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 Skipping ads is stealing, says CEO of Turner Broadcasting

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
May 03, 2002
Funny. Very funny. :)

Short synopsis at Politechbot.

Longer synopsis at 2600.

Complete interview at Inside Magazine - skip the boring first half and go right to the headline "VOD's Ad-Skipping Irks Kellner".

"The contract between the network and the viewer". Anyone of you remembers signing anything similar?

Where it will end? Skip the ads, go to jail? I can just imagine a poster, "Watch the commercials, support the economy growth"!


More diaries by The Mad Scientist
Linux Woes
Cultural Imperialism vs Star Trek
Open the champagne, Elenchos!
I am back.
Microsoft Windows secure and stable


Are you an advert-dodging socialist? (5.00 / 1) (#1)
by because it isnt on Fri May 3rd, 2002 at 07:51:58 AM PST
I think Ted Turner meant to say "If you put the kettle on between programmes, then the terrorists have already won".

Personally, I get my TV programs from the best TV broadcaster in the world, bar none, and I pay for that privellege. Socialism is the only way good TV can be produced. I hope none of the Adequacy readership are under the delusion that advert-funded TV is anything more than jumping into bed with capitalists -- ones wearing stovepipe hats, at that.

You cannot produce good TV output in a capitalist market. Capitalist TV is like a parent giving in to children's demands and letting them eat sweets all day. Kids don't care about what's good for them, they just want the quick buzz and tastiness of sweeties. Their undeveloped palates have no interest in fish, meat, cereals and starches. "Peak time" TV is a minefield of pablum for plebians, when it should be living up to the Reithian ideals of entertaining, informing and educating. -- because it isn't

What about HBO? n/t (none / 0) (#2)
by hauntedattics on Fri May 3rd, 2002 at 09:58:07 AM PST

I disagree (5.00 / 1) (#3)
by Fon2d2 on Fri May 3rd, 2002 at 11:20:11 AM PST
I believe socialism does produce good TV but it does not produce the only good TV. I find myself stopping at PBS all the time. For example last night there was a special on the World Trade Towers that was really interesting. However I've never contributed so I suppose that makes me a freeloader. Anyway, commercialism makes good TV too. Look at the Simpsons for example. Or the X-Files. Granted those shows have waned over the years but in their prime they were some pretty high quality programs.

As for your analogy to children and sweets, I disagree with that as well. I don't believe what you say about what children want. I think the true nature of childrens' desires is highly manipulated by artificial control and availability. First sweets are placed on a pedastal as something highly more desirable than normal food. Then children are told that they can only have strict rations handed out by the parent. Children are highly impressionable. Of course when given a break from that routine they'll stock up and gorge on sweets. That says nothing about how a child's tastes would naturally develop.

Hmm I'm sorry? (none / 0) (#6)
by DG on Fri May 3rd, 2002 at 12:39:49 PM PST
You use the BBC and good tv in the same sentence? Is everyone in the UK brainwashed or something? last time i watched bbc1 it was the most insepid pollution i've ever seen.. from what I hear 90% of the UK has satilite so they don't have to watch the bbc..
2002, DG. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

My magic eight-ball says... (5.00 / 1) (#7)
by tkatchev on Fri May 3rd, 2002 at 01:01:28 PM PST
...that you will watch BBC and like it! After you've paid your voluntary-compulsory "TV tax".

Welcome to Europe, by the way.

Peace and much love...

Yes, the BBC. (none / 0) (#8)
by because it isnt on Fri May 3rd, 2002 at 03:21:34 PM PST
With award-winning programs like Newsnight, Panorama, MacIntyre Undercover, Horizon, Walking with Dinosaurs, The Weakest Link, The Naked Chef, Have I Got News For You, Robot Wars, Teletubbies, Blue Peter, Take Hart, etc, etc, etc. You know, the one that just launched a new channel dedicated to Science and The Arts -- BBC Four. Not to mention their monopoly on quality radio programming in Britain.

The only channel that comes near to the BBC's quality is Channel 4, and that's for two reasons. First, it's centralised (unlike the ITV network), and secondly, as a terrestial broadcaster it is required by law to cover a wide range of interests.

