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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I didn't see a thread on the May 2018 TiVo User and Privacy Policy Updates (apologies if I just missed it), so figured I start one for all of us.

These changes seems important, especially for LTS (lifetime/all-in) owners. I've only skimmed through the changes and highlighted key pieces below which caught my eye. As I read in more detail, I'm adding in tidbits as I find them.

TL;DR - TiVo appears to be making significant changes within their May 18 2018 Privacy and User Policy Updates. All of this appears to be under the guise of required EU GPDR rule updates. A key notable change is after 05/18/18, "lifetime service" or "all-in" no longer means you're "all-in" or "all paid" for the lifetime of your TSN/Box!! NOT GOOD!

The Details:

  • As of 05/18/18, "lifetime" or "all-in" now means only if your device isn't discontinued (EOL) by TiVo!
    • In essence, "lifetime" or "all-in" is no longer for the "lifetime" of the equipment itself (TSN/Box), but rather whenever TiVo, at their pleasure, chooses to stop "support" a device.
    • This is bad. This means only current products being sold + X number of years (usually) are "supported" and therefore will still eligible to retain lifetime service
    • This change effectively means TiVo can now EOL (end of life) a product at any time, with a zero notice, and zero concession.
    • That fully paid and working LTS (Lifetime Service) Roamio or Premiere effectively becomes a doorstop whenever a TiVo chooses
    • Once a product goes EOL, LTS or not, you're SOL as written in the new policy (see below).
  • For the regulars here especially feel free to jump in with thoughts, observations or if you all feel otherwise. I plan to write them and their CEO/BoD directly if needed to raise hell over this.
TiVo User Agreement
New as of 05/18/2018

Prior to 05/18/2018

Notable changes (thus far) in May 2018 User Agreement:

  • NOTE: Any red text underlined within a bullet means that specific piece is a new addition to an exiting policy. All other bullets listed are entirely new.
  • "TiVo reserves the right to discontinue previously offered features or functionality at its sole discretion and without prior notice. TiVo is not liable to you or to any third party for any modification, suspension, or discontinuance of any feature or component of any TiVo product or service. We reserve the right to determine the timing and content of software updates, which may be automatically downloaded and installed by TiVo products without prior notice to you."
  • With a new All-In Plan subscription, (a) you pay just once (rather than monthly, annually, or in some other frequency) for your TiVo service subscription, (b) your subscription lasts for as long as your TiVo device is operational (or until TiVo discontinues support for your device, whichever comes first), and (c) you cannot transfer your subscription to another TiVo device (except in cases of warranty repair or replacement under applicable warranty terms).
TiVo Privacy Policy
New As of 05/18/2018
Prior to 05/18/2018
Notable changes observed (thus far) in May 2018 Privacy Policy (TBD)
  • TBD

So, what can we do?

A) Nothing. Hope the problem solves itself. :)
B) Something. Contact Tivo per their request for our feedback. See below.

  • As written in Tivo's "Hey, it's a Friday, so let's "check the box" and send out our policy updates over Mothers Day weekend and hope us peasants don't notice all the changes", surprisingly, TiVo DOES, superficially at minimum, actually want to hear from us!!.... So let's express our concerns!
  • Per the email received from TiVo --> "If you have any feedback, please feel free to contact us. We will review all feedback we receive and will take action as appropriate. Please note that while we will do our best, we may not be able to respond to these requests individually"
  • Of course, Tivo's copywriter failed to include preferred method of contact (by design I'm sure) so, here.... I'll fix that for them.
    • [email protected]
      • This may bounce back as another user in another thread recently stating this email no longer works, hilariously, despite it still being listed still even in the most recent policy updates.
    • If the above bounces, all other email addresses are fair game in my opinion
    • If a company is too lazy, incompetent or intentionally deceives and/or can't be bothered to tend to legal notice emails while ensure operational resdiensss of their own policies, ALL BETS ARE OFF AND ALL EMAILS ARE FAIR GAME. See below.
    • Other email addresses to attempt only if privacy mailbox bounces back:
UPDATE #1: See Attached Comparison of Old vs. New Policies (Diff & Redline):
  • So we can all digest how bad this, I've diffed the old and new user agreement
    • RED = Removed
    • Teal/Green = Updated or Inserted
  • See attached "redline" documents
    • One summary document (TLDR version)
    • One detail document with inline changes (for those of us that like playing in the "weeds" and details)
  • These are systematically generated, so my apologies in advance for formatting issues or otherwise
  • Privacy policy is next.
 

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I saw this notice yesterday (via email) and, while not exactly reassuring, it doesn't strike me as particularly alarming.

