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Hmm. I'm not a lawyer but I really do wonder, under the current fair use law that allows consumers to record broadcast TV, what would preclude TiVo or any other company -- that operates independently of the broadcasters and cable TV operator -- from completely cutting out the original broadcast ads and replacing them with TiVo's own unskippable ads. (I'm not saying that this is what TiVo is doing or will do, I'm just wondering what aspect of current law might preclude such behavior.) Seems to me that if the consumer didn't like that aspect of TiVo's DVR service, it would be up to him to switch to a different DVR service. And I can't see how the broadcasters or cable companies involved would have any legal leg to stand on. But then, as I say, I'm not a lawyer and I don't know all the ins and outs of the applicable law.
I'm not a lawyer either, but you bring up some interesting points. I don't believe that replacing ads with Tivo's own ads would constitute fair use because Tivo would be receiving income without compensation to the Intellectual Property owner. But getting to the issue of pre-roll ads, your discussion reminded me of the earworm MLB disclaimer that ran before every baseball game I would listen to or watch while growing up:

"This game is authorized under television rights granted by Major League Baseball solely for the entertainment of our audience and any publication reproduction retransmission or other use of the pictures descriptions and accounts of this game without the express written consent of Major League Baseball is prohibited Any commercial or other use of the program such as by charging admission for its showing is similarly prohibited unless authorized in writing by Major League Baseball."

It strikes me that what Tivo is doing here with its pre-roll is basically charging admission to view IP that it hasn't paid for and has no agreement with the IP owner to retransmit. This could be why Tivo allows skipping of the pre-roll: "We're not charging admission, we're just asking for a donation!" The opt-out (by skipping) nature of the ad could be problematic if Tivo were taken to court on this issue which might require changing to a more opt-in type selection. And Tivo agreeing to a global opt-out (via telephone call that others are reporting) should do the trick.

But then how would Tivo make money on this?

Pure fun speculation on my part since I have no IP experience at all.
 

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I paid for lifetime on all my boxes. Lifetime means for the life of the box. I don't want ads added to my TE3 Roamio boxes because they don't find the revenue sustainable anymore. If they need to raise the cost of monthly and annual, so be it. Or offer a two-tiered approach where there is a slightly-less expensive one that is more ad-supported. Kind of like the Hulu model.
Based on info provided by @TiVo_Ted, I can only throw you this:
  • There will be no pre-roll ads on your TE3 boxes ... ever; and
  • If you have TE4 boxes now or are later forced to go TE3 -> TE4, you can apply for an exemption from these ads based on subscription plan and/or tenure. My hope is that Lifetimes (perhaps with a minimum number of years) will all qualify.
 

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Actually, that's not what he said. All he said was there are no current plans to bring pre-roll ads to TE3. Those plans could change next year, next month, or tomorrow.
Fair enough. But in order to do that and add a "feature" they would have to take TE3 out of "Maintenance mode", and I don't know if that's ever been done before.

More likely would be a forced update to TE4?
 

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For the second time this week a pre-roll ad, while loading, crashes my TiVo Bolt+.

What are the exact words you use to opt out when calling TiVo support?

thanks

Software 21.9.7.v3-USC-11-849
TiVo since 2001.
"How do I change to TE3?" That would be my solution, but YMMV.
Why would you downgrade to stop the pre-roll Ads when a quick chat with TiVo support asking to opt-out is quicker and easier to do?
If you read the Q&A again, you'll see that bobfrank is not recommending conversion to TE3 in his answer.
 
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