The new WIRED magazine has a short interview with TiVo's head of legal, Matthew Zinn about their recent change to remove features from TiVo. Zinn claims it was a one-time deal to allow TiVos to auto-delete Pay Per View and Video On Demand movies, but the interviewer points out that it might just be a trojan horse of more things to come.
It sounds like TiVoToGo is the reason for the change, as content providers didn't want people to be able to transfer their shows to a PC that could burn them to DVD. I would have rather seen those high priced bits of content blocked from TTG functionality, than to see things get an auto-delete setting. If I buy Shrek 2 for four bucks via PPV tonight, and I keep it around on my TiVo, how likely am I to buy it all over again in a month or two if TiVo erases it automatically? If there's no way to remove Shrek 2 from my TiVo, why does it have to delete itself?
I'm siding with WIRED over Zinn on the issue of this being the first of many such "features" added to satisfy the content industries, as HBO has announced they'll be locking down all their content to make sure no one can make copies of their shows to watch on other devices.
Hopefully this HBO news isn't the first of many such annoucements, but I'm almost certain it will be.