back to article IBM to shove ads onto DVDs

IBM hopes to slip commercials onto your DVDs. Big Blue has asked the US Patent Office for the exclusive rights to a "system and method of providing advertisements during DVD playback." If this thing ever shows up in your DVD player, your discs won't be ad-free - unless you shell out some cash for some sort of digital …

COMMENTS

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  1. Alan Gregson
    Thumb Down

    duh!!

    Do they not understand that the popularity of pop-up blockers mean that consumers are not happy about having adverts forced down our necks.

    Perhaps there's a gap in the market for ad-blockers on DVD players

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Typos

    'Big Blue has asked the US Patent Office for the elusive rights to a "system and method of providing advertisements during DVD playback."'

    Let's hope these rights do indeed prove to be elusive!

    "your discs won't be ad-free using you shell out some cash for some sort of digital certificate"

    "using" = "unless"?

  3. krakead
    Pirate

    The sooner Holywood implodes the better

    It's bad enough with DVDs already, non-skipable ads and trailers before you even get to the menu, but worst of all are the patronising threats about piracy. FFS, I've *bought* the bloody film already so just fuck off!!! Aaargh! No wonder more and more people are turning to P2P - if you're going to be treated like a criminal for *buying* a legitimate copy, then why bother?

    And now the idiots at IBM have come up with this little gem They really don't get it, do they?

  4. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Stop

    Hang on a miniute...

    So what if someone is using a stande-alone player with no possible network connection?

    Do they get no Ads or does the 'king thing refuse to play?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Bad idea, IBM, but irrelevant.

    Sooo...don't plug the DVD player into the internet to retrieve the ads? And don't buy any DVDs that buy into this scheme.

    At least I know I can resort to my $25 DVD player that doesn't care about region encoding, PUOs, and now this.

    I hope Handbrake, etc. continue to make our paid-for media useful.

  6. John Stag

    Bring it on!!!

    I'll rip it, I'll strip it, and the DVD will cost me less...

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Jeroen Braamhaar
    Stop

    Hang on ...

    so what's the advantage of buying something on DVD if you get "the TV experience" anyway ? (top 1 reason to buy stuff on DVD tends to be "I can watch it in peace & quiet without any ruddy commercial breaks")

    I wouldn't want the damn things even if they gave'em away for free.

    That said, I'm sure some enterprising hacker will come up with an ingenious tool to emulate the certificate - this is just DRM, but in a more insidious and cleverly packed form.

    Let's just hope they're forced to clearly label these booby-trapped DVD's ....

  9. Pete
    Pirate

    Not that it would matter....

    I'm sure it would take a matter of minutes to make a copy with all the adverts stripped out anyway...

  10. sandholme
    Thumb Down

    There goes my DVD purchases.

    Don't they realise that a lot of the popularity of DVDs, especially of tv shows is that they don't have adverts. tv shows with adverts simply won't be bought.

  11. Fazal Majid

    Ads you can't skip are nothing new on DVDs

    Disney got a lot of flak because its DVDs would include trailers for other Disney crap, and they set the DVD flag usually used for the FBI/Interpol copyright warning that you are not allowed to skip over. The trailers lasted for several minutes and there was no way to bypass them if you used a legal DVD-CCA cartel compliant crippled player.

  12. Brian
    Stop

    WTF?!

    Seriously, WTF?! The entire reason to get DVDs is to get rid of those blasted adverts that wreak a good film. I stopped counting films that had the anticipation and atmosphere ruined by an ad.

    Why not go all out and add them in the middle of films in the cinema.

    Sodding gold-diggers...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe if the media is free...

    If the DVDs are free, ok, I might tolerate advertising. It's no worse than free ad-supported TV or radio. Hopwfully with no censorship.

    However, if they are going to do this on DVDs I have to pay to watch ($4 to rent, $9 to $15 to own), they are out of their minds.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Oh well

    We'll just have to hack the thing all over again... If anyone is dumb enough to buy ad-laden discs in the first place.

  15. Peter Mc Aulay
    Pirate

    Oh, great

    As if people needed more reasons to pirate stuff.

