[geeks] Professional. Do Not Attempt.
Geoffrey S. Mendelson
gsm at mendelson.com
Wed Sep 28 11:11:10 CDT 2005
On Wed, Sep 28, 2005 at 11:37:57AM -0400, Phil Stracchino wrote:
> It has to do with broadcast-flag support in recent versions of TivoOS --
> the broadcast flag being part of the mechanism of Hollywood's end-run
> around the SCOTUS Betamax decision that said "If you have the right to
> watch it, you have the right to record it for your own use." The
> broadcast flag basically allows the broadcaster to tell your Tivo to
> automatically delete the recording of a flagged show after some
> specified interval or, I believe, not to record certain shows at all.
While that's anoying, the problem is worse than that. The latest version
of their software was the first one to implement that. There are no
programs broadcast with the flag on.
I can understand that someone wants you to not be able to record their
programs and would respect that. I would most likely respect it to the
point that I did not watch their programs or the commericals and
complain to their advertisers.
The problem was that "noise" was interpreted as the flag, and programs
that were not supposed to be controled were. So you may have recorded a
perfectly legal program and find it disapeared due to a program bug.
Since it's a restriction that was not part of the product as it was sold,
and it works on it's own, randomly, many people are understandably upset.
It also was added without a notice. I am not a lawyer and I don't
even live in the U.S. (though I am a citizen).
It really depends upon whether the TVIO was sold as device or a service.
If it was sold as device, then removing functionality after the sale
may be illegal.
If it was sold as a service, they are free to change the terms of
service (which is in their contract). If they do change the terms of
service, you should be able to cancel, with a refund of any money paid
for future service. You also may be able to argue that the device is
useless without their service and get a prorata refund for the device.
I expect that the flag and it's effect are here to stay, the question is
what you could get back (such as removal of it in older units) or
some compensation, if a class action law suit were filed against them.
Personaly, I think it's a waste of time. As long as one person has a
digital VCR and a modem, restricted programs will spread on the internet.
Didn't anyone notice that yesterday I was commenting on a program that
had been aired in the U.S. less than 12 hours later, although I'm 3,000
miles and 6 time zones away?
Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Jerusalem, Israel gsm at mendelson.com N3OWJ/4X1GM
IL Voice: (077)-424-1667 IL Fax: 972-2-648-1443 U.S. Voice: 1-215-821-1838
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