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Letters to the Editor

From time to time, a commentary on the world will bubble up inside of me to the extent that I'm forced to write a letter to my local, metropolitan, daily newspaper, The Age. This is where I blow of some steam. Feel like venting too? Add your own comment or visit my homepage.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Only in America - For Now

Right now, the US Senate is debating the Intellectual Property Protection Act (HR2391) that makes it a criminal offense to produce, market or use technology that can skip "commercial advertisements, or ... promotional announcements" in television shows. In other words, it becomes a crime to fastforward the ads.

Some may see this as proof of the extent to which US politics is driven by greedy corporate interests at the expense of the common person, or indeed common sense. Others (who take their VCRs and TiVos for granted) will simply shake their heads and say only in America.

But is it? Sadly, as "the Australia-US FTA harmonises our intellectual property laws more closely with the [US]" our legislators will criminalise ad skipping here too. But don't worry: with the new local content requirements, these compulsory ads will mean we'll still hear Australian accents on television.


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