Sadly, the BBC don't broadcast "Ibiza Uncovered" (as Sky One does), or "Britains Burliest Proctologists" and "When Good Pets Go Bad" (as ITV does), or even "Spunk Loving Sluts Go Stateside" (as C5 does), but they've only got so much space in the schedules, you know. -- because it isn't

More reasons for ambivalence (none / 0) (#10)
by First Incision on Fri May 3rd, 2002 at 04:35:15 PM PST
Every time something comes along to make me like something UKian, something comes with it to increase my hatred.

To the BBC:
Thank you for "Walking With Dinosaurs" and may you burn in Hell for "Weakest Link."
Do you suffer from late-night hacking? Ask your doctor about Protonix.

Distressed. (none / 0) (#24)
by walwyn on Sat May 4th, 2002 at 04:14:58 PM PST
I'm truely saddened that the 'weakest link' has caused such depression amongst North Americans.

Hmm.. (none / 0) (#43)
by DG on Mon May 6th, 2002 at 03:00:07 PM PST
Must miss all the "good" shows, all the ones I've watched have been rather boring, I don't watch tv often, I'd say once every week or so, most tv is still mindless crap no matter the country you're in
2002, DG. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

The hunger site and such (none / 0) (#4)
by em on Fri May 3rd, 2002 at 12:17:58 PM PST
I can just imagine a poster, "Watch the commercials, support the economy growth"!

Well, there are already sites that say "If you don't click on this banner ad, our advertiser won't give the 25 cents a click that it pledged to charity, thus a child in the third world will starve and IT WILL ALL BE YOUR FAULT!"
Associate Editor,

Aid. (none / 0) (#5)
by tkatchev on Fri May 3rd, 2002 at 12:34:49 PM PST
With the quality of "aid" these charities are liable to give, I think the child would be better off not eating at all. Eating plastic and styrofoam tends to be bad for the stomach. (Especially if you haven't had years of training with American "cuisine".)

Peace and much love...

excuse me (none / 0) (#18)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat May 4th, 2002 at 10:51:27 AM PST
With all these comments being deleted (I've noticed 2 posters' comments disappear over this) for copyright violation you had better watch what you use. You do understand that under copyright law (and the copyright notice at the bottom of pretty much every page) The Mad Scientist is the copyright holder not

So does that mean your post must be deleted? Or are the editors somehow immune to breaking the law?

One more thing. Just try enforcing your trademark over RGB D7D7D7. Can you point to the registration of the trademark please? You do know that if you wish to argue copyright/trademark/patent violations and bring about legal actions they must first be registered.

Copyright (none / 0) (#22)
by T Reginald Gibbons on Sat May 4th, 2002 at 02:45:01 PM PST
Unless you're going to tell us all with which organisation(s) we would have to register our copyrights for them to be valid, I'm going to have to point out that it is you who needs to learn more about copyright law.

gee I dunno (none / 0) (#28)
by Anonymous Reader on Sun May 5th, 2002 at 11:19:35 AM PST
How about the United States Copyright Office and the United States Patent and Trademark Office for starters.

No, you don't know, do you? (none / 0) (#29)
by RobotSlave on Sun May 5th, 2002 at 01:00:32 PM PST
Copyright does not have to be registered with the United States Copyright Office to be considered valid.

© 2002, RobotSlave. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

uh gee uh (none / 0) (#34)
by Anonymous Reader on Sun May 5th, 2002 at 10:31:26 PM PST
Copyrights must be registered in order to bring about any legal action. You should read the FAQ.
Why should I register my work if copyright protection is automatic?

Registration is recommended for a number of reasons. Many choose to register their works because they wish to have the facts of their copyright on the public record and have a certificate of registration. Registered works may be eligible for statutory damages and attorney's fees in successful litigation. Finally, if registration occurs within five years of publication, it is considered prima facie evidence in a court of law. See Circular 1, section Copyright Registration and Circular 38b on non-U.S. works.
Now let's get to trademarks. Should I list all the things which this site claims to hold a trademark over? Are they registered? By the way I would love to read/hear the defense regarding the copyright/trademark of a background color. Now a background image...that's another story.

One last thing. Next time you want to start deleting posts for copyright violation you should realize that copyright law doesn't cover posted comments. It doesn't protect ideas, feelings and such. That is was posts are right? I doubt anyone would consider your comments (or in general) to be literary works.

