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New technology that forces viewrs to watch commercials.

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 
They never learn.

The time has come to overthrow the MPAA!

Ditto the cable companies and all other media providers that are too dense to get it. How many of you DVR owners are prepared to pay an additional fee to get your device to do what you bought it for in the first place? Which of you are ready to be barred from flipping to another show during a commercial break?

Yesterday, technology freed us from commercials. Tomorrow, technology binds us to them. As for today, I say we fight. Commercial broadcasts must go the way of the dinosaur. I am starting to believe that mass pirating of broadcast media is the only way to get their attention. I don't really have any solutions. I am just royally pissed off!

There will be a combination pity party and whine fest at my house in the center of Pissville square. It is on the corner of Rant Blvd. and Rave St. See you there.
Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
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Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
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post #2 of 68
Quote:
Originally posted by Mac Voyer
They never learn.

The time has come to overthrow the MPAA!

Ditto the cable companies and all other media providers that are too dense to get it. How many of you DVR owners are prepared to pay an additional fee to get your device to do what you bought it for in the first place? Which of you are ready to be barred from flipping to another show during a commercial break?

Yesterday, technology freed us from commercials. Tomorrow, technology binds us to them. As for today, I say we fight. Commercial broadcasts must go the way of the dinosaur. I am starting to believe that mass pirating of broadcast media is the only way to get their attention. I don't really have any solutions. I am just royally pissed off!

There will be a combination pity party and whine fest at my house in the center of Pissville square. It is on the corner of Rant Blvd. and Rave St. See you there.


The only possible way I will ever possibly agree with this is if it means you dont have to pay a cable subscription or anything like that ie TV becomes free.

But if the want to make us pay for the privelidge of fastforwarding comercials ontop of our cable subscription then **** them.

stu
post #3 of 68
This is the biggest load of crap I've ever seen. What's next? You can't mute the TV while it's showing advertisements? It will be a sad sad day if this ever ends up in my living room.

Quote:
"The invention gives viewers a choice to watch an entire movie with or without ads. You need both options in order to make that happen."

The sad thing is we already have that option. The only thing this invention could be used for is to make me pay more for what I already have.
post #4 of 68
Next: Technology that stops you from getting up from your seat during commercials.
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post #5 of 68
I'm not worried. Television is on a thin thread with me anyways. I could and would drop cable like a bad habit if they even made a cursory movement towards something like this.
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post #6 of 68
Quote:
Originally posted by Mac Voyer
They never learn.

The time has come to overthrow the MPAA!

Take it easy. It is actually illegal to fast-forward through advertisements. It has always been, even well before the DMCA was even a thought in someone's mind. In the 80's Sony fought a huge court battle over the legalities of the VCR, the result of which helped solidify what is "personal fair use" of copyrighted materials.

Anyway, ads aren't all that bad since they pay for the costs of Television program production. If you want all TV to be done on a pay-per-view basis, then sure, it makes sense to get all worked up about this stuff. Personally, I'd rather pay nothing and sit through the ads. I'll admit, though, that I'm weird: I appreciate the educational value of ads. There are times where I have a problem that is solved by the product in some ad, which I wouldn't have otherwise known about. That anecodote, however, is not something I wish to debate over, since it's not my intention to make my pro-ad stance a matter of one person's valuation of the advertisements themselves versus another's.
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post #7 of 68
Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
It is actually illegal to fast-forward through advertisements. It has always been, even well before the DMCA was even a thought in someone's mind.

Care to cite a source on that?
post #8 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
Take it easy. It is actually illegal to fast-forward through advertisements.

What dat u say?

Please tell me how fast forwarding through material that was legally recorded on a legally purchased machine on a legally acquired media (tape or disk) that I personally own and using in my own home is illegal? Forgive the poor sentence structure but you have got to be joking. Please provide a single shred of evidence for this that does not come from Sony's wet dreams.
Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
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Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
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post #9 of 68
Time-shifting programming (recording for viewing at an alternate time) is generally considered acceptable usage of VCR technology. IIRC, this is the standard that Sony agreed to for early VCR/copyright lawsuits.

