• United States

Can you go cold turkey with TV?

Nov 24, 20052 mins
Data CenterHDTVs

Could you live without your TV programs? I ask because it appears that the media owners, AKA the entertainment industry, are warming up to another round of trying to control what we do with the content they so kindly let us see.

An interesting article on Ars Technica, “Entertainment industry voicing threats against free portable content “, discusses how Hollywood has got its kinickers in a twist over TiVo’s enabling TiVoToGo to transfer recorded shows to the PSP and video iPod.

Here’s the issue: Let’s say that the entertainment companies get their way and wind up enforcing serious constraints on how we can use their content — that is to say, far more restrictive than we have today. Would you be willing to boycott their shows? Could you go cold turkey and stop watching TV?

I wonder if consumers will just roll over and accept restrictions because we are truly a nation of lazy-assed couch potatoes or will we collectively show our disgust at the greed and arrogance of the entertainment companies and show them that we, the consumers, are more than just sheep to be fed whatever junk they care to give us on whatever terms they please.

I worry that we won’t stand up and that worry is founded on the existence of a single channel: Fox. I recommend viewing the documentary “Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism” which will show you that the impact of Fox’s style of journalism has shaped how America thinks of news which, in turn, has a huge impact on how America thinks of entertainment.

My point? We apparently don’t care as a society that we are being blatantly manipulated when it comes to the news. So, I fear, why would we care about entertainemnt? Sigh. 


Mark Gibbs is an author, journalist, and man of mystery. His writing for Network World is widely considered to be vastly underpaid. For more than 30 years, Gibbs has consulted, lectured, and authored numerous articles and books about networking, information technology, and the social and political issues surrounding them. His complete bio can be found at

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