Such miserable ignorance. (5.00 / 1) (#37)
by RobotSlave on Sun May 5th, 2002 at 11:48:26 PM PST
So, you go and read a FAQ, produced by an agency with a vested interest in getting as many copyrights registered as possible, and you find that registered copyright may constitute grounds for damages or attorney fees in successful litigation (just like unregistered copyright) and you decide that this means unregistered copyrights are not valid?

My, what a brilliant legal mind you are.

We are not talking about trademark. Mr. Gibbons asked you a question about copyright, and you started spouting off about trademark. Give it up. Go start your own thread about trademark somewhere else. You'll find you're wrong about a lot of that, too, I'm sure, but this thread is about copyright. Got it?

So did you just skip right to the part of that FAQ that you didn't understand, or did you read all of it? Did you notice the second question? Here, let me quote it for you:
When is my work protected?

Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form so that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.
That sort of fucks up your claim that copyrights have to be registered to be valid, doesn't it? Remember that question by Mr. Gibbons? The one where he asked you where a copyright had to be registered before it could be considered valid?

You know, you could just admit that you were wrong, and people wouldn't think any less of you for it. If, however, you keep defensively spouting utter bullshit when you're caught out, you're just going to weaken whatever larger case you're trying to put forward, and make yourself look like an ass, to boot.

As to your last bit of nonsense: No, the facts and ideas contained in a comment published at Adequacy are not protected by copyright law. This is why you can rephrase another person's idea without violating copyright. What is protected, you see, is the expression of those facts and ideas. This is why you can not copy another person's published words without violating copyright. It's called Copyright. It's about copying text.

If you don't understand this, go read my explanation written in small words for small minds. Copyright Law does most emphaticly apply to material published via the internet, including the comments published by Adequacy. Don't believe me? Fine. Scrape a bit of money together, and go pay an attorney to tell you exactly the same thing.

© 2002, RobotSlave. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

excuse me (none / 0) (#45)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon May 6th, 2002 at 03:56:40 PM PST
I find it amazing how you and the love to make wild assumptions. Did I ever steer my post in a direction that would lead people to believe that copyrights are only valid if they are registered? Nice twist of my points. It must be nice to look at everything half-assed and tell everyone how stupid they are.

Now let's move on. Works are protected under copyright law from the moment they are created. However, you cannot bring about legal action or collect damages on unregistered copyrights.

As for expression that's how they are expressed. It has nothing to do with rephrasing and such. It means the tangible form. Maybe you should have done some checking of what can and cannot be copyrighted. I believe you will find it interesting.

Also there is a major flaw in your reasoning. What copyright law do you follow? Are you of a legal age to proove you can claim copyright? Is the author? What state is the located? Does that state have any exemptions for minors? In what state/province does that minor live?

Finally, I don't have any idea why I'm arguing coipyright law here. My original post was to discuss why em was permitted to copy a line from The Mad Scientist writing word for freakin' word and post it in his own comment. Isn't that what this whole war bullshit is about? Are those the kind of post you're seeking out? I'll tell you why it wasn't deleted. You're all hypocrites. It's ok when you do it but if someone else does it...oh shit! It's more of a way to censor any post which completely underminds your idiotic mentality and beliefs no matter how idiotic, fucked up they are. Get your head out of your ass.

Still haven't spoken to that lawyer, have you? (none / 0) (#53)
by RobotSlave on Tue May 7th, 2002 at 05:34:42 PM PST
I'm sorry, but a copyright does not have to be registered before an infringement case can be brought. You do need a bit of evidence, of course, but notorization, publication, or even a sealed envelope with a postmark on it will do nicely.

In other words, you're spewing unsupported bullshit again.

If you don't think expression published online can be copyrighted, that's fine. You're welcome to believe that. It's a delusional belief, provably false, but if it makes you happy, you're welcome to it.

Your failure to understand issues of jurisdiction, or the application of copyright law to material authored by minors, has zero bearing on the issue.

Is the material in New York Times not subject to copyright law? It's read in many different juridictions, you know. And it routinely publishes material authored by minors.