Some stories have come out recently that would limit DVR/TiVO to a one-or-two-week window (leveraging on the precedent of the time-shifting past, but setting new limits). BBC parks all their shows online for free download for a week after air, then they get pulled and archived.

I could see a case that fast forwarding the commercials is just another form of timeshifting. I'll watch them later... much later.

The other solution is to stick to public television... PBS/CBC/BBC/etc. brilliant documentaries and shows like Frontline and Nova, all without commercial break except for the generic 'funded in part by...' at the front and back.

UK teevee has quite strict prohibitions against product placement, particularly at the BBC (which is supposed to be commercial free as a publicly funded broadcaster). The UK advertising standards folks wouldn't put up with much of the content from US shows (in some cases insisting on a blurring of the offending logos), in other cases calling for full edits of the name.

Otherwise, the in-episode ads that compose the bulk of almost any Makeover show (home, wardrobe, etc), and the product placement of shows like 24, or even the bloody Price is Right, will become the next battleground.

I remember the days when shows had generic 'Beer' or 'Catsup' products (before the generic food craze, too).



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post #10 of 68
Thread Starter 
Seems to me that every VCR and DVR I have ever seen or used has a FF button on it. In fact, the best VCR I ever had was made by Sony. Not only that, they had the best remote control I ever used. It also seems to me that Phillips made the first Tivo box. It was a 14 hr. unit. I owned it along with the lifetime subscription. Phillips, along with Tivo, revolutionized time shifting. Phillips is a device manufacturer, not a content producer. Why would they stab their consumer purchasing base in the back and get in bed with the enemy? There has got to be more to the story than what we have.
Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
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Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
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post #11 of 68


"OK, I'll pay the fee! I'll pay the fee!"
post #12 of 68
Quote:
Originally posted by mynamehere
Next: Technology that stops you from getting up from your seat during commercials.

This just in: The commercials won´t end until you have bought the products. Next generation televisions will have build in bar code scanners you have to use to prove you have done so.
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post #13 of 68
"We just provide the technology. It's up to the broadcaster to decide on how they use the technology"

and it's up to the consumer if they want to buy the technology. All it takes is for one stupid company to use the technology and their competition to not use it and the stupid company keeps losing customers until they realise it's not a good move so they too stop using the technology.

I really wouldn't mind advertising as much if advertisers were good at it. When I see those funny TV commercial shows, you see how entertaining ads can be. I can watch a whole hours worth of them. But most of the time these days you just get really stupid ads that are either produced by idiots or deliberately stupid so you remember them.

What I don't understand is where advertisers get the idea that TV ads are effective. I haven't once seen an ad that has persuaded me to buy something. If I want shampoo, will I buy the kind that some dubbed airhead actress tells me is the best? NO. When I buy stuff, I do my own research (usually online) as to what product suits me best.
post #14 of 68
Quote:
Originally posted by Mac Voyer
What dat u say?

Please tell me how fast forwarding through material that was legally recorded on a legally purchased machine on a legally acquired media (tape or disk) that I personally own and using in my own home is illegal? Forgive the poor sentence structure but you have got to be joking. Please provide a single shred of evidence for this that does not come from Sony's wet dreams.

Sony doesn't care what you do once you buy the VCR. It's the TV networks that care.

For those who want a source, google something along the lines of "Sony VCR copyright court." OR, for that matter, "Copyright derivative work fast forward." The same issue came up when the TiVo came out, and for this reason TiVo was forced to remove their "advance 30 seconds" feature. The beef is that by fast-forwarding you are creating a "derivative work" of a private, copyrighted product. That is illegal. Sony got off the hook with the VCR because the court(s) found that the VCR had a lot of perfectly-legal value, and that its ability to skirt the law was more of a side-effect rather than a feature.

