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Programming's a Steal Without Commercials

By® Staff

Originally Posted

Greedy moviemakers and broadcasters have decided that they, not you, should be in control of your DVD movies and television set.

In what sounds like an open invitation to hackers, some DVD movies are being distributed with protection that prevents the user -- the person who bought and paid for the playback machine -- from fast-forwarding through copyright notices and advertising at the beginning of the disc.

Moreover, television broadcasters are sticking out their lower lips and stamping their little feet over hard-disk video recorders that allow the user -- the person who bought and paid for this playback machine, too -- to skip past commercials.

With a catchy turn of phrase, the head of Turner Broadcasting said that users who choose to watch what they want, rather than what he wants, are guilty of theft.

He said -- get this -- "Your contract with the network when you get the show is you're going to watch the spots."

Perhaps he's right, but we don't remember signing any such contract.

The technology reminds us of the old joke: "This plane is being piloted by the most sophisticated robot ever developed, and nothing can go wrong, go wrong, go wrong, go wrong, go wrong ..."

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