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Tivo Series 3 “Self Destruct Button” Destructs – (DRM Macrovision)

Posted on 11 October 2006 by

TiVo’s Series 3 Macrovision”self-destruct button” destructs

The Macrovision DRM in the new TiVo Series3 recorders is so broken that just having the wrong piece of equipment attached to your TV can cause it to register some shows as un-savable to your VCR, DVD recorder, etc. TiVo characterizes this as a glitch, but that’s not the whole story.

By including Macrovision with its products, TiVo is designing a product that is intended to control its owner and treat its owner (TiVo’s customer) as an attacker. They’ve added a swatch of functions that act directly against a user’s interests (there’s no time at which it’s in a user’s interest to have her device refuse to record a show the user wants to record). In so doing, they’ve created a bunch of potential failures in which the user is locked out of her own equipment.

It’s like those movies where an accident or a bad guy triggers the “self-destruct button” on a spaceship. Often the self-destruct button is locked away behind plexiglas and padlocks for safety, but wouldn’t it be safer not to include a single command that blows up the whole space-ship?

TiVo’s problem is a “glitch” but the reason they’re having this kind of glitch is that there’s a single command that can tell the TiVo to stop listening to its owner. Wouldn’t it be better if TiVo didn’t build in any technology that attacks its customers? “

See the CNET Tivo Series 3 Review