IBM, Fox Working To Make TV Content Less Useful

from the here's-an-idea... dept

It’s amazing how much effort some companies are going through to make their products less useful to customers. The latest is an effort by IBM and Fox Entertainment Group (patent pending, of course…) to take the broadcast flag (which might not be legal) one step further and add the ability to block transfers outside of a local viewing area. Now, there is some good in hearing that this is happening — because it shows that the industry at least admits that there are some cases in which sending a TV show over the internet makes sense, even if it’s very limited. In fact, the main reason they’re working on this is because some were afraid that the all out “no copying over the internet” broadcast flag would prevent people from sending a TV show from their DVR to their computer, or from one TV to another, or some other similar local area transfer. Of course, an easier way to handle that is to just remove the broadcast flag altogether, saving not only the time and the money, but the annoyance from viewers who are trying to do something legitimate and are stymied by restrictive technology. Once again, though, it’s worth pointing out that the TV they’re talking about is broadcast TV which is (oh yeah!) already being sent out for free over the airwaves and which is supported by commercials. In other words, this is TV that the companies should want to make as easy to share as possible because it drives more people to watch, more people to see the commercials, and, thus, more advertisers interested in buying ad space.

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