is time to move on.

PPV Pr0n. (1)

Luckboy (152985) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216280)

There are certain stations that I get *cough*PlayboyTV*cough* that are categorized as Pay Per View, and I get a warning every time I tell my Tivo to record that I need to make sure to order this PPV show through my cable company. Well, guess what? I SUBSCRIBE. I can watch 24 hours a day, seven days a week (and sometimes, I DO!). The point is, when I record something, I want it to STAY. And REPEAT. And REPEAT. And just repeat the last eight seconds again. Keep going.

Why is my vision getting blurry?

Perfectly fair (1)

LowneWulf (210110) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216323)

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 laws to change that, but that's an entirely different story.

Do people use TIVO to *store* videos? (5, Informative)

SamNmaX (613567) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

What they're trying to prevent... (4, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 9 years ago | (#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...

it really depends on the limit (1)

neoThoth (125081) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216352)

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.

Have Copyright..... And Eat It Too? (4, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216354)

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?

I can see their point on Pay-per-views... (1, Insightful)

jbarr (2233) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216403)

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 content that you paid for, but if you couldn't watch it on their terms (to which you agree), then you're out of luck.

Pay Per What-now? (1)

hackronym0 (812439) | more than 9 years ago | (#10216419)

Guys, if its pay per view, wouldn't it stay on your Tivo until you VIEW it? and if you watch it again, you pay AGAIN? otherwise they need to think about calling it PAY-PER-LIMITED-TIME-PERIOD-WINDOW or more simply PPLTPW. Jeez...
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