Google Seeks Patent For Required Commercial Viewing

from the pissing-off-viewers? dept

theodp writes "I don't want my GTV. Excerpts from a newly-published Google patent application for Targeted Video Advertising: [1] 'Users may be allowed to skip particular commercials, but required to watch or accept a set number of commercials in order to watch a program. The required number may be, for example, a set integer, such as 11 commercials.' [2] 'The system...may also require the user to fully watch at least four promotions before the program will continue.' [3] 'The profile includes some demographic information of the user, such as income, age, and gender. This information may be obtained when the user registers for the video service.' [4] 'A commercial with the interactive format is an advertisement that requires user interaction to be completed (e.g., a survey).' Yikes."

This is only at the application stage, but it's difficult to see this getting anywhere. There are already interstitial advertising systems online that do exactly what appears to be described in this patent. But, even more to the point, in the past when companies have patented concepts such as preventing people from skipping over commercials, the backlash has been pretty loud.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    CVPunk, Apr 30th, 2008 @ 4:30pm


    Blow up your GTV??

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Jason Phillips (profile), Apr 30th, 2008 @ 4:37pm

    Let's hope. . .

    Let's hope that this is a patent being applied for as a defensive posture only. Even then -- wow, really.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    haha, Apr 30th, 2008 @ 4:46pm

    Maybe google isn't planning on using this... they just don't want others to lol

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Pete Dixon, Apr 30th, 2008 @ 4:51pm

    Double ugh

    I haven't owned a TV in years because I couldn't handle the distraction of being forced to attend to meaningless, unwanted drivel. If Google intends on pursuing this is better be presenting highly targeted information even more interesting than what I was intending to watch.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Willton, Apr 30th, 2008 @ 7:13pm


    Conformity - It's the one who's different that gets left out in the cold

    Well, patent clearance is not an unusual motive for doing something like this. Although I must say, if the application isn't enabling, it may not do them much good either way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Willton, Apr 30th, 2008 @ 7:18pm


    Why would patenting this type of technology infuriate television viewers? I would think that using this technology would be what pisses people off, and any effort to exclude companies from using this technology would probably be cheered.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    ScaredOfTheMan, Apr 30th, 2008 @ 9:18pm

    I think this one is to battle MS (who have one the same)

    I remember seeing an MS patent on this subject about a year ago, I hope googles is just defense for the coming patent apocalypse

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2008 @ 6:24am


    as everyone knows - not watching ads is stealing tv.
    Now days, everything is an ad

    In other news, Barcalounger has applied for a patent on a chair which activates viewer restraints upon sensing an advertisement thus forcing the occupant to watch. Also included is a mechanism to force the eye lids open and the correct head positioning.

    There is a new patent application which stops people from talking during the ads.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2008 @ 5:54am


    i just shake my head in disgust

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    snowburn14, May 2nd, 2008 @ 11:02am

    Re: Unbelieveable!

    I don't understand what's so onerous about this, especially since it's still just a patent application and not something they're actually doing yet. Not that I have any doubts they'll at least attempt it, but still.
    If you don't like having to watch ads, your alternatives will ultimately come down to paying for content in some way (including the possibility of paying for an ad-free version, or paying in man-hours to find ways of getting around the ads) or content made available as a not-for-profit service. And guess which of your choices is going to be lowest in average quality... And please note this is obviously an overall generalization, to which there are and will be exceptions.
    Hey, wait, that's exactly how it's always been on actual tv since the advent of cable (and before, without the option to pay for ad-free content). Wow. What an outrage.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    A N Other, May 6th, 2008 @ 2:09am

    Oh well

    Bit torrent anyone ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.