The reason you're arguing copyright law here is that you're an unbearable ass who doesn't understand the first thing about Law, and you refuse to back away from your self-serving and demonstrably false interpretation of copyright.

As to your accusation regarding hypocrisy, you'll be proven wrong if you persue it. The criterea for deletion are not public, but for each instance of brief quotation in a post authored by an Adequacy editor, I can find you multiple instances of brief quotation in posts authored by normal adequacy users. Your persecution complex is pathetic.

© 2002, RobotSlave. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

Judge orders a company to track PVR users (none / 0) (#9)
by The Mad Scientist on Fri May 3rd, 2002 at 03:33:06 PM PST
There is a related and very troubling situation brewing here.

According to Politechbot, refering to original informations from Mercurz News, a judge ordered the manufacturer of ReplayTV to within 60 days equip the units with software that would allow to track individual users down to the last click of their remote. Every operation - every store and replay and ad skip.

Luckily, there are better options than PVRs made by companies that can be bullied by Hollywood-sponsored judges.[1]

Be wary of closed commercial solutions. The company itself can be nice and honest, but as a non-distributed entity it can be forced by lawyers to do bad things.

Or do you want your viewing habits disclosed to everyone who asks?

[1] Ie, I myself am currently employing a solution based on WinFast TV2000 card and a Linux machine[2]. I can program my VCR from my cellphone (currently only over telnet, but SMS-based solution is being brewed). I can do everything I please with the captured stream - ie, I can rescale and recompress it to small size and archive or send by mail (useful for cuts of news). I can burn the files to CD. I am not dependent on any corporation, PVR-wise, and no lawyer scums can dictate me what I will tell them about what I am watching.

[2] A quick hack with a small program run from atd at scheduled time, better solution will be done when I will get the proper mood.

Politech (none / 0) (#12)
by T Reginald Gibbons on Fri May 3rd, 2002 at 09:02:53 PM PST
Let us not forget that Declan McCullough and politech were instrumental in spreading the news that Al Gore had claimed to have invented the internet. With Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch dominating every other news source, it is irresponsible commentators such as this to which the world must turn for its unbiased and unsensational coverage.

I'm confused... (none / 0) (#14)
by gNinja on Sat May 4th, 2002 at 02:14:47 AM PST
Who are you calling irresponsible? Declan or Turner and Murdoch?

If it's Declan then I would have to agree.

I was on this mailing list with someone whom Declan wrote an article about. In the article Declan stated that this person did not return his phone calls. But in reality what happenned was that this person was at school when Declan phoned. Declan phoned, waited an hour and published his article.

Needless to say, most of the facts in the article were wrong and that complicated life for a lot of people.

What made the situation worse was Declan's beligerant attitude. Instead of appologizing, he blamed the entire situation on everyone else.

I guess that was ambiguous (none / 0) (#15)
by T Reginald Gibbons on Sat May 4th, 2002 at 07:31:30 AM PST
I was referring to McCullough, of course. He's responsible to no one but himself and his own sense of journalistic integrity.

What's better... (none / 0) (#17)
by The Mad Scientist on Sat May 4th, 2002 at 08:51:04 AM PST
...a journalist responsible to no one but himself, or a journalist responsible to (and controlled by) a faceless, opaque media giant with undocumented business and political ties?

Ooh! Ooh! I know! (none / 0) (#20)
by RobotSlave on Sat May 4th, 2002 at 12:41:41 PM PST
That's easy! The "better" choice that you forgot (or omitted) would be:

A journalist "responsible to" the well known and widely accepted body of journalistic ethics, which includes things like checking facts, covering all sides of an issue or event, making every effort to keep personal opinion out of the reporting, and so on.

Do I get a cookie?

© 2002, RobotSlave. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

Yeah. (none / 0) (#21)
by The Mad Scientist on Sat May 4th, 2002 at 01:30:42 PM PST
However, these are way too rare, and one issue takes them often up to months of work. Real investigative journalism is expensive.

You have to work with what's available. I quite like Declan. I dismiss most of the messages, and do checks on the ones I am interested in (or wait for a sequel post where there are more details - a good compromise when you get both early and inaccurate news and later clarifications).

The cookie, however, is yours.

