(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Mike Masnick

Three Time Shifting Business Models In One

from the and-a-silly-patent dept

Lots of companies are working on various business ideas surrounding "time shifting" of broadcast media. The most famous, of course, is TiVo, but lots of others have picked up on that model. The Boston Globe is running an article about a small startup, named Gotuit, that is actually working on three different products involving time shifting. One sounds interesting, one sounds like a me-too play, and one sounds bad. The interesting one is a system that would automatically index certain shows and create different versions that you can view. So, if you're not interested in the local weather, pick an option to see your local news without the weather report. If you don't want to sit through the whole game, pick the option that just shows the scoring highlights, or specific plays by one player. Sounds like it might be a nice feature. The "me too" play is to create a TiVo for radio, something I've heard a few other companies working on as well. The final "business" is really just suing TiVo over a patent they hold for a "Time Delayed Digital Video System Using Concurrent Recording and Playback". While it's nice to see the company isn't just relying on its patent, but is actually working on other business models, they'd probably be better off not wasting time on such legal challenges, and just put their efforts towards building the better mousetrap.

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