An e-mail message to the Director of Communications at Philips

To Whom It May Concern:

I am disappointed and outraged that Philips has pursued patents on technologies that could significantly limit consumers’ control of their television viewing experience. While I understand your assertion that you have not yet implemented nor do you intend to implement such technologies in your devices, I have read the patent applications, and the language is very clear. The technology described in Philips’ application would essentially provide broadcasters with an extortionist approach toward television advertising: Watch the ads or pay! And as if preventing fast-forwarding in recorded content isn’t bad enough, the application describes technology that could hijack consumers’ hardware by disallowing them from changing channels during advertising! That is completely unacceptable. How dare manufacturers and content providers even consider such technologies? It is outrageous. Philips must truly disrespect consumers to pander so significantly to content providers and advertisers.

I am planning to purchase a new television in the coming months. I am an early adopter who spends thousands of dollars annually on consumer electronics. Because Philips might even contemplate technologies that could so significantly limit my usage rights as a consumer, you can be assured that I will not now ever consider purchasing products from Philips—not televisions, not kitchen appliances, not light bulbs. You, as a company, have completely lost my business.

[Richard]
Washington, D.C.

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