If you want me to baby-feed you with quotes from the actual court cases, too bad. If you're legitimately curious, the internet is a powerful tool. Hell, you can probably get a definitive answer on the Wikipedia alone.
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post #15 of 68
Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
For those who want a source, google something along the lines of "Sony VCR copyright court." OR, for that matter, "Copyright derivative work fast forward."

If you want me to baby-feed you with quotes from the actual court cases, too bad. If you're legitimately curious, the internet is a powerful tool. Hell, you can probably get a definitive answer on the Wikipedia alone.

Ummm...you are being a little wimpy here...you said:

Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
It is actually illegal to fast-forward through advertisements. It has always been, even well before the DMCA was even a thought in someone's mind.

If you are going to assert something with such certainty, you should be willing to provide the citations rather than send someone on a scavenger hunt.

post #16 of 68
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
If you are going to assert something with such certainty, you should be willing to provide the citations rather than send someone on a scavenger hunt.

It's more that I don't really care if you want to know or not. If you don't believe me, it doesn't bother me much because we're dealing with facts and not a matter of my opinion. If I were bringing up the laws of electromagnetism, I'd probably tell you to read a textbook on your own time, just the same.
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post #17 of 68
Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
we're dealing with facts and not a matter of my opinion.

So you say.

Whatever.
post #18 of 68
Quote:
Originally posted by Marvin
I really wouldn't mind advertising as much if advertisers were good at it. When I see those funny TV commercial shows, you see how entertaining ads can be. I can watch a whole hours worth of them. But most of the time these days you just get really stupid ads that are either produced by idiots or deliberately stupid so you remember them.

The repeats can get fairly tedious as well. You can only watch the same Capital One Ad so many times.
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post #19 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
It's more that I don't really care if you want to know or not. If you don't believe me, it doesn't bother me much because we're dealing with facts and not a matter of my opinion. If I were bringing up the laws of electromagnetism, I'd probably tell you to read a textbook on your own time, just the same.

I just don't believe that I am breaking the law every time I forward through commercials with my DVR provided by the cable company. No one has ever hinted at or suggested that such activities were illegal. There was no warning label on the box saying that I could only forward through shows and not ads. By the way, I'm not so sure about electromagnetism either now that you mention it.
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post #20 of 68
Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
The beef is that by fast-forwarding you are creating a "derivative work" of a private, copyrighted product.

That doesn't even pass the "giggle test".

Fast forwarding does not "create" anything at all (let alone a "derivative work"). Why not changing the volume setting? Rewinding to see a scene again? Pausing to go make popcorn? Fall asleep during the middle and waking towards the end? Closing my eyes during scenes I care to avoid?

Those are identical types of "derivations" (if you will)...but they derivations of the viewing process. They do not alter the work in any inherent manner.

If that is the premise that your "fast forwarding through commercials is illegal and always has been" statement is based on...it is a shaky foundation...heck, it isn't even a foundation.

The manner in which I interact with something does not modify it or create a "derivative work". It may modify my perception or reception or interpretation of it. And if that is illegal, then we're saying that a creator has absolute authority and control over the interpretation of his/her creation. That's dumb. Not very "post-modern" either.

Now, if I were to take a recorded version, remove the commercials and distribute it (for $ or not)...then you might have a point.
post #21 of 68
Are you the court? No. So your opinion on the legality of this business means little. You continue to mistake me for the source of this litigation, or at least as a supporter of it. Personally, I don't have any problem with people fast forwarding through advertisements, but my opinion doesn't matter here either. This isn't an argument or even a debate: it's me telling you the facts and you denying them obtusely.

The issue is not whether you think the law is fair, and you've indicated a few times that you find that it's not. The issue is whether an American court found that fast-forwarding can at times be a violation of copyright law. So I suggest that you do that research instead of blathering inconsequentially.
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post #22 of 68
Thread Starter 
I can't tell if you are just having us on or if you really mean it. Either way, thanks for the comic relief. If FF was illegal, we would have little labels on all home electronics that are capable of it. The labels would say "Don't steal music and movies and don't FF through commercials. If you need more proof, consider this. Apple has not been sued for it yet. Neither has Microsoft, Comcast, Tivo, or any of the VCR manufacturers out there. I don't know if you are from around these parts. But if it was illegal, someone would have cashed in on it by now.
Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
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Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
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post #23 of 68
Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
Are you the court? No. So your opinion on the legality of this business means little.

