[Community_studios] Re: [DMCA_Discuss] TiVo attack (fwd)

Alex Heizer alex at synchcorp.com
Mon May 27 18:58:20 EDT 2002

Interesting that they claim the auto-recording of unwanted material only
occurs as long as nothing else is being watched or recorded. Sounds like the
solution is to set up non-stop recording of content that you *are* allowed to
delete, deleting it just before recording something else. :)


tom poe wrote:

> Hi:  I suppose I should go find out what a TiVO is, but later.
> This sure sounds like the stuff dreams are built on.  I am referring to our
> public jerk, Kellner, who wanted everyone to know that viewers have a
> contract to watch ads, and if they don't, they're breaking the law.
> So, the day will come, as it seems "they've" already decided that we WILL
> WATCH, or the TiVO crashes!  This is not a pretty picture.
> Thanks,
> Tom
> http://www.studioforrecording.org/
> http://www.ibiblio.org/studioforrecording/
> http://renotahoe.pm.org/
> On Monday 27 May 2002 11:44, Jon O. wrote:
> - - -snip - - -
> >
> >     BBC hijacks TiVo recorders
> >     I want my Spam TV
> >         http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/54/25436.html
> >
> >   BBC hijacks TiVo recorders
> >    By Andrew Smith
> >    Posted: 24/05/2002 at 23:22 GMT
> >
> >    Users of the TiVo digital video recorder have reacted angrily to a new
> >    sponsorship  feature  that  automatically  records certain programmes,
> >    adverts and other promotional material.
> >
> >    One  of  TiVo's  more  innovative features is its ability to recommend
> >    programmes  based on viewing habits, such as watching every episode of
> >    a soap opera or every film starring a certain actor.
> >
> >    But viewers in the UK were surprised this week to find that the second
> >    episode  of  the  little-known  BBC  sitcom  "Dossa  and Joe" had been
> >    recorded  without  their knowledge and added to the system's main menu
> >    screen.
> >
> >    They  were  even  more surprised to find that they won't be allowed to
> >    delete  the programme for one week, and that more sponsored recordings
> >    are on the way.
> >
> >    TiVo  defended  the  new "Advanced Content" feature, insisting that it
> >    doesn't  adversely  affect  a  viewer's usage of the system. Sponsored
> >    programmes  are  recorded  on a reserved section of the hard disk, and
> >    only if the viewer isn't watching or recording something else.
> >    Vice President of TiVo Europe, Andrew Cresci, told The Register: "This
> >    feature provides an innovative new way for networks and programmers to
> >    deliver interesting, new or exclusive content to TiVo subscribers."
> >    "This  does  not  change subscribers ongoing use of the product and we
> >    hope  over  time  the  value of the content provided will outweigh any
> >    perceived inconvenience this creates."
> >    Some  viewers  have complained that the feature amounts to a hijacking
> >    of  TiVo  boxes with little regard for the owner's wishes. Others have
> >    been  quick  to  dub  it  "spam television" and have suggested that it
> >    should have been introduced on an opt-in basis.
> >    But  Cresci  points  out  that  viewers  who  do not want to watch the
> >    sponsored programmes can simply ignore them.
> >    "The  feature  was  not introduced as 'opt-in' because as with similar
> >    features  like  Channel Highlights and Inside TiVo, these features are
> >    optional for users to use," he explained.
> >    "In  the future viewers could receive exclusive content or previews of
> >    new  shows.  The possibilities for delivery of content are interesting
> >    and we hope that viewers will find it valuable."
> >
> >    Teething troubles
> >
> >    Although there have been complaints about license fee money being paid
> >    to  TiVo, which still has a very small audience in the UK, it is clear
> >    why the BBC would want to promote "Dossa and Joe" in this way.
> >
> >   The  series,  written  by  The  Royle  Family  and  Mrs Merton creator
> >    Caroline Aherne, should have been a hit. But despite critical acclaim,
> >    ratings have been poor. The first episode attracted just 1.5m viewers,
> >    a figure that dropped to 1m for the second episode -- just 5% audience
> >    share for its time slot.
> >    As  much  as  the BBC has a responsibility not to squander license fee
> >    money,  it  also  has  a  responsibility  to  find an audience for the
> >    programmes  it  invests  in. Forcing "Dossa and Joe" upon the nation's
> >    TiVo  owners,  some  of who are sure to watch it and then tune in next
> >    week, can only help.
> >    After all, the toughest part of getting viewers to continue watching a
> >    television  series  is  getting them to start watching it in the first
> >    place.
> >    But  ironically,  due  to  the  BBC's notoriously bad time-keeping and
> >    TiVo's  strict  adherence to schedules, the programme started late and
> >    therefore  any  TiVo  viewers watching the recording would have missed
> >    the last few minutes.
> >    Advertainment
> >    Meanwhile,  TiVo  sponsorship  in the US has been introduced in a more
> >    commercial way this week, as the system automatically recorded a video
> >    promoting  Sheryl  Crow's new album, along with two adverts for TiVo's
> >    distribution partner Best Buy.
> >    These  recordings  were  part  of  a  strategy  announced  last  week,
> >    described  by  TiVo  as  "advertainment"  that "establishes far deeper
> >    communications with consumers".
> >    The  move towards this more direct form of advertising was inevitable.
> >    Although  viewers  own their set-top box, TiVo has free rein to update
> >    the system software and add new features.
> >    The  company  has  made  no  secret  of  its  intention  to  work with
> >    broadcasters  and  advertisers, and to market products directly to its
> >    400,000-strong captive audience.
> >    And  although there has been a backlash from some US viewers, there is
> >    little difference between what TiVo is doing now and the 'interactive'
> >    advertising  on British satellite and cable channels. Such advertising
> >    is  promoted  as a somewhat gimmicky bonus and receives little, if any
> >    objection from viewers.
> >    Another  marketing strategy that TiVo has already trialled but not yet
> >    introduced   is  expected  to  combinine  census  data  with  personal
> >    information  supplied  by  the  viewer to deliver targeted advertising
> >    based on location, age, gender, wealth and lifestyle. ®
> >
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