April 20, 2006 | By Derek Slater

Philips Patents DRM To Stop Commercial Skipping, Changing Channels

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.


Deeplinks Topics

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

"Surveillance has wrought unspeakable damage to civil society," says EFF's @sheeyahshee on KZSC UC-Santa Cruz https://soundcloud.com/kzsc/i...

Feb 27 @ 4:46pm

Apply to work with the EFF team defending users and their digital rights. We have six open positions. https://www.eff.org/about/opp...

Feb 27 @ 4:18pm

"Everyone wants to be allowed to fix their stuff" says @iFixit's Kyle Wiens. Why are big tech companies fighting it? https://motherboard.vice.com/...

Feb 27 @ 4:15pm
JavaScript license information