Give them an inch and they think they’re rulers

Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing has discovered yet another example of digital rights management technology being used for things that have nothing to do with piracy: US cable companies are being pressured by Time Warner to “expire” their customers’ digital recordings of TV programmes such as Six Feet Under when the next episode airs.

This is the danger of sucking up to the studios in the first place: they say, “Suuuure, we’ll ‘let’ you build a PVR that will tape the shows you cablecast to your customers, but that permission is contingent on our ongoing goodwill. So if in the future we decide, for example, that your PVR can’t record certain shows, or can’t skip certain commercials, or can’t store certain recordings for more than a few days, you’d better implement it. Or else. So what if your customers can’t figure out why their PVRs don’t work properly? That’s your problem, pal.”