Back in 2005, there were reports that a few recorded shows on TiVos were auto-deleting themselves due to a "copyright flag glitch" that TiVo said was a mistake and was rectified. A reader of this blog named Jeff sent in screenshots and a report of the same behavior popping up around a Star Trek episode. Here's his email and screenshots below:
I just got home from a day of running errands and turned on my TiVo in order to watch a favorite Star Trek episode (The Galileo Seven) that I had recorded earlier today at 1:00 PM.
When I looked at list of shows I had recorded I was surprised to see a flashing red flag next to the program with the following informational text: "Due to policy set by the copyright holder, this recording: Can only be kept until today at 3:26 PM. Cannot be transferred to VCR, DVD, or any other media device. To learn more, visit www.tivo.com/copyprotection"
Umm, that's a whopping < 3 1/2 hours in which to view the program -- how generous! Oh, and the link that they suggest you visit that explains the issue returns a "Page not found" error. Spiffy!
I thought that this had happened before and was deemed by TiVo to be a "mistake." Looks like the "mistake" is back! I'm not sure if any other folks out there have seen the same thing.
Screenshots below the fold:
I'm sure we'll hear it was another accidental glitch, but two things jump out as still pretty amazing about this. One is that the episode in question is decades old and isn't exactly the kind of high value content like brand new primetime shows or paid on-demand movies that the feature was likely designed for. The second is that still three years after the first time this problem surfaced, TiVo still hasn't put anything up at the URL they give you to get more information about it. It seems like someone should at least put a pointer to their FAQ item about it.