Amen! Lawsuits are "How NOT to develop software"!

From Why Hasn't TiVo Improved? | PVRblog.:


Lawsuits are killing innovation. It's a common story in the world of technology. Any time a company produces a disruptive technology that does something cool, they have to have a legal department that is bigger than their engineering unit to survive, and that sucks for business, sucks for customers, and sucks for the technology industry. I work around lawyers all day and I wish this was a bigger issue with the public.

Anything that helps customers enjoy TV, movies, or music is a target for lawsuits. We saw it with the Rio mp3 player (what, exactly, was illegal about playing a mp3 on a portable player?). We saw it with ReplayTV and TiVo. We see it in the entire DVD region-coding disaster that gets region-free players pulled from the US Market. The content company dinosaurs are so wed to their antiquated business models that they'll send off their legal department to attack at the slightest provocation (this includes imagined potential profit losses).

At this point, TiVo has a lot of customers and a lot of supporters in the US. I believe if anything, they need to move more of their resources into technology innovation and damn the torpedoes -- continue to make technology that makes customers happy, regardless of what Hollywood thinks. I believe if there is a concerted effort by the content industry to kill TiVo, it would not be successful like it was with ReplayTV, as there are just too many (happy, well-off, voting) TiVo customers to grapple with, much less the court of opinion that rarely goes to Hollywood's advantage.


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