Tivo Gets Nod for Users to Share Digital Shows By Jeremy Pelofsky Reuters Wednesday, August 4, 2004; 1:05 PM TiVo Inc., maker of popular digital television recording devices, on Wednesday received approval for technology that would permit users to send copies of digital broadcast shows over the Internet to a few friends. The Federal Communications Commission voted to certify digital protections on TiVoToGo, which is not yet available but would enable a user to record and send a digital broadcast television show to up to nine other registered people who have a key allowing them to see it. The approval came despite concerns by the Motion Picture Association of America and the National Football League about the risks of unfettered distribution of copyrighted shows and illegally airing sports games outside of authorized markets. The FCC last year adopted rules to limit distribution of digital, over-the-air television programs over the Internet in an effort to prevent mass illegal copying and sharing, a problem plaguing the music industry. Most current television shows are shown in an analog format and can lose some quality when recorded. But recorded digital programs do not suffer from that problem, leading to industry concerns about unfettered mass redistribution on the Internet. The FCC last November required companies to develop measures to prevent consumers from indiscriminately distributing the higher quality digital television shows over the Web. In addition to approving TiVo's application, the FCC certified 12 other technologies proposed, including ones by software giant Microsoft Corp., Sony Corp., and RealNetworks Inc. for protecting distribution of digital television broadcasts. The agency said it did not adopt limits on where the content could be sent because the proposed technologies "employ different combinations of device limits, interactive authentication and affinity-based mechanisms to restrict distribution." TiVo plans to launch a version of TiVoToGo this fall that would allow users to transfer recorded shows to a home computer but has not said when it would launch its version that would allow shows to be shared outside the home. TiVo shares jumped on the news as much as 11 percent and at midday on Nasdaq it was trading up 15 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $5.26.