I could be wrong (and wouldn't put anything past Rovi), but it sounds like pretty typical CYA legalistic verbiage to protect the corporation against breach-of-contract lawsuits for not continuing to provide service to PLS DVR's despite technological advances that render the software obsolete or incompatible with programming sources.

Realistically speaking, given the ongoing changes in the cable TV industry we don't really expect to be using our TiVo's QAM tuners 10 years from now, do we? But "lifetime" implies that TiVo is responsible for providing programming service for them as long as the box is still mechanically operable.

OTOH, we should be mindful of what happened in Australia last year. I don't think that model is applicable in our market, but it is a cautionary tale nonetheless.
 

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Lawsuits are Rovi's primary business, I'm sure they know exaclty what the legal cost will be and how to best phase out these products.

In addition to the lifetime service issue, I am concerned about a couple of other things this allows them to do. Namely, shut down services like the Mind RPC (pyTivo, kmttg, tivo desktop, etc), and force every new garbage UI they come up with on people so they can show that they are using those patents that are their bread and butter.

Of course, the upside to constantly disapointing customers is reducing your support costs and legal exposure as they flee.
 

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Seems logical to me... doesn't make any sense to support discontinued boxes (forever). Software wise it has always been a service and as such subject to change. TiVo is a business and I think "it's silly" to look at it one-sided. They are going to do what's best for TiVo and in most cases that's automatically best for the majority of their customers too. If it wasn't they would no longer be in business...
 

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Is the change in Lifetime service legal? It sounds like something that will fill the pockets of a number of lawyers.
Is there a change to Current ALL-In? I got up to that point until I GLAZED. It does not say anything about current boxes that are All-In and it says you can still transfer All-In if you sell your tivo to someone. Am I missing something?

If they get rid of the ability to transfer recordings to a PC (I use KMTTG), then there will be a War. That fuels my YouTube page!!! :eek::eek::D

Also you really can't miss this message. They sent 2 emails (the same) and every box had a message that you had to delete TWICE!!!

LAWYERS (Spit!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Is there a change to Current ALL-In? I got up to that point until I GLAZED. It does not say anything about current boxes that are All-In and it says you can still transfer All-In if you sell your tivo to someone. Am I missing something?
)
I just added a comparison and diff document for all to review. This shows what language changed.

Got the same message on my box. Only once though.

Your concerns over ability to transfer LTS/AI to another owner I also share after reading this paragraph.

Rectangle Font Material property Circle Pattern


So if your box isn't operational, they won't let you transfer? WTF?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Seems logical to me... doesn't make any sense to support discontinued boxes (forever). Software wise it has always been a service and as such subject to change. TiVo is a business and I think "it's silly" to look at it one-sided. They are going to do what's best for TiVo and in most cases that's automatically best for the majority of their customers too. If it wasn't they would no longer be in business...
While I generally agree with what you're saying as there are many technological reasons why old hardware can't be supported forever, let's not forget who sold what to who here....Tivo sold us lifetime service for a box so long as that individual piece of hardware continued to work. If I was month to month, I'd agree with you completely here.

Many of us made substantial investments based on THEIR promise for lifetime service for a high upfront investment. It's not my problem if this is an inconvenient truth that Rovi chose to ignore when they acquired Tivo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Is the change in Lifetime service legal? It sounds like something that will fill the pockets of a number of lawyers.
If no one complains or challenges, by default yeah. Kinda like if a "a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear, does it still make a sound?" ;)

This year, every company is pulling this crap left and right. Tivo is no different. Every company is trying to reneging on deals they've made in years prior. They love using TOS/UA/PP as the cowardly way to reneg on their commitment to users and by the time there is an issue, it's long past they've made changes.

The problem is, like many of us, myself included, the day to day is already filled with enough crap, and more crap being obscured and rammed down this path doesn't help. They are gambling on the fact we don't read these updates. I do. I love details.

And notice they like to send this crap out always on Friday's and before important weekends. Like Mother's day. Or Memorial Day. It's all a by design strategy to keep us peasants ignorant to what the overlords at the Tivo/Rovi glass tower are doing unbeknownst to most of us.
 

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I believe that I have purchased my very last TiVo ever. I can't imagine buying a product from a company that treats customers like this.
I think the best thing we can do, is to steer all of our friends and relatives away from TiVo from this day forward. Friends don't let friends be manhandled by these types of corporate shenanigans.
 

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Seems logical to me... doesn't make any sense to support discontinued boxes (forever). Software wise it has always been a service and as such subject to change. TiVo is a business and I think "it's silly" to look at it one-sided. They are going to do what's best for TiVo and in most cases that's automatically best for the majority of their customers too. If it wasn't they would no longer be in business...
The guide quality (ever since the transition away from GraceNote) and the software bugs (since the 8/21/17 update) that were introduced come to mind, but that aside, I hope you're right. If they decide to EOL any devices, I hope they'd do what they did when Series 1 was EOL.
 

