by: Ilya Vedrashko
It looks like Philips was just awarded a patent for a device that would prevent "a viewer from switching from a channel when an advertisement is being displayed on the channel.
A viewer may either watch the advertisements or pay a fee in order to be able to change channels or fast forward when the advertisements are being displayed." Check out the part that outlines background of the invention:
"This is undesirable for program broadcasters because the advertisements that are broadcast with the programs pay for the programs. The program broadcasters therefore have an interest in seeing that the advertisements are viewed and not ignored. There is therefore a need in the art for a video display system that is capable of preventing a viewer of a direct (non-recorded) broadcast from switching from a first channel to a second channel when an advertisement is displayed on the first channel. There is also a need in the art for a video display system that is capable of preventing a viewer of a recorded program from fast forwarding the recorded program in order to skip past advertisements that were recorded with the program."
Pure gold. They also have to patent microwave and bathroom blocking.
-- via New Scientist