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.
[. . .] 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.”
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…