FCC Approves TiVo Content Sharing

The Federal Communications Commission has approved TiVo’s new content sharing facility, TiVoToGo. Possibly the ugliest neologism I have ever seen TVTG (I’m not typing it again), allows TiVo owners to share recorded programming with a limited number of approved associates and friends over the internet. The FCC has approved the security features that only last week were causing the MPAA and NFL to throw their toys out of their prams.

The FCC is now satisfied that digital broadcast television is adequately protected by TiVo, and that content should be made conveniently available to users – but without indiscriminate distribution all over the internet.

TVTG limits sharing to nine other users, who must have a certificate and be registered with the host TiVo before they can view content.

The MPAA is still disappointed though – they’d like to see tighter controls as programmes can be streamed to users outside the intended market: “technologies that enable redistribution of copyrighted TV programming beyond the local TV market disrupt local advertiser-supported broadcasting and harm TV syndication markets.”

A breakthrough for consumers? Not so fast. Even if the FCC has approved the technology there are still plenty of opportunities for the MPAA or anyone else who doesn’t like TVTG from reaching the market, or crippling it when it gets there.

TiVo on the FCC news

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?