View Full Version : Msg to Pweed - Proprietary Software Code

06-02-2003, 01:51 PM
Word of advice(I have no interest in debate or flamefest):

Tivo software is proprietary, and to borrow a quote from Jafa - "Do not underestimate the power of copyright." By US law, proprietary software can not be distributed without the expressed consent of the owner of the software.

Tivo, the company, did not and does not have the resources(i.e. customer support, rma's, etc.) to support excessive variations of digital-recording capacities. As of today, you can only officially buy 40 or 80 hour standalones, and 40 hour Directivo's. A business decision had been made to allow third party vendors to support hard drive upgrades as it accomplishes several things:

- keeps customers happy. Once you start using a Tivo, it can fill up extremely quickly, and a resonably priced upgrade keeps the consumer a Tivo-customer.

- voids the warranty. Liability is now transferred to the third party upgrade vendor - one less rma, customer to support, etc.

- grows the company, without growing the company. These third party vendors are virtual 'divisions' of Tivo, as they are dependent on Tivo, yet come as no cost to Tivo. They generate revenue for Tivo by keeping customers as Tivo subscribers, with zero overhead.

Now the advice:

pweed, Tivo has allowed you & others to freely distribute their proprietary software because it indirectly generates them revenue, at no cost to them. Their business model is to make money from subscriptions(SA & Directv; you may pay directly to Directv, but Tivo is still getting some juice).

If however, Tivo ever decides to change their business model and wants to generate more hardware revenue, they can sue ANYONE distributing their proprietary software.

I suggest you, pweed, if you haven't already, get it in writing from Tivo that you are allowed to distribute their proprietary software. If Tivo so chooses, they can easily put your small business out of business. This advice is for you to protect the food on your table.