Why Does TiVo Need Permission To Innovate?

from the bad-precedent... dept

A couple weeks ago, we had the story of the MPAA and the NFL trying to force TiVo to stop its plans to add new features to their devices that would let a user send a recorded program to another device. While we discussed why this was a ridiculous move by both the MPAA and the NFL, a reporter at the Washington Post is now going one step further and pointing out that the real travesty is the fact that TiVo suddenly needs to ask permission from the government to innovate. The ability of companies to continually innovate and reinvent markets based on free and open competition is what helps drive this economy. When companies need to ask permission to add innovative features, and that permission needs to go through other companies, we're destroying our ability to innovate competitively. Instead, companies outside of this country will build new systems with features that consumers actually want, while systems here are held back by regulations that serve no other purpose than to protect an adjacent industry that refuses to change with the times. It's the worst form of protectionism -- since no one will even admit that it's protectionism. And, like all attempts at protectionism, the end result will be much worse for those these rules supposedly protect.
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  1. identicon
    Michael Martens, 29 Mar 2005 @ 8:18pm

    tvo innovation

    Tvo's innovation is not a product, it is process. The right to broadcast or copy NFL games or any other network TV without permission is prohibited because the broadcast is copyrighted. How is what the NFL is asking different than Microsoft creating special programs so its software can't be copied? Should someone be allowed to make an unlimited numbered of copies (or 5 copies) of Windows XP, then sell them on the interent at a lower price than Microsoft or give the copies away for free?
    The software industry has been very good about making it difficult to make unauthorized copies of its software. It has not put the same effort into preventing of coping products it doesn't create i.e. music, video TV programs etc. In fact the software people seem to be working to simplify the copying of products it doesn't create. Which to me is very two faced and saying that there is one set of rules for us and another set of rules for everyone else.

    If TVO creats this innovation should everyone have the right to copy it and use it for free? Or should others have to pay TVO for the right to use its innovation?
    If one elimiates copyright and patents then one totally stops major innovation because the creator could never profit from the invention.

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