[opendtv] Re: Philips' invention blocks DVRs, set-tops from skipping TV ads

  • From: "Albert Manfredi" <bert22306@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2006 21:02:36 -0400

Al Limberg wrote:

>If you buy an original painting, unless you buy the copyright
>as well, you cannot reproduce the painting -- e.g. by
>photocopying it.  Banks who want a pretty calendar to give
>to their customers often make this mistake.

Okay, but I'm not saying I want to cheat or steal anything. If I own a 
painting (or even if I don't own it, within certain limits), I can make 
copies for my own personal, non-commercial use, for example to include in a 
school term paper. And I can hang it up or not, without the artist having 
any say. I would be equally obnoxed if a painting I bought had some sort of 
coating on it that prevented me from such perfectly legitimate uses, only 
because it might be possible for someone to make copies for illegal uses. Or 
if I were required to hang it up in my home in plain view "or else."

This Philips scheme is similar, in that it allows the broadcaster to make 
worst-case assumptions on my intentions, and prevent me from doing what 
custom, the FCC, and even the courts have said is okay. Which includes 
copying for time-shift purposes and switching channels whenever I durned 
well please.

Imagine trying to catch a newcast at the last minute, and being prevented to 
do so because some idiotic ad is airing on the channel you're tuned to. Or, 
as Tom suggested, one broadcaster obnoxiously airing a long string of ads at 
the top of the hour, to prevent my recorder from switching to the next 
channel in its schedule.

Mind you, if a cable or DBS company used such boxes in *their* nets, or 
USDTV for their own subchannels, I would be far less indignant. Those are 
closed, proprietary systems, so anything goes. The box is being sold to the 
cable operator, not to the consumer, in that case. The operator, as customer 
has a say.


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