October 3, 2006
It’s the latest digital media murder mystery: TiVo Series2′s TiVoToGo enabled limited portability of recorded content to PCs and other devices, but the TiVo Series3 HD did not include this feature when recently released. In other words, if you want to upgrade to HD, you have to downgrade your TiVo’s features.
You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to guess that this story somehow involves Hollywood, the FCC, and “digital rights management” (DRM) restrictions. EFF has opposed these restrictions every step of the way, and, in an EFF white paper released today, we’ll explain digital cable DRM’s sordid history, how digital cable and satellite DRM may affect you, and what you can do to fight back.
In short, get ready for copying limits on cable and satellite content that won’t stop “Internet piracy” but will stop you from making legitimate use of lawfully acquired content. You’ll be forced to only buy devices with limited features, and restricted digital outputs could break compatibility with your current HD displays and receivers, even though you may have already invested thousands of dollars in them. Innovators will have to beg permission before inventing new digital devices that help you get more from your satellite and cable content.
Unfortunately, TiVoToGo’s disappearance is just the tip of the iceberg. But you can still take steps to fight back — use EFF’s Action Center to stop cable providers from making DRM even worse, and check out the other action items on our cable and satellite DRM page.
(Cross-posted at EFF’s DeepLinks)