Copyright schmopyright

In a move that will definitely help to make TV-watching more viewer-friendly for people who hate silly or irrelevant ads, like me, the U.S Supreme Court has declined to hear a case on digital video recorder (DVR) technology put forth by network programmers like CNN and TBS against Cablevision, the New York-area cable operator. Cablevision wanted to offer a DVR system whereby viewers could use DVR technology from a server provided by them instead of a separate set-top box. The network programmers submitted that this would mean the cable company would then be making unauthorised use of copyrighted programmes, because people could (gasp!) fast forward ads placed in copyrighted programmes that they run. 

A lower court actually ruled in favour of the CNN/TBS lot (I’m sure that judge doesn’t watch any TV), but the U.S Supreme Court reversed that decision, leading Cablevision to say that the decision may mean that DVRs could become more accessible and they’d consider, for example, allowing advertisers to insert ads into recorded content. 

To me that completely defeats the purpose of the whole case. If I’m getting a DVR to avoid seeing ads, why would I buy/get access to it from Cablevision if they’re going to take me back to square one just to make some money? I’d be getting shifted wouldn’t I?

Whether or not Cablevision is able to put their awful plan into action, the truth is that crap ads are crap ads. By taking up the cause of advertisers and not seeing that people are likely to be ready to pay to be able to get rid of ads, they are being blind to the reality. Unless some sort of eye-sensor technology is invented that can scan the viewer’s eye and automatically serve up relevant ads, people will hate most ads, period. Or alternatively if all ads cease to be ads and become less commerce and more content. TV ads, other than infomercials, are still very much based on the principle of pure commerce. Till that changes, I’d rather pay NOT to see them if I can afford it. 


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