Forced Advertising — Copyright and Patent Laws

According to this CNET news article:

An invention from Royal Philips Electronics prevents TV viewers from switching the channel during commercials or fast-forwarding past commercials when watching DVR content.

Can you believe it? This would make it impossible to change the channel during a commercial. How crazy is that?

I don’t understand how patent and copyright laws have been skewed into what they are today. Orson Scott Card has a few articles about the copyright laws and how they have become perverted. It’s geared towards MP3s, but applied to many types of media. He’s a copyright holder, an artist… but yet he gets it. Not like Orrin Hatch. Don’t get me wrong, I usually like Orrin Hatch, but he’s totally wrong on this issue.

The current patent system is another joke, er…. I mean, issue. With our current patent laws, you have stupid patents like Amazon’s 1-Click Checkout. Is that really something that should be patentable? I understand the concept of patenting an idea and implementation of that idea, but there are so many ways to implement a system to allow customers to purchase something with one click on a web site.

Now something that is of substance should be patented. Ski designs, mechanical components, pharmaceuticals (although this contributes to my last rant/post on healthcare) and physical products are patentable. They have physical components… ingredients, gears, motors, etc. But in the digital realm, it’s a different story. Someone can patent a concept that is just logical to anyone else, but the US Government will grant them a patent and allow them to sue anyone who tries to implement that concept.

So back to the forced advertising… Philips contents that they have just built the technology. The electronics manufacturer now has the ability to use that technology or not. Too bad they are an electronics manufacturer as well and can implement their own patent technology. And will they… of course. Just to make the RIAA and MPAA happy because they know who has the money (and thus power) in the industry.

So what can we do about it?

Ok… I must now get off my soap box!

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