Cite the case that arrived at this foolish conclusion.

Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
You continue to mistake me for the source of this litigation, or at least as a supporter of it.

Actually, no I don't. But since you haven't cited any sources for the position you have asserted (and as "fact" I might add)...I have no choice but to assume that you are using this dubious reasoning ("derivative work") as the basis for the illegality of fast forwardng through commercials.

Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
it's me telling you the facts

And not supporting them with any citations.

Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
The issue is whether an American court found that fast-forwarding can at times be a violation of copyright law. So I suggest that you do that research instead of blathering inconsequentially.

You asserted. You back it up. Simple.
post #24 of 68
Quote:
Originally posted by Mac Voyer
I can't tell if you are just having us on or if you really mean it.

He's hand-waving...and hoping we'll buy it. At this point he has given us no reason to.
post #25 of 68
On a more positive note, if they start flagging commercials, it is only a matter of time before PVR's like MythTV detect and automatically remove them. (More accurately than today)
horrid misuse of cool technology
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post #26 of 68
Ages ago we had an early Sony Trinitron 'portable'... just like this one


Aside from being a damn fine TV even 20 years later, this set seemed to pick up a few dozen pixels of broadcast signal outside of the normal "tv safe" crop of most sets. Blame the clever engineers, or the electron gun creeping out onto the slight curve at the edge of the picture tube, or...

The net effect was that in the extreme top right corner of the screen, where most televisions (including our other tv) weren't picking up (but network centres and affiliate rebroadcasters were), we could see a flashing white cursor which appeared between 5 to 10 seconds before a break. This signal is for the network or affiliate to prep their commercials for insertion.

We would always know when the suspense was about to be held, or a fluids break was pending. A broadcast component of the medium was informing us when a commercial was due, enabling avoidance of their sponsor, for anyone whose set scanned outside of the tv safe zone and could detect the edit cues.

Most networks have predictable clocks with set ad breaks. Does knowledge of the break between 21 and 23 past the hour mean they are complicit in or aiding and abetting us in skipping commercials?
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post #27 of 68
SONY CORP. v. UNIVERSAL CITY STUDIOS, INC

You seem to revel in the idea of a pissing contest. You can thank me later.

Enjoy. Once you click the link, maybe you'll realize why I said that I don't want to spend a long time doing your homework for you: legalese. If I were actually a lawyer, or had any amount of law school training, I might be able to do a better job deciphering.

Footnote 6 shows what a copyright owner can do, and inversely what someone who doesn't own a copyright can't do. Somewhere in there (command-F for "fast-forward") there's a bit regarding the decision, as it was found, that the "VTR" does not sufficiently violate the derivative work as long as fast-forwarding through advertisements isn't a very exact practice (which it's not). Advancing has slipped through the cracks, I suppose, since you technically still see the ads.

There's a great deal of gray area in the whole verdict, but at the end of the day it's illegal to bypass advertising on copyrighted television programs.
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post #28 of 68
Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
SONY CORP. v. UNIVERSAL CITY STUDIOS, INC

See. That wasn't so hard.

Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
You seem to revel in the idea of a pissing contest.

Not really. But if someone asserts something as "fact"...I revel in calling them on it until they prove it. In my view they have an obligation to in fact. Sorry if you don't like being called on such things and expect everyone to just accept what you claim as the un-challenged truth.

Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
You can thank me later.

Thanks (for doing what you should/could have done like 5 posts ago).


Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
as it was found, that the "VTR" does not sufficiently violate the derivative work as long as fast-forwarding through advertisements isn't a very exact practice (which it's not). Advancing has slipped through the cracks, I suppose, since you technically still see the ads.

I'll read through it when I have some time.