  16. Anonymous John
    Coat

    I'll get my coat.

    Er, why is it covered with adverts?

  17. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Do adverts work?

    In my case nope, there's practically nothing I see on TV that I then look up.

    I use news sites, forums, shops to look for what I want.

    I skip adverts on TV using my PVR.

  18. LaeMi Qian Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    IBM just wants...

    ...everyone to use Linux! :-)

    I actually tried using a 'real' DVD player the other day. My goodness! How do average consumers put up with it!

  19. Bob Jones

    DVDs + Ads = TV

    Am I the only who doesn't understand why they'd want TV to be replicated on DVD?

    I'm sorry but lets see whats on DVD:

    TV Shows

    Movies

    Lets see whats on TV:

    Movies

    TV Shows

    Why would recreating the TV experience be a good way to profit on DVDs? The point of DVDs is to get away from the TV experience.

    I have TV shows on DVD, I can watch them 8 times a day on TV with ads, I bought the DVDs to get away from them.

    I can get the movie on TV, without advertisements as well if its on box office - fro less than it costs for a DVD, why on earth would I buy DVDs then?

  20. David Dingwall
    Flame

    Grrr - purely on technical terms. CA Cert Time Bomb

    Certificate - yuck!

    OK I have a DVD, all is well accepted the premise of why it's there (let's imagine), the movie assigned cert is fine, and later the root CA expires after five years.

    All local, no network required. Cert check fails because the CA chain fails: instant adverts.

    Permission to flame on?

  21. Nìall Tracey

    They'll never be free....

    Being pragmatic, I doubt they'll ever be free. If you make a mass source of free DVDs, you'll suddenly find Ultimate Frisbee becoming the new national sport. And given the amount of damage a flying CD/DVD can cause, not a good choice.

    If there is a genuine choice, with a full-price and a (drastically) cut-price version (a couple of quid), fine.

    If it's used for promos (eg newspaper/magazine giveaways, film festival goodie bags), fine.

    I'd caution, though, that if it seems in too forced, it's likely to be less effective. I got so used to DVDs that use the "unskippable" trick for the opening ads, that I now put the DVD in the player five minutes or so before I want to watch it, eg before the end of the program I'm watching, before putting the kettle on, before making a phone call. Conversely, after watching a good film, I'll often browse through the film trailers if there's a menu option to do so.

    Anyway, the whole thing'll fail until the end-of-life of BluRay and HD-DVD because there are just too many DVD, BluRay and HD-DVD drives that wouldn't be compatible. It won't exist for another 10 years.

  22. Sam

    Ignore them

    Thankfully I am at an age (I never thought I'd live this long!) where wisdom prevails.....stop watching, stop buying,read a book instead, or do some good....have a whisky and kick back, and fuck 'em all!

    And on the odd occasion, indulge in piracy.

  23. JeffyPooh Silver badge

    They're thinking: "Only 'experts' will be able to strip out the ads."

    Hmmm...? Ah, here it is. [click click] <Yawn...>

  24. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
    Stop

    Don't panic yet!

    There are a lot of things that IBM patents that don't actually see the light of day.

    If any studio exec thinks this is a good idea, then well, there's this thing called evolution in action.... ;-)

  25. tempemeaty
    Stop

    IBM's execs have lost their collective minds but that's Ok...

    The copy protection technology and other junk often found on DVD's has been bad enough for my computer system's stability that I have to keep them off of it already and thus no longer do I buy or view the infernal things. If they really think this is a good idea I'll never see it anyways. LOL. Never the less this will obviously kill DVD sales. Contrary to the common belief that Corporate Executives don't understand, I think Corporate Executives do. It's just that they are so bloody greedy they don't let the obvious stop them from trying to force %$#@ like this on us. Hehehe their loss. :)

  26. yeah, right.

    bastards

    I'm sick and tired of companies thinking that I'm just a walking wallet to be marketed to. If I purchase a DVD, it's because I don't want to watch the telly with its endless boring, poorly done commercials. If they put adverts into DVDs, I'll be one of the first in line for any mechanism to rip the advertising out.

