« World Jump Day: Stupid | Main | Stupid Crime Spree »

February 27, 2005
Keep TV Free

The networks and other media owners are trying to restrict what you can do with content by embedding a flag that will prevent you from copying, burning, or sharing. They didn't always feel this way...

In 1967, when one of the first pay TV services was preparing to launch in California, Hollywood and the networks helped defeat the service because they didn't want the competition. Theater owners organized a KEEP TV FREE campaign, with PSAs like this one running in movie houses before feature films.

Though this particular campaign was limited to California, the advertising industry and television networks have long argued a similar case. When Vance Packard, Ralph Nader, Peggy Charren, and other critics attacked advertising in the 1950s, 1970s, and 1980s (respectively), defenders of industry often cited a common refrain: "advertising provides free news and entertainment."

In other words, the major networks (in conjunction with the ad industry) have promoted the idea that television is free for decades. Now that viewers have taken their word for it by recording and sharing TV shows freely, the industry has only itself to blame.

Stay Free! Daily

keep tv free

Video: BitTorrent and Quicktime.


Previous Comments