However, what I basically hear you saying is that you were wrong about the supposed "fact" of the illegality of fast forwarding through commercials because it created a "derivative work".

Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
There's a great deal of gray area in the whole verdict, but at the end of the day it's illegal to bypass advertising on copyrighted television programs.

We'll see.
post #29 of 68
Do you guys think that TV "should be free"? It costs like a million dollars just to film a half hour program, before you pay the actors. Do you think they just do that so you can enjoy it, or is like every other business on earth where they want to make money?

I realize that you have already paid your cable bill, but each station gets like 10 cents from your cable bill for the whole month. Most of your bill goes to the cable company for providing a communications service, much like your phone bill costs around $30

It's true that you have never before been told "You MUST watch these commercials" but that is only because it wasn't necessary before. Most people were watching the commercials anyway, but with recorders the situation has changed.

This ain't a commie country. If you want to watch Law and Order, you have to pay the people who created it and produced it. They don't have some obligation to make it for you cause you think it's really cool. You have to follow whatever agreement they ask of you. If you don't want to watch the commercials, then pay $1 to download it from iTunes.
post #30 of 68
Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
but at the end of the day it's illegal to bypass advertising on copyrighted television programs.

I don't see that conclusion clearly expressed at all in the document you posted. In fact, nothing even close.
post #31 of 68
Quote:
Originally posted by spindler
If you want to watch Law and Order, you have to pay the people who created it and produced it. They don't have some obligation to make it for you cause you think it's really cool. You have to follow whatever agreement they ask of you. If you don't want to watch the commercials, then pay $1 to download it from iTunes.

Are you suggesting (assuming I don't have the technology to fast-forward through commercials) that I ought to even be compelled to sit on my couch and watch them...not leave the room to get a snack or use the washroom...because well...it is my obligation for having the audacity to watch the program (broadcast over the public airwaves) in the first place?
post #32 of 68
Well, actually yes I am. I am suggesting that you take into account that they make television programs in return for pay. That pay depends on you watching the commercials. So you should reasonably be expected to watch, say, 50% of commercials as naturally happens. You should NOT click a button to skip past the commercials.

Yes, absolutely. If the company that makes the television program says that "The way you pay for this product is by watching the commercials.", then you should only watch THEIR program that THEY made that belongs to THEM and NOT YOU, after you meet that agreement. An honorable person doesn't take something off someone else's hands without meeting the agreement that they ask.

You have never been required to watch EVERY commercial, because as I said, they were satisfied that you were naturally going to watch a high percentage anyway. But if they had said "You MUST watch these commercials, at some point in time, maybe later after the program if you don't have the time now.", then yes.

Unless you can prove that television stations have some kind of monopoly or way around competition and they are extorting unfair prices or agreements out of you, then you should honor the agreement that they ask.
post #33 of 68
Oh and also the fact that they are "public airwaves" or even cable that you paid for is irrelevant. That is just a delivery mechanism. The product is the television show and that needs to be paid for.
post #34 of 68
Quote:
Originally posted by spindler
Well, actually yes I am. I am suggesting that you take into account that they make television programs in return for pay. That pay depends on you watching the commercials. So you should reasonably be expected to watch, say, 50% of commercials as naturally happens. You should NOT click a button to skip past the commercials.



Quote:
Originally posted by spindler
Yes, absolutely. If the company that makes the television program says that "The way you pay for this product is by watching the commercials.", then you should only watch THEIR program that THEY made that belongs to THEM and NOT YOU, after you meet that agreement. An honorable person doesn't take something off someone else's hands without meeting the agreement that they ask.



Quote:
Originally posted by spindler
Unless you can prove that television stations have some kind of monopoly or way around competition and they are extorting unfair prices or agreements out of you, then you should honor the agreement that they ask.

Well...they are using the public air waves.

Second...the risk broadcasters take (as part of their business model) is that I won't watch any of their ads and will still watch the show.

This has nothing to do with my (or anyone else's) "honorable" conduct in some sort of implied contract with the broadcaster.
post #35 of 68
Quote:
Originally posted by spindler
Oh and also the fact that they are "public airwaves" or even cable that you paid for is irrelevant.

