NY Times on Sunday weighed in on the controversy Philips created by patenting a remote control that would block ad skipping and channel surfing. The most interesting part comes in the end, when the article discusses the historical precedents and the Supreme Court 5-4 decision that allowed private non-commercial recording of TV programming as "fair use":
"That decision addressed copying with a Betamax videocassette recorder, and it remains the key decision that protects copying with DVR's today. The courts uphold "fair use" only when it doesn't harm the commercial value of the copyrighted work. At the time the suit was brought, skipping ads during playback on a clunky tape machine was hardly worth the considerable trouble. At the trial, survey data showed that only about 25 percent of recorded ads were skipped."
Commentary: Philips's Ad-Skipping Blocker Good Idea