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

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2006 15:45:41 -0400

Jeroen Stessen wrote:

> I think you have missed my point. The point is not
> what you want to do with the content (the work of
> art). The point is that you have to pay for the
> privilege of watching it.

But ... but ... Jeroen, why does the CE manufacturer, whose goal is to
sell products to consumers, care about the interests of some other
party? Meaning, the interests of neither itself or its customer, the
consumer (moi)?

What you are really saying, I think, is that Philips has applied for
this patent, EXPECTING that someone, like the govt, the NAB, or
multichannel service providers, will want the features. For example, if
Philips sells the box set up that way to the NAB, as one of those $50
great performing DTT STBs, okay. "You want this excellent performing box
for $50, this is the price you pay in control."

But if Philips sets sold directly to consumers have these features in
them, sans govt requirement, why would I buy them? My natural instinct
would be to find equipment WITHOUT those Machiavellian features.

And I've already agreed that a compromise law I could live with easily
(implemented by the govt, not by a CE manufacturer of its own accord)
would forbid ad skipping, but allow fast-forwarding. And never block the
tuning control, of course.

> It's the same as what happened in Georgia (I mean
> the former Soviet republic) when an American energy
> company wanted to earn money by installing power
> meters and asking the Georgians to actually pay for
> the electricity that they had been accustomed to
> getting for free under the former communist regime.
> They Did Not Like That ! BTW the US company lost
> the battle and has withdrawn from Georgia.

There too, same thing holds. If the American energy company was the
company that generated the electricity in Georgia, of course they have a
right to their revenues. Otherwise, they would go under. But if the
American company was, say, an electrical home supplies company, it's not
exactly their business how energy in Georgia is paid for.

You explained already in your first posts that this patent application
was just so Philips would have rights to the art. My expectation would
be that Philips would *not* sell such features directly to consumers on
its own accord, especially without labeling the box plainly on sets that
include these features.

This is how conspiracy theories start. One element of the economy does
something that seems clearly against their own interests. People wonder
what the motivations are, and immediately assume collusion and funny

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