I remember about fifteen years ago the TV networks here (In AU) wanted to trial a telly that would lock onto the currently watched channel and volume setting when ads are played. The idea worked because it relied on a special signal broadcast during breaks. Shame that Joe Average threatened to refrain from buying new sets if the idea was implemented.
After that the video and broadcasting industry went back to fighting over which video format was better, Beta or VHS. Beta produced the better picture but was twice the price of VHS. VHS won the battle but is now losing the war to DVD. Beta, in a professional level digital format lives on as a broadcasting standard only. The show goes on...
As for MP3's and also the ability to rip CD's the Australian Commonwealth Government has for a long time been leaned on by record companies to add a supertax to blank tapes and CD's which would fund the assumed losses inherited by them due to the loss of revenue from album sales. The Government has rejected the idea several times sothere is a good chance this tax will never happen.
It's a tough call. On the labels of all music and movie media it says something like "No copying of this without express permission of the publisher" yet copyright laws permit one to make a backup copy for personal use. The same applies to software. I am unsure of the same provisions apply to being able to tape television programmes though. Then again, unless you are raided by the coppers, no-one is ever going to find out.