    I stopped going to cinemas regularly after they started subjecting me to endless advertising at a movie that I've paid to attend. There is no way in any type of hell that I'm going to put up with the same shit-for-brains idea from a DVD.

  27. LaeMi Qian Silver badge
    Flame

    Assuming the ads are downloaded (for currency)...

    ...how long does the movie have to pause with a "downloading..........." screen on a 33k POTS line that drops out when the water table rises in the rain?!?

    Not everyone (my mother for example) has broadband. Some of us live in a 2nd-world* region like non-metro Australia.

    *with the pretty-well-complete collapse of traditional communism (Cuba notwitstanding), I am re-purposing the term "2nd world" to describe former 1st-world countries that are slipping backwards to a not-quite-third-world state. ;-)

  28. Brett

    Rant incoming!!!!

    I haven't watched TV in 6 months at this point. I get all my TV shows online off streaming sites like Stage6. I couldn't take seeing repeats of shows over and over. Also with Christmas now starting in October I didn't feel like watching two and a half months of adverts aimed at children for the latest Barbie dream home or the present that will make you popular with your family and friends and extended friends etc. I used to get dvds then came the unskippable piracy ads. It might make sense for rental videos but not ones that you have to BUY in order to watch. I now get my films via p2p. We keep getting told their are legal alternatives but they are often locked to ip ranges of different countries or they are so low quality you might as well go to a streaming site (iTunes). Or they are high quality, riddled with DRM restrictions and cost ridiculous amounts of money (more than a dvd) to stream.

    So MPAA take heed of my advice, start cutting the bureaucracy and come up with a plausible business model to compete that works internationally and for the love of god ditch the piracy adverts they only annoy and most people aren't going pay one bit of attention to them. You can feed the masses all the bad films you want and they will probably be watched but that doesn't mean they are devoid of neural activity. As long as IT has smart people your multi million (billion?) protection systems are useless.

    The music industry is starting to get the idea DRM free downloads and also deezer.com (great site!). Wow what a rant!

  29. Nexox Enigma

    This might not be bad...

    IBM isn't exactly a huge advertising or entertainment (Is there a different anymore?) corporation - They might have taken this patent just to keep it out of the hands of morons that would abuse it. From what I hear, they do that quite a bit. Though I imagine that they'd be just fine with selling it for the right price. And we all know how much money the morons of the advotainment world have...

    Just another reason why I have mainstream media placed second to the top of my list of things most likely to lead to the corruption of society and eventually the end of civilization. Morons are first.

  30. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Happy

    @David Dingwall

    I think you miss (at least one) point. If you have no network connection then for 5 year expriry to be an issue, the ads would have to be already on the DVD.

    Would anyone really treat a 5 year old advert as anything more than a joke?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: "Are they that dumb?"...

    Yes, they truly are!

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blame the Dirty Digger

    Before BSkyB came along, nobody ever complained about the adverts on the UK commercial channels interfering with the programmes, and everyone used to have a good laugh at the poor quality of TV in the US.

    Twenty years later, with every channel sheepishly copying everything Sky does, and with an industry poodle as a watchdog, look at the state of broadcasting now.

  33. b166er

    reactionism

    so, those who are scoffing at having a dvd full of adverts AND paying for it, presumably aren't subscription tv customers? i mean, fancy paying to be served ads ;p. the bbc license model has never seemed so good.

    what the hell is ibm doing anyway? is the report accurate? do you mean blu-ray/hd-dvd? do you mean any video medium? what's the fuss?

  34. John Redbook

    Didn't they recently try to patent outsourcing?

    I always thought that in order to be granted, a patent must be useful, novel and nonobvious. Since when was bloody stupid a criteria?

  35. Martin Usher

    Little by little

    The modern DVD player likes its broadband connection so much that it comes complete with an Ethernet port and on-screen configuration for DHCP or static IP / DNS and optional NTP. Its so eager to talk to its owner (yes, I paid for it but I don't consider I own the thing), it wants to tell them all about you, what you watch and why. It tries to tell you that it needs this to get firmware updates and to provide wonderful "Web enabled" features but we know what it wants to do...its really part of a botnet.

