Apple’s Orwellian Censorship Patent
Earlier today it was brought to TMV’s attention that Apple is developing software that is capable of sensing when someone is trying to record a live event and then switching off the devices camera. It has been suggested that this move by Apple has been motivated by Broadcasters who are upset that punters are able to post their own footage of events on YouTube, despite broadcasters having paid high cash amounts for the exclusive rights to film these events.
Whatever the case may be. TMV assert it is morally wrong to restrict consumers with such a technology if they have already paid an extortionate price for an Apple product, which is the case the world over. Furthermore, one would have thought when it comes to Apple products the fact the iPhone is always behind the curve when it comes to both video and camera specifications in smart phones, the pathetic video and photo quality would be enough to deter consumers from filming events as it is. Any content recorded on an iPhone is far from broadcast quality…
It’s not just an Orwellian tool according to Cnet, as they reported that it could also be used to the benefit of museum visitors. “Imagine infrared transmitters next to a museum exhibit that communicates information about displays or points to a related video online”.
The PatentlyApple.com website, which is dedicated to examining all of Apple’s patent applications, has produced an in-depth analysis of the patent.
Let’s face it; consumers are the people in the driving seat in terms of content consumption. The digital age has delivered this. The fact content owners whether that be for film, games or music are still stuck in the old 20th century game of restricting access just outlines how backward they really are. Concert and theatre ticket prices have sky rocketed over the last decade and why should a fan not have the right to take photos for their own personal use?
If social media sites are facilitating the viral spread of such videos and photos then work out how to monetise it instead of suing or restricting the consumer. Perhaps negotiate deals with the social networks, as they are the ones who make money out of this footage not the consumers themselves.
The message from TMV is STOP-chasing consumers and instead, actually make a concerted effort to prevent the facilitators that enable content copyright infringement, both legal and illegal. Government’s and society in general are behind you on this. However, nobody except content owners advocate suing their own consumers. Until content owners realise their current direction is not working, they will all continue to be behind the times of technology and methods they can use to monetise the manner in which consumers are currently consuming content.
If Facebook or YouTube, are allowing their consumers to upload what you as a content owner consider to be infringing your copyrights then go after these social networks, as they are the ones making money out of users uploading the content. The average Joe who uploads their content for their friends to view do not see a cent from Facebook or YouTube’s advertising, which is reliant on their users uploading such content.
On a final note if content owners are so worried about people using their smart phone’s to record live events then they should be more worried about HTC and Samsung who are always ahead of the pack in terms of photo and video quality within their devices. Since the release of the iPhone, Apple has consistently been two or more years BEHIND THE CURVE in terms of providing its devices with bleeding edge camera or video quality and functionality!