Turner Broadcasting Thinks You're a Thief

...if you go to the bathroom during the commercials? Well, sort of. Jamie Kellner, chairman and CEO of Turner Broadcasting (CNN, TNT, etc.), stated in an interview with CableWorld that there exists an implicit contract between television viewers and the networks in which the viewers agree to watch commercials. When you skip the commercials, "it's theft."

Now, in all fairness (sort of), Kellner is primarily concerned with PVR's, which allow you to programmatically skip commercials by jumping ahead 30 seconds at a time when watching prerecorded broadcasts. However, when asked whether or not he considers people who go to the bathroom during commercials thieves, he stated, "I guess there's a certain amount of tolerance for going to the bathroom."

Well, I don't know about you, but it really makes me feel better to know that Turner Broadcasting sanctions the occasional bodilly function during the course of an evening. Of course, the way he reluctantly says "I guess" sort of makes me think that the folks at Turner would call bathroom breaks thievery too if their lawyers could just find to right law to abuse.

So, in keeping with the outlandishness of such a statement by so powerful a man, here are the Top Ten New Copyright Crimes for a digital world. You might not have known these were crimes, but apparently, somewhere during the communications revolution of the past 50 years, we've implicitly agreed to some sort of social contract whereby we become sponges, soaking up as much marketing glitz as can be squeezed into a half hour time slot.

Do you ever get the feeling that they just don't get it?


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