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I don't care how cool TiVo-iPod is, and neither do the lawyers

A week ago yesterday, I made a post entitled Unauthorized TiVo-iPod recording tech will bring out the lawyers.My central point was that in light of TiVo's new technology that will make it possible to transfer programs stored on TiVo hard drives to iPods - without iPod -maker Apple's permission to do so, Apple as well as programmers and copyright holders that spent months parsing out deals such as downloadable-to-iPod eppys of "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" for $1.
Written by Russell Shaw, Contributor on

A week ago yesterday, I made a post entitled Unauthorized TiVo-iPod recording tech will bring out the lawyers.

My central point was that in light of TiVo's new technology that will make it possible to transfer programs stored on TiVo hard drives to iPods - without iPod -maker Apple's permission to do so, Apple as well as programmers and copyright holders that spent months parsing out deals such as downloadable-to-iPod eppys of "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" for $1.99 a hit are not going to take kindly to this.

Most of you TalkBacked to say I was all wet- that any income lost to programmers and to Apple would be much more than recouped by sales of many, many more iPods.

That's probably the case, but that wasn't my point then, and isn't now.

You have to understand something about the copyright industry, and the lawyers who due their bidding. If there's any profession whose denizens are quicker on the draw than tow-truck drivers, it is copyright and patent attys.

These species do not care about "cool," or marketing and sales targets. They care about copyright law, and how it might be applied to promote the self interest of their employers - studios, networks, producers, etc.

As I noted in a Comment I made to that Post:

I think that too many of you are assessing this issue based on the "cool" factor of your own preferences - rather than realize how litigious the copyright industries are.

Here you have an agreement between two of the most copyright-litigious companies in the world- Disney and Apple- and then comes an unauthorized workaround that could take the wind out of the sails of an arragement that has you just know has been vetted by teams of lawyers as well as talent reps.

I think TiVo-iPod is cool and yes,would sell a lot of iPods,but never underestimate the vanity of important players who feel threatened because their negotiated hard-won handiwork of a deal might be rendered irrelvant and non-income producing.

Now, guess what. On Sunday PVR Blog offered up this new quote from an NBC spokesperson about this TiVo-to-iPod technology:

TiVo appears to be acting unilaterally, disregarding established rights of content owners to participate in decisions regarding the distribution and exploitation of their content. This unilateral action creates the risk of legal conflict instead of contributing to the constructive exploitation of digital technology that can rapidly provide new and exciting experiences for the consumer. 

When I read or hear phrases such as "risk of legal conflict," I envision that those who have made or authorized such statements are getting ready to consult their lawyers. Or, have already.

 

 

 

 

 

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