Not really.
post #36 of 68
You didn't really provide any sort of response for what I wrote. You just selfishly scoffed at the idea that you would be required to do anything in return for what you were getting.
post #37 of 68
Quote:
Originally posted by spindler
You didn't really provide any sort of response for what I wrote. You just selfishly scoffed at the idea that you would be required to do anything in return for what you were getting.

Not really. The idea that anyone should be compelled to watch any portion of something that they would choose not to as plainly laughable. I was just succinct in saying that.

And...you must have missed this:

Quote:
Second...the risk broadcasters take (as part of their business model) is that I won't watch any of their ads and will still watch the show.
post #38 of 68
I notice that you haven't responded to the wrongness of your illegality of commercial skipping bit.
post #39 of 68
In other threads, you seem to be a reasonable fellow, and you claim to be interested in morality, and every serious person knows that morality is about following rules and being fair. So let's take this from the top.

First of all, the fact that you are USED TO being able to change the channel or skip the commercials is irrelevant to what is right.

Let me give you an example. I lived in a house where seven people split the electricity evenly seven ways. Then one guy started doing like seven times as much laundry as it had something to do with his hobby. When we suggested that he pay more, he said "But we've always just split the bill, even though we never used EXACTLY the same amount of electricity.

Splitting the bill evenly was based on the assumption that people would use about the same electricity, but times changed, invalidating the basis of the old way.

Not being REQUIRED to watch the television commercials was based on the fact when there was only seven channels and no remote that you would wind up watching a good amount of commercials anyway.

Once you have a technology that can completely skip past the commercials, this invalidates the assumption that the whole thing was based on.

You never, ever, ever, had some inherent and inalienable right to watch a television program that cost money to make for free, with no responsibilities. It just worked out that way based on the natural tendency to watch commercials anyway.

And by the way, you seem to talk about right and wrong in so many other threads. Well let's go over some right and wrong. There is NO difference between a physical object, like a potato or a pizza, and someone's ideas, like the song they created.

Before you take THEIR product from them, you have to meet the agreement they ask of you. With a potato or a pizza, since it is a physical object, you can make sure it can't get out the door and pay policemen to make sure no one runs out the door with it.

There is ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE with a song or television show. Just because there is no way to hire a policeman to follow the songs around, that doesn't mean that each person shouldn't pay what is required.

Now you talk about morality alot. Now how about this: An honorable person doesn't take something off someone else's hand unless they meet the agreement. If U2 says "You can have these front row seats for $30, but they are only for you and not to be sold for profit.", then you should only buy them if you are willing to meet the agreement.

The only exception is a monopoly, like someone charging you $1000 for a glass of water because your car broke down in the middle of the desert.
post #40 of 68
"Not really. The idea that anyone should be compelled to watch any portion of something that they would choose not to as plainly laughable. I was just succinct in saying that."

A person must be COMPELLED to pay for the product they are using. If you don't want to have to watch commercials, that's OK, pay like 15 cents or something for the advertising dollars that would have been made.

You enjoyed the episode of The Simpsons for the 20 minutes of programming. Why shouldn't you be compelled to pay the people who created it?

"Second...the risk broadcasters take (as part of their business model) is that I won't watch any of their ads and will still watch the show."

Why does anyone have to take any "risk" for you because you want to get something for free without paying for it? Why shouldn't the people who made a great show like the Simpsons get paid for it when you watch it? Once again, they have a reasonable right to expect that when you watch The Simpsons for twenty minutes, that you pay for it in some way. THIS IS NOT COMMUNISM. EACH PERSON PAYS FOR HIS OWN THING. This is not some kind of collective "Someone else will pay for it and it will all even out somehow."

You watched a show. You pay for it.

Again, it all worked out BEFORE because on average we all wound up paying enough for it by watching commercials. But when people intentionally cut out the commercials, the thing that pays for it, they are skipping out of their obligations.
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