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Friday, April 21, 2006

According to The New Scientist, Philips has patented a system for preventing viewers from fast-forwarding through recorded ads or changing the channel during live ones. (Here's the patent itself.)

If you'd like to tell Philips what you think of this idea, send Gerd Goetz an email. He's head of their consumer relations department.


I read on TV Tattle "Philips never had the intention to force viewers to watch ads against their will and does not use this technology in any current Philips products, nor do we have any plans to do so."

FWIW, I sent a mail. Here's what it said:

"I am relieved to hear that the company does not intend to allow use of the patented software that forces ads on viewers in recording, but very concerned that you sought to develop it in the first place.

Our industry is changing and needs to come up with new business models for the twenty-first century, not fixes that drag us back to the twentieth."

By Blogger Stephen Gallagher, at 4:30 AM  

Of course they're saying that NOW. But no one patents something if they don't have at least a little itsy bitsy plan to use it, or sell it to someone who will.

On the other hand maybe this is just a defense against patent trolls.

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 9:28 AM  

Some DVD's do that. Won't let you go directly to menu without seeing all the crap -- er I mean previews. It was only a matter of time until somebody figured how to adapt it other ways.

By Blogger MaryAn Batchellor, at 8:31 PM  

Here was my comment to the cretins at Phillips:

IN regards to the patent you recently filed on an apparatus which not only prevents a television viewer from fast-forwarding through or skipping recorded ads, but prevents the viewer from changing channels during live ads, allow me to say, on behalf of all television viewers ...

... go f%#k yourselves.

The airwaves are owned by the public, and not megalomaniac corporations. Besides, as quickly as you can put out these infernal devices, a cottage industry will spring up with people creating devices to disable or work around your devices. Ever heard of eBay? These will be the hottest sellers ever.

Save yourself the wasted money, the bad P.R., and general ill will towards Phillips and scrap the idea. And fire the a%#hole who came up with the idea in the first place.

By Blogger Dave Fogerson, at 12:23 AM  

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