HBO hates babies and parents and puppies--beware the DRM boogie monster!

HBO used DRM to delete a kids show off of my Tivo without notice, sending my baby into an unconrollable rage. You will pay for your sins HBO!

Mortiis, master of HBO DRM
Mortiis, master of HBO DRM Mortiis
I sat on the phone with Tivo for a combined total of 30 minutes this morning (roughly 22 minutes on various stages of hold) to figure out what happened to my daughter's favorite Goodnight Moon show that we Tivo'd off of HBO.

As it happens, HBO encoded the program with DRM--a dated self-destruct mechanism and when Tivo ran it's nightly update and the clock turned over the program was deleted without any interaction from Tivo.

(Side note: Tivo support is really good and very nice. I can't fault the company or the support team for any of this.)

I was trying to think about this a bit and figure out what HBO had to gain by removing a kids show from my Tivo without telling me and making it difficult for my baby to go to sleep. The answer is really nothing.

HBO, like all DRM obsessed companies find it necessary to "control" the content. It's especially odd in this case as HBO owns the content (meaning they wouldn't be paying royalties) and I would think they would want us locked into their service and their content.

And as far as I can tell the terms that one agrees to with HBO (or any other network) are outside the control of Tivo and Comcast, and there is no clear explanation of what might happen when, or under what circumstances when you sign up for HBO through a cable provider.

Was it wrong for me to rely on the program to be in the Tivo? I don't think so. There was no warning, or meta-data or other information that said the program would be deleted. The whole thing is just rude and an effrontery to the consumer.

Last night I ordered the DVD overnight from Amazon so that the blessed child can go to sleep. I am pretty sure that I am going to cancel my HBO subscription but I'm not sure if I am taking this too personally.

My biggest realization is that I now realize that I need to continue to own physical media as I have no idea what these scumbag companies might try to pull over on consumers.

It's pathetic that as the software world opens up, the media world continues to be an evil dark overlord.

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Software
About the author

Dave Rosenberg has more than 15 years of technology and marketing experience that spans from Bell Labs to startup IPOs to open-source and cloud software companies. He is CEO and founder of Nodeable, co-founder of MuleSoft, and managing director for Hardy Way. He is an adviser to DataStax, IT Database, and Puppet Labs.

 

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