TiVo fails to cover-up major glitch

The technology section of CNN’s website released an article Sept. 22, on the latest controversy regarding TiVo. The article titled, “TiVo Users Fear Recording Restrictions,” documents the fears of some of the 3.6 million users of TiVo.

According to the article, TiVo’s latest software upgrade has the “ability to allow broadcasters to erase material recorded by users after a certain date.” Users were even more irritated by the fact that the shows marked for deletion could not be transferred to a PC using the “Tivo ToGo service.”

The problem came to light when some customers complained on TiVo community sites that episodes of popular TV shows, “The Simpsons” and “King of the Hill,” were “red-flagged” for deletion by the copyright holder.

Elliot Sloan, a TiVo spokesman, called the incident a glitch which affected only a handful of customers. The problem is, if the company does not intend to use it, why was the technology created in the first place?

It makes me wonder what would come next. Last year, the company introduced a copyright-protection for pay-per-view and video-on-demand programs. This would allow broadcasters restrict how long the DVR could record some movie programming and in some cases, prevent recording altogether. Now it has a similar problem with regular TV shows, but claims it does not intend to implement copyright with TV shows.

Why should TiVo be allowed to sell a product on false propositions? If TiVo promised people who bought their DVR that they can skip through advertisements, why has it created avenues to still place ads on the screen while users forward through them? And why is it planning on putting a stop to the recording of shows when it has sold its product on this concept?

I think it is time that we stop being the pawns for media conglomerates, advertising and their deceptive practices. The Federal Communications Commission needs to take the appropriate steps to prevent this type of problem from reoccurring.

Wandoo Makurdi is a junior mass media studies student from Miami. She can be reached at copyeditors@hotmail.com