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I just added a comparison and diff document for all to review. This shows what language changed.

Got the same message on my box. Only once though.

Your concerns over ability to transfer LTS/AI to another owner I also share after reading this paragraph.

View attachment 34370

So if your box isn't operational, they won't let you transfer? WTF?
Technically, LTS/AI service iis for the box only. If it does, so does LTS/AI service. This was why old Series 1 boxes with LTS prior to January 2000 or so had a one-time transfer available. But otherwise normally, you cannot buy a new TiVo and transfer LTS/AI to it. About the only exception is if you send the box in for warranty service, and TiVo replaces it, but there is a transfer fee for the LTS which only applies to the fact it was replaced.

On rare occasions, TiVO will make a special offer to transfer LTS/AI from one box to another, for a small fee. Like in 2017 where they did it a few times - buy a new Bolt from TiVo (at full price) and transfer the existing LTS to it for $99. For these transfers, TiVo requires the old TiVo to be working, which they qualify as "connected to the TIVo service within the past N months". in order to get the discount. For this one case, yes, they will require your box to be operational with proof.

But remember, normally you are not allowed to transfer LTS/AI to a new box.

The guide quality (ever since the transition away from GraceNote) and the software bugs (since the 8/21/17 update) that were introduced come to mind, but that aside, I hope you're right. If they decide to EOL any devices, I hope they'd do what they did when Series 1 was EOL.
Series 1 was EOL'd over a decade before the Gracenote switch - it was EOL'd when Series 2 came out and software updates stopped shortly afterwards. They still got regular TiVo service purely because of compatibility. They're basically saying they have a right to stop the service at any time, given it was a particularly bad year where they had to stop service to a number of units - Series 1 due to Gracenote transition, Australian boxes due to provider contract not being renewed, etc.

Basically the language exists because of practicality - no service is forever. After all, what are Australian TiVo owners supposed to do? It's out of TiVo's control what happened (and the TiVos were horrendously obsolete by then - I don't think they even supported digital broadcast), but just because they had LTS there was an obligation to support them, until there was no practical way to do so.

It boils down to practicality - Series 1 units probably couldn't be economically converted to Gracenote, and there were very few units that were still alive and kicking and connecting to TiVo, so supporting them was deemed uneconomic. Sure they probably had tons of units still registered on accounts, but the number of real units working and not gathering dust was far lower
 

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I find it interesting nobody seems to have noticed this line (but there's like three different threads talking about the notice, maybe I've missed it):

"We reserve the right to determine the timing and content of software updates, which may be automatically downloaded and installed by TiVo products without prior notice to you."

TiVo has said people will not be forced to Hydra, but legally they can do it. They promise they won't, but they can at any time, and the only recourse is to lose your recordings and go back to TE3. Which they can then override again at any time. Which they promise not to do. But legally nothing stops them. All detailed in a document changing prior promises.
 

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Not good, whenever I see a "policy change" with almost any company it's usually good for the company, bad for the user. Used to be to had to "accept" the change for it to be active for you, now most just say "by continuing to use our service you agree to the new conditions". Yeah, I have a lifetime service Tivo, if I don't like the new conditions I have to stop using the box to protest? I have a bad feeling they want to stop supporting S2/S3 and maybe Premieres. With this new policy they could just call it EOL and do NOTHING for active lifetime S2/S3/Premiere users? I hope that is not true.............. Already some features have been going away, that seems to be covered in new policy also. All in all a lot of bad news for owners/users as far as I can see and if you continue to just USE your Tivos you "accept" these changes? Geez................................
 

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I find it interesting nobody seems to have noticed this line (but there's like three different threads talking about the notice, maybe I've missed it):

"We reserve the right to determine the timing and content of software updates, which may be automatically downloaded and installed by TiVo products without prior notice to you."

TiVo has said people will not be forced to Hydra, but legally they can do it. They promise they won't, but they can at any time, and the only recourse is to lose your recordings and go back to TE3. Which they can then override again at any time. Which they promise not to do. But legally nothing stops them. All detailed in a document changing prior promises.
That line was already in the prior user agreement and has always been the policy so nothing to discuss. :)

I wouldn't say TiVo has promised anything regarding not forcing the Hydra update. Tivo Ted has indicated they are not planning on doing it and even though I prefer the gen3 UI and don't want to move to Hydra due to the missing upload capability, I would not be surprised if TiVo's plans change down the road at some point (and if so hopefully it's years from now). :)

Scott
 
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