Get out your tin hats, people (5.00 / 1) (#23)
by T Reginald Gibbons on Sat May 4th, 2002 at 03:09:19 PM PST
The OLD MEDIA moguls are at it AGAIN! This time they've used their MIND CONTROL LASERS to BRAINWASH every gainfully EMPLOYED journalist in the entire WORLD! The JOURNODROIDS all speak with the SAME VOICE! TRUST NO ONE! Get your TECHNOLOGY NEWS only from UNDERGROUND and CLANDESTINE sources on the INTERNET! READ politech! Declan McCULLAGH discloses all his BUSINESS and POLITICAL ties! Only after DISCLOSING your TIES can you be TRUSTED!

Mind control lasers? (none / 0) (#25)
by The Mad Scientist on Sat May 4th, 2002 at 04:57:36 PM PST
...I always thought mind control is done by microwaves!

But seriously, welcome to the real world.

The journodroids get their news from a handful of news agencies (ie, Reuters...), and often reprint it verbatim. When I got access to such local agency (moral: never keep passwords on the bulletin board on the wall), I seen verbatim the same paragraphs there at noon and then exactly word by word (once including the same typo) in several different newspapers.

Trust no one. Finally you give a good advice.

One person may or may not have political and business ties. A large media corporation has them for sure. The bigger the subject, the higher the probability of such entanglement.

A very important source of media corporations' revenues is advertising. Who pays for it? Other corporations. What they can do? They can spend their money elsewhere if they don't like the given media mogul's actions. If a newspaper wants to run an exposing article about, say, Coca Cola, they have good chance that they will be contacted by Coca Cola's lawyers and threatened, and/or by their other representatives threatening with pulling the multimillion dollar ad campaign in those newspapers. The management then usually calls the editors and the editors ditch the article.

This is the area where underground sources are important. Their reliability is lower, but their coverage is wider, and no lawyer can pull back a mail that was already broadcasted from a listserver.

Got it?

Got it. Abolutely. (5.00 / 1) (#26)
by T Reginald Gibbons on Sat May 4th, 2002 at 09:48:17 PM PST
No newspaper anywhere has ever printed something that might expose them to litigation or financial repercussions. Ever. Not even the New York Times. Not even when they printed that article about the tobacco industry. Also, journalists never do their own reporting. Not even during the Watergate case. Meanwhile, online, guys like McCullagh are following the paper trails to find out where the hand that pulls the switches on the railroad tracks of our society really keep their iron gloves. Yes sir, there's hordes of online journalists venturing into war zones to do interviews with terrorist leaders. It cannot be denied that modern news outlets simply allow their advertisers to set the agenda, completely ignoring touchy issues. If you want to hear about Nike, you've got to get da 411 from da un-da-ground. Online news channels provide the important news, the events that shape the world we live in, such as presidential sex scandals, and off the cuff remarks from CEOs about reasons why major TV broadcasters won't be embracing technologies that threaten their existence. Which politech discovers by reading other news sources online, in a brilliant display of investigative skill. Worth every cent.

Way too absolute... (none / 0) (#27)
by The Mad Scientist on Sun May 5th, 2002 at 07:02:54 AM PST
...otherwise quite correct.

Newspapers aren't too eager to lose advertisers. The related decisions are balanced between journalistic honesty and business interests.

Journalists should be doing more of their own reporting. Watergate was the prime example of what to do. However, this is very costly to do, and not every subject has (or is willing to sacrifice) the resources. So real, in-depth reporting is far less commmon than it should be.

Online journalists don't usually travel to war zones (keyword: resources). However, the citizens who had the bad luck and are now in the war zones and have the good luck and are online sometimes do first-hand reporting. NATO demolition operations in Yugoslavia can serve as an example.

Nike is a chapter for its own. If you tear off the "swooshtika", you get quite common-grade clothing with nothing special expect the price tag. I never understood the reasons about brand-name clothing; the nonames I use are more than satisfying.

Off-the-cuff remarks of the CEOs are funny and often show the inner "logic" of their otherwise illogically looking decisions.

Politech is worth of every cent if you don't expect more than pointers to scattered sources and a little of discussion. As I am somehow time-strapped, I can't read all the online rags and so I greatly appreciate the digests and headlines. Or do you know a better alternative?