    The problem with this is that most people don't have a Cat5 connection to their TV, or, come to think of it, anything any more. We use wireless. So expect that in future generations of these units.

    Seriously, though, the adverts can be added in just fine. TiVo has pioneered some of this sort of thing already. ("I've seen the future and it sucks")

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Walking wallets et all

    Corporations inventing iniquitous methods to anally rape the consumer would not be so bad, if the government would not be in the pockets of the aforementioned corporations – if the consumer would have a choice, the corporations would instantly loose out. As it stands, NOW, however, the corporations can do anything that they like, it is enshrined in LAW. It is already ILLIGAL [must be read in a scary voice] to copy media that you own, for your own personal use. It is already ILLIGAL to circumvent “systems” (for example pushing the shift key to prevent root kit launching autorun.inf from running on a music CD) and quite soon it will be ILLIGAL –NOT to buy 5 DVDs a month, as a average law abiding households purchase 5 DVDs a month, and if YOU are not, you are breaking the LAW citizen!

    And who is to blame? – the average consumer, - the same guy that bought an DRM ridden Ipod all those years ago – when there were so many MP3 players on the market that offered better capacity, battery life, and playback quality. Why did he do it? – The magazine with scantily-clad woman on the cover told him it is was cool. All those years ago if people would not buy DRM crap, we would not be in the situation we are now. And it will only get worse.

  37. David
    Unhappy

    Consumers are dumb

    I have said this before and got flamed for it, but I will say it again because it is true.

    Who in their right mind is going to create a website or movie and not get paid for it? Well a few might for one reason or another, but most will not.

    So wake up and smell the coffee consumers. No such thing as a free lunch unless you steal it.

    People are actually encouraged to build, create, innovate, when they are getting paid to do it. We don't live in a perfect world where everyone just works for nothing and we all share. That is a nice dream, but it isn't reality on planet earth at the moment.

    Consumers are really quite stupid.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Adverts on DVDs

    I imagine that the program on the DVD will be "edited" to fit longer films onto the format. A bit like a 30 min show on a commercial network. 25 minutes of show 5 minutes of ads. You find yourself playing; "which bits did they chop?"

  39. Chris
    Thumb Up

    Avoiding adverts is a criminal offense

    What you inconsiderate idiots need to understand is that people like myself who work in the honourable profession of advertising and marketing need to provide for their families. How are we supposed to do that when people like you have the presumption to selfishly turn off your TV sets simply because of one or two harmless commercials?

    I have indeed noted with growing disappointment the way that some ungrateful consumers are, at considerable expense I might add, migrating from television to their own DVD libraries SPECIFICALLY in order to avoid adverts! The only reason why they are doing this is because it is an option that we have so far ALLOWED them to take advantage of. I guess that's what the industry gets for trusting consumers. Either way, this behaviour is morally unacceptable as it impacts upon the rights of content suppliers to squeeze more money out of their established and hard won government sanctioned business models.

    As you may expect, we have observed these trends in the target population with growing concern. Fortunately, existing DVD technology already accommodates our legal rights to insert compulsory commercials at multiple points throughout ordinary DVD movies along with the appropriate flags to disable fast-forwarding past them. Needless to say, a lot of time and money goes into the creation of commercials and it is important that as many people as possible benefit from them. If this were to mean that some of a movie needed to be edited to make space for these commercials then I believe that the product would still represent very good value for money.

    I may need to check with one of my lawyer friends, but as I understand it any attempt to circumvent this technology is a breach of existing anti copying legislation such as the handy DMCA. If this is not the case then it can always be rectified with sufficient lobbying. Furthermore, once such principles are enshrined in law, then the population with be under a moral obligation to adhere to them.

    God, I love my job.

  40. Shad

    @krakead

    LOL... well said brother... well said.

