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.