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Philips Patents DRM To Stop Commercial Skipping, Changing Channels

DEEPLINKS BLOG
April 20, 2006

According to DesignTechnica, Philips has patented a "technology ... [that] would prevent users from changing channels to avoid watching television commercials as well as prevent viewers from fast-forwarding through recorded advertisements."

Why would Philips invent such an absurd restriction when it will never be voluntarily licensed? After all, in a competitive market, technology companies who adopt Philips' patented system will be shunned by customers; no one wants a device that says, "Now improved -- blocks changing channels during commercials!"

Perhaps Philips believes that, at some point in the future, Hollywood might push for a government mandate forcing technology companies to incorporate anti-skipping technology. If that happens, this patent could be the federally-set standard, and tech creators would have to pay Philips every time they want to sell a new device.

Instead of wasting its time with this anti-user opportunism, Philips should focus on building technologies that satisfy its customers.

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