  41. Kevin Fields

    Hopefully this is just hypothetical

    I'm guessing (hoping?) that IBM isn't seriously pursuing this technology to put into DVDs, instead they're applying for the patent in hopes that somebody else comes along and wants to implement that into something else and will pay IBM big money for.

  42. Vaughan Trevor Jones

    Yeah and I love anydvd

    Personally I feel that a FEW non intrusive adertisments are acceptable. But when you are watching TV for an hour and the show is about 30minutes while rest is ads. That is going to far. Now on DVD's, give me a break, do you really want to pay for something and still get ads with it.

    Hell no! If this happens, hello streaming internet and of cause hello anydvd!

  43. Stuart Van Onselen
    Thumb Down

    How many ad spots

    ...do they expect to sell?

    I suspect, as someone else has already noted, the IBM just patented this "for the fun of it" and has no intention of taking it to market.

    But even if they did, where would they find the advertisers?

    These days, *everything* is carrying ads. TV, radio, movies, newspapers, billboards, the sides of busses and taxis, and web-sites of every type, from the big commerical ones to someone's never-read blog. There is barely a square millimeter of space anywhere in my local mall that doesn't carry some sort of ad. They're even placing them in the bottom of my shopping bsket, FFS! And now they're even *considering* adding them to DVDs?

    Where are they going to find advertisers to pay for all this? No-one has an unlimited marketing budget. They have to spread themselves very thin already. And soon enough they're going to realise that we, the "consumers", see so many ads per minute that we're mentally blanking them out. At which point, sane companies are going to say "Screw It! We're going to use just a couple of media, and not waste our money on the rest!"

    And isn't this the very reason that Web Bubble 1.0 crashed? Everybody and his HTML-fluent dog expected advertising to support them, and advertisers didn't see the point anymore?

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    "IBM to shove ads onto DVDs" ?

    How about: "IBM to shove ads up their own arse." ?

    I think that works better, TBH.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    @ Chris

    "Avoiding adverts is a criminal offense"

    You made my day!

    EAfH.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Philips already has a similar patent

    http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2006/04/19/philips_enforced_ads_patent/

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    static or dynamic ads?

    I like to comment without any research so here goes:

    I suspect the adverts would be static so they work on normal dvd players and the media will be given away free or almost free. So its like TV but you can get the whole series to watch when you like.

    This gets around the problem of media pirates who duplicate disks - the disks contain ads and the more pirated copies, the more ads are seen, the more valuable those ad spaces are and the more revenue the media companies can get for them.

    You can then pay the normal dvd price to get the disk (or rather, your player) unlocked which removes the ads. That's great because when you move from DVD to blu-ray, you have a new player and you can pay all over again.

    Perhaps more importantly, it catches all those commercially irresponsible people who don't rush out when a film is first released in order to pay full price, but prefer to wait a couple of months and visit the local car boot sale to pick it up for a quid.

    With DVD players costing not much more than a couple of DVDs, I wouldn't be surprised if the "improved" players were given away for free, maybe with tivo-like dvr capabilities.

    As far as blu-ray et al are concerned, one of the great advantages of having a games console with internet gaming capabilities is that there's a good chance you could use that connection for pretty much anything you want.

    For my part I have no interest in "owning" dvds. You don't own the content anyway and once I've seen a programme (thank-you MythTV and k3b) I delete it.

  48. Mark

    @David

    Who pays the El Reg team? I don't. Do you?

    People will create movies, music, paintings, books and all that "art" whether we have copyright or not.

    Copyright extensions are only ensuring that the "owner" is recompensed for any use of their work. Not "adequately" recompensed, and not recompensed so that they can manage to make "art" their day job (and who pays people who play chess? yet they still play chess).

    The average movie is produced and sold for a couple of years. It will be out of print for a few years and then appear in the bargain bin (the £5DVD reprint). Average, 5-7 years before the value the monopoly market (NOT free market) figures appropriate has dropped to 1/4. So 7 years is fine for 90% of the value of the product under copyright to be realised. OK, so if it's PD, it may get shown and garner sales that would have generated lots of sales but then if it were under copyright still, it wouldn't have been shown (competing with other copyrighted works) and engendered no sales. See "It's a Wonderful Life" on how this happens.