Another thing about internet new sites (none / 0) (#35)
by gNinja on Sun May 5th, 2002 at 10:50:40 PM PST
They rush everything without taking time to check the facts. Declan (by his own estimation) took about an hour to write and publish an article that was both factually inacurate and had a huge negative impact on people's lives.

With a newspaper at least authors have a day to think about what they are doing and even get feedback before publishing. With a magazine authors have even longer periods for research.

I'm not saying that magazine and newspapers are allways great. I am saying that internet news sites are generally less trust worthy.

Which is both bad and good. (none / 0) (#39)
by The Mad Scientist on Mon May 6th, 2002 at 06:14:54 AM PST
In the case of Politechbot, what I am subscribed to is the digests, moderated excerpts of a realtime discussion.

Yes, the publication is rushed. Yes, it is bad as it is often inaccurate. Yes, it is good as it is fast.

This isn't a "standard" news organization. The readers can serve as the editors too - just hit Reply and argue out. If you want more accuracy, wait for a while as more details will get published.

as a news maker (none / 0) (#50)
by gNinja on Tue May 7th, 2002 at 08:05:55 AM PST
I'd prefer to have accurate news or no news at all. Do you have any idea how a false news story can harm a persons reputation?

As a news user... (none / 0) (#54)
by The Mad Scientist on Sat May 11th, 2002 at 11:31:29 AM PST
I prefer fast news that are corrected on-fly. With full awareness that I can get on the ugly end of the inaccuracies anytimes. It's a risk I am more than willing to accept.

Yes, it is (none / 0) (#11)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri May 3rd, 2002 at 08:45:20 PM PST
The TV companies are providing a service - quality programming. The price? Ads. If you watch TV shows but not the ads, you are receiving a service without paying for it. Thus, you are stealing. Why is that so difficult for you to understand?

Is there any honest person left in the world... (none / 0) (#13)
by The Mad Scientist on Fri May 3rd, 2002 at 10:33:28 PM PST
...who would obediently watch through all the advertising, paying their fair price for the "quality programming"[1]?

[1] Sometimes it looks rather that the "programming" means "conditioning". But it is a subject for a whole different discussion.

I see ads (none / 0) (#19)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat May 4th, 2002 at 10:58:00 AM PST
Advertisers no perfectly well that there is no guarentee that people will actually see their ads. That's why they try to make them as funny/stupid/etc as possible. Hopefully people will remember them and tell their "buddies" and such. Besides I watch ads all the time. Not during those 2 and a half minute spots called commercials. I see them during the actual shows. It's called "product placement".

Next time pay attention during a tv show. Watch and listen to how many time you see a Coke/Pepsi/Shasta can or hear someone say "it's Miller time!"

Sorry to do this, but... (none / 0) (#16)
by budlite on Sat May 4th, 2002 at 07:34:25 AM PST
...what, exactly, are RedHat stealing?

Another sequel... (none / 0) (#30)
by The Mad Scientist on Sun May 5th, 2002 at 04:35:25 PM PST
...this time not from Politechbot but from Risks Digest.

See here for more.

On a side note, the columnist mentions blocking of fastforward on DVD players, by some codes in the content. I have no experience with DVDs as far, is it true? If so, is there a way around? A related question, more interesting for the crowd here, is if it is morally right or wrong to attempt to get back the control that the corporations don't want us to have, if it means to display contempt for the Law.

they don't care (none / 0) (#52)
by detikon on Tue May 7th, 2002 at 12:32:13 PM PST
If they had their way the only button on your DVD or CD players would be play. Of course they don't care that in playing with the technology they make everything you bought obsolete.

Go away or I will replace you with a very small shell script.

Jamie Kellner was right. (none / 0) (#31)
by RobotSlave on Sun May 5th, 2002 at 05:50:26 PM PST
It is stealing, Mad Geek.

No, it's not illegal. No, you didn't sign a contract to watch commercials in exchange for your entertainment. On a moral level, however, skipping commercials is, in fact stealing-- taking something without paying the known price.

Technology is not the only way to accomplish this theft, of course. People who can not afford PVRs or the monthly subscription fees can easily mute the commercials, or wander off to use the bathroom or fix a snack during a commercial break. Most only do things like this a fraction of the time, though, because most people are emotionally secure enough to recognize manipulative advertising and disregard it, thus enabling them to enjoy or ponder the wider significance of a given spot. But I digress.

