Three thumbs up! Alviso based TiVo has gotten approval to allow subscribers to email recorded shows. Various entities in the television industry objected, as usual - you know, blah blah blah, proprietary rights, blah blah blah, piracy hurts everyone, blah blah, corporate profits down, etc. The FCC, though, found there were enough privacy protections already encoded in TiVo programming that it was unlikely that anyone would be able to, say, mass-mail copies of Amish in the City in violation of the UPN's copyrights.
Like the Motion Picture Association keeps telling us in the commercials before the movies previews, piracy really does hurt everyone, and SFist, who's in the copyrightable business itself, finds intellectual property theft intolerable. But it seems right for the FCC to find that, say, emailing encoded clips from the Daily Show to your own computer, or to your other political junkie friends is less like running off with the master tapes of the latest U2 album than, say, making a mix tape off the radio, or linking to things in a blog...? Well, the NFL has pledged to sue, so we'll find out either way.
With great power comes great responsibility: SFist solemnly pledges to use its TiVo email capabilities only to promote high-quality entertainment, like sending video clips of Randall Simon's attack on a defenseless sausage in Milwaukee from last year.
Ed. Note: SFist got quite the chuckle from former MPAA President Jack Valenti's doomsday predictions of yore.