  49. This post has been deleted by its author

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    It's going down

    Bad enough DVDs have region locks. RCE and possibilities of rootkits makes things worse, but this? Totally stupid, and easily bypassed.

    Just unplug the DVD player from the network or set the router to block access to the ad servers (you ARE using broadband, aren't you?). Most modern routers have a domain/IP blacklist feature that allows you to block certain URLs.

    Assuming the ad is on the DVD itself and interleaved in as chapters, meh, just break the law and rip the necessary chapters to the hard disk using one of the many legally-questionable software in the market.

    The Asses need to remember we already paid ridiculous money to watch the content by buying the DVD (I mean, come on. A blank disc costs only a few pence apiece!). If they do manufacture such DVDs, they'll be pretty much digging their own grave (remember divx?- no, not the file format, the pay-per-view discs! Also, it should be noted that those self-destruct discs apparently flopped too).

  51. Stephen Sharpe
    Alert

    @Chris

    That whole post is satire, right?

  52. Nathanael Bastone
    Go

    Missing the point?

    Ok, why not give the DVD an option to turn ads on and off? when they are turned on, they pay you for each ad you watch (interactive part in the ads, to check you are acctually watching). It would allow you to pay for the DVD (eventually) and it keeps it pure for those who don't want to watch them. Problem solved!

  53. Konstantinos

    lol

    first cinemas, now that..

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Have they thought this through?

    Let's see what advertisers do on TV - oh yes, they keep changing them to make sure that the advert matches the product.

    So in 2 years time when I decide to dig out my DVD of my favourite movie, adverts for a product that is no longer sold is going to really make the company who are trying to promote it shine in my eyes.

    At least it will remind me never to buy anything off them again - problem solved.

  55. Ash

    Solution

    Stop giving them money for the shit they churn out on a daily basis.

    It's that simple.

  56. Gav H.

    Paying for ads?

    The notion of paying to watch media that includes ads is absurd. Add this to region encoding, non-skip trailers, and the insistence of anti-piracy warnings on paid-for discs and the format will be dead within months!

  57. jonathan keith Silver badge

    Free or almost free DVDs with ads? No chance.

    You just have to look at the games industry for that model. For 20 years we enjoyed games without advertising in them (yes, yes, "licenses" don't count). Now through our beneficent masters, we've got dynamic advertising in games (thanks Massive, love you too).

    The vague reasoning from the publishers when this was first introduced was "value to the consumer" and "cheaper games from the second source of income". Have gamers seen any price reductions on their titles? Take a wild guess.

    Profits are up though. So that's all right then.

    So don't expect your ad-laden DVDs to be any cheaper.

  58. Mark Reed
    Happy

    Yest another excellent reason...

    To downgrade to VHS, or maybe celluloid.

    I would have thought that paying £15 for a DVD entitled you to pester free playback, maybe I just expect too much.

    Then again I'm assuming such a system would require a DVD box capable of pulling down the advertisments, YAY! long live my clunky old monolith size DVD player :D

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I for one...

    ...welcome our new ad-ridden DVD overlords.

  60. Clive Powell
    Mars

    Multi Region

    Now how will this work for Multi Region disks? Will I get French adverts as well as Dutch? Will I understand them Looks like Region 2 disks will have to be advert free.

  61. Andy Baker
    Coat

    Send me all your money!

    I've just applied for a patent to put adverts on the insides of your eyelids, of course, you can opt out of this by sending me £5... per eye... per year!

    "This time next year Rodders..."

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    Dead easy to rip and strip....

    .... if they rely on key frames to trigger the Ads.

    Advertising = motivation to be a criminial (not really a proper criminal though unless you throw in a bit of violence and drug dealing as well).

  63. This post has been deleted by its author

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    God Damn It!!!

    I get pissed off enough by all my DVDs accusing me of being a thief, adverts would be the final straw, I'd turn to pirate copies if they had the ads stripped out.

    How much more of this are supposed to take?

  65. Gritzwally Philbin
    Boffin

    Go Straight for the Throat..