The point here is that an elite, the owners of PVRs, are using these new tools to engage in what morally can only be called theft of television programming. So long as this group remains small, the thieves will probably continue to get away with it, and other viewers will be unaffected.

If this group grows, however, broadcasters and advertisers will most certainly react, and their reaction will result in a situation far less enjoyable than the one we have today.

If theft via commercial-skipping becomes widespread, then you cn bet that we will see a return to the early days of broadcasting, when advertising was simply worked into the script of the regular programming. There will be no commercial breaks. Instead, programming will be filled with seamless product endorsements. Not only will this compromise the viewing experience for PVR owners-- it will screw things up for everyone else, too.

So go ahead, steal your television. Put one over The Man, for a while. Be a rebel. And be ready for a world of resentment and anger from all the people who were never so insecure as to feel that they had to "protect" themselves from 30-second television adverts.

© 2002, RobotSlave. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

I'd expect no less from you, 'Slave. (none / 0) (#32)
by because it isnt on Sun May 5th, 2002 at 06:55:51 PM PST
On a moral level, however, skipping commercials is, in fact stealing-- taking something without paying the known price.

Absolute bollocks, 'Slave. The "known price" of advertising is the price charged to advertisers for the privilege of having their advert appear in a public place. There is absolutely no requirement for any person to look at the advert, moral or otherwise. There is especially no requirement for anyone rendering a copy of the public place to keep the adverts. It's their choice if they do or don't.

Now, if you didn't know already, VCRs let you skip to any part of the tape at any time, because they've already recorded the entire program. Advertisers know this, and they also know that only silly people will actually "sit through" an advert slot recorded on tape, as they can magically zip through to 30 seconds later in an instant. So any recorded copies of an advert slot are already "lost", regardless of whether the ads are removed automatically by the recorder, or manually skipped by the viewer.

There will be no commercial breaks. Instead, people will eat delicious, tangy and refreshing Hypermints.

Indeed they will. Mmm, I could just do with a packet of lovely, zingy Hypermints myself! -- because it isn't

Deletion Notice (none / 0) (#42)
by RobotSlave on Mon May 6th, 2002 at 02:01:05 PM PST
Two comments by user "The Mad Scientist," entitled "Yeah, sure?" and "Some bastard erased my comment twice" have been deleted for violation of copyright held by user "RobotSlave." The original content in the deleted comments was essentially the same as that republished in a previous Deletion Notice.

© 2002, RobotSlave. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

RobotSlave, (none / 0) (#44)
by The Mad Scientist on Mon May 6th, 2002 at 03:43:48 PM PST
you are fucking annoying.

Except if you want to display how unbearable the world will be when the Copyright Cops will get what they want; then you are doing stellar job.

As a note, you erased my comment three times; the third was a verbatim copy of the second, as I stored it in a file, the second was similar to the first one.

The link you give out isn't accessible from anywhere from the comment tree, except from your infamous Deletion Notice.

The dialog nature of my post reacting to yours is completely lost by your "editing". I am considering it an infringement, as quoting is common practice of the Net, proven by decades of Usenet.

Please. Go home. You were funny the first and second time.

Hear Hear (none / 0) (#48)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon May 6th, 2002 at 05:17:46 PM PST
This guy is a complete dork.

Thank you. (none / 0) (#49)
by RobotSlave on Tue May 7th, 2002 at 02:08:15 AM PST
The interim committee in the War Against Copyright Violation has been too busy to address minor technical concerns, but you may rest assured that all of these details will be resolved by the War Department, once it has been sworn in and set to work.

© 2002, RobotSlave. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

ah yes (none / 0) (#51)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue May 7th, 2002 at 12:29:36 PM PST
They have been far too busy letting the editors and other "friends" get away with copyright violations while jerking off all over their Playboys because they couldn't get laid if they paid for it.

Turning the TV Off Is Stealing, Too (5.00 / 1) (#46)
by doofus on Mon May 6th, 2002 at 03:57:39 PM PST
It costs money to broadcast that signal, you know, whether you are being "entertained" by it or not.


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