    When one of these DVD's pops up an advert, you simply take down the name of the product and go straight to the advertiser. Usually a nicely phrased letter, saying that you are so disgusted with the advert interrupting your viewing pleasure - it made the experience of the show/movie so terrible, that you are never going to *consider* their product or company worthy of your business again.

    A written letter on paper works best. Also, to make the point, you can mail them the offending DVD, since it's worth shite for the ad technology in it.

    One thing I know, from being in the Nielsen Homescan Shopping and Nielsen Television surveys for years is that the advertisers DO pay VERY close attention to what works and what pisses people off. (A bigger group of whores you'll not find on the planet.) All the consumer has to do is demand certain things for their business patronage, and they'll get it.

    Consumers have the upper hand over business, we just have to realize this and act accordingly.

  66. MTT

    They want to kill DVD

    Have any of you considered that this is a win-win for the industry?

    I mean, DVD tech is already "broken" from an industry perspective: it is virtually impossible to stop ppl from ripping and sharing movies; DVD burners are ubiquitous; companies like Netflix can not only mail movies but stream non Hi-def movies easily, making DVD purchases less attractive; OnDemand cable services provide a similar service; and on and on and on.

    I think they don't mind if DVD gets killed because they still have some control over next-gen discs (for now.)

    So consider this:

    (1) If they get the patent, they cram ads on DVD discs.

    (2a) Ppl either watch the ads or don't, though I bet a good portion of the population will still buy DVDs and just tolerate this shit the way they do everything else.

    So they get a little extra bang for their buck (or cents, if you count production costs.)

    -Win-

    OR....

    (2b) Ppl decide *not* to buy ad stuffed DVDs because the "industry" offers you a compromise...

    buy hi-def BluRay or HD-DVD with no ads! You get netter video quality, no obnoxious ads, etc. etc.

    -Win Again-

    Probably not the case, as I doubt IBM and MPAA execs are that scheme-worthy (though they are certainly evil enough.) Still, allowing for a momentary spark of brain activity, I wouldn't put it past any of these guys to chalk it out like that.

  67. Peter Lawrence
    Coat

    I don't see the economic model for this...

    I'll start out by saying that I can't comment on the European situation. However, here in North America, save for your cable fee, most television is free to view. As we don't have a TV tax, the "basic" channels (without cable) are free to watch. Therefore, I don't mind spending almost 25% of my viewing time watching advertisements in exchange for the other 75%, which is presumably a program that I enjoy. To me, that's a fair exchange.

    However, when looking at DVD, the entire model changes. I have now paid money in order to view this program. That is, I have spent time at my job to earn the money so that I could turn around and purchase this DVD. Fair enough, I will spend money so that I can watch this program uninterrupted (as well as being able to pause, re-wind, rewatch whenever, etc. - features which are quickly becoming devalued with the use of PVRs, but I digress...). Now, according to this proposed model, I will first pay money (which I have already exchanged my time for) to acquire said DVD, and I will then pay with my time again having to watch the advertisements. In essence, this model proposes to increase the 'cost' of watching a DVD program.

    The only way I can see this model working - and just barely working at that - is if the initial purchase price of the DVD was reduced by a commensurate amount vis-a-vis the amount of advertisements included in the program. Following the television model, where the program to advertising ratio is 75% to 25%, your typical movie will increase from 90 to around 110-120 minutes. How do you put a value on 30 minutes of time spent watching advertisements? Do you use the wage rate? Arbitrary amount?

    I feel that they won't be able to reduce the price of a DVD low enough to keep the 'cost' neutral. This will only lead to the increase in the 'cost' of watching a DVD program.

  68. Edward Pearson

    Hah. It's not what you think.

    The MPAA/RIAA and obivously now IBM have got it into their heads that consumers will swallow ANYTHING. Its our fault for not whining loudly enough about DRM etc etc.

    Fuck with the common man's DVDs, and he'll go and get the VHS out of the attic.

    We, your customers, are not here to be abused, we're here to be appeased. Without us you're nothing, remember that.

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