Can TV stations be held liable for logo burn-in?

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by John_Berger, Oct 19, 2003.

  1. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    Here a partially-legal/partially-philosophical question. We all know that TV stations have implanted their logo somewhere on the screen, supposedly to make it easy to figure out which channel it is when surfing. (I don't buy that analogy 100%, but I'll let that slide for now.)

    I know that others on HTF have said that watching their favorite TV-recorded shows have caused burn-in. (Hi, Mark!) Personally, my daughter loves Noggin. So, we generally leave it on for her. Unfortunately, most of the times their logo is 100% opaque.

    There is absolutely no excuse for any station to have an embedded logo at 0% transparency on our screens. So, for those people who have burn-in due to station logos, does that not constitute damage to our personal equipment caused by actions of that station and is therefore the liability of the station?

    Yes, the other side of the coin is that we can change channel. But if the station has shows that we enjoy and are not available on another channel, there's no other option. We have to deal with the station logo.

    Some might also argue that the contract/brightness is not set appropriately. But I find the concept of diminishing the picture quality to compensate for a 0% transparency logo that doesn't need to be there to be repulsive, frankly.

    Just looking for thoughts on this.
     
  2. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

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    I'd put that idea on par with holding McDonalds liable for making you fat. Anyone who chooses to watch the station without taking reasonable precautions shouldn't be able to claim after the fact that they didn't know any better.
     
  3. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    Yes, I will agree that there are many similarities - they're not mandatory, there are other options, and so forth.

    But I look at it a bit differently. First off, the effects of burn-in are permanent. Burn-in cannot be reversed. The results of eating at McDonald's too often can be recified by increased exercising. The results of burn-in is the need to purchase an entirely new TV.

    Additionally, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever for stations to provide their logos at the contrast and opaque levels that they do - no reason. Fast food places, such as McDonald's, could face a major loss in revenue if they changed their menu items or ingredients to be less damaging (and more often than not less flavorful) by lost customers. There is a very real threat of significant financial loss. There is absolutely no financial loss for a station to put their logo at 50% (or more) transparency, yet many refuse to do that.

    Again, this is just for some discussion; but I don't see this as cut-and-dry as the McDonald's analogy.
     
  4. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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  5. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    I don't think McDonalds is anywhere close to this.

    I'd really like some attorney to try that one out. I think if you could get it in writing from a station that the logos are there so we know what we are watching, then the logos should be there 100% of the time, and they are not, because as we all know, they are gone for commercials.

    That makes up about 30% of their air time too, and it would be interesting to have a court force a station to show it 24/7 - just to see what their advertisers would do.

    That might be negative thinking, but the advertisers are god, so to speak, and they could lay it down. Get rid of them or we will go elsewhere!

    Gllenn
     
  6. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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  7. VicRuiz

    VicRuiz Second Unit

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  8. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  9. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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  10. Dustin Wind

    Dustin Wind Stunt Coordinator

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    Legal action? rofl thats the funniest thing i have ever heard.
    Thanks for giving me a laugh on Monday.

    Turn the channel lol.
     
  11. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  12. Michael St. Clair

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  13. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

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    I agree with Michael. Take it further. Emailing some poor support guy will do nothing... so move up the chain. [​IMG]
     
  14. Michael St. Clair

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    Oh, Ralph Nader should be on your list as well.
     
  15. David Baranyi

    David Baranyi Stunt Coordinator

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    I really hate it when people claim an "inalienable right" on things that are really not. Is watching television program a right or a privilege?
     
  16. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    Complain to whoever made the television set. Perhaps it was defective. It should take years for a screen to get burn in unless the contrast is wildly off the mark.

    I can't imagine any other course of action that would get you any cash at all.
     
  17. Michael St. Clair

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  18. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    Here's a way to approach the situation.

    - If you decide to watch a station with a high contrast logo, your TV set will be damaged. Even with the contrast level properly adjusted, burn-in will still occur; it will just take longer for the effects to become visible.
    - If you decide to stop watching a particular station because you fear the logo will damage your TV set, then you will end up missing the shows you want to watch.
    - If you're prevented from watching television because it may impose on you a financial hardship (reparing/replacing the TV), then this could be viewed as an infringement on your freedom of speech.

    TV stations should be held liable for their business practices and the physical effects of their broadcasts on your personal property. This is not a problem involving the content itself, it involves the effects that prevents you from enjoying the content altogether.
     
  19. VicRuiz

    VicRuiz Second Unit

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  20. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Most of today's TV manuals mention burn-in, and that they are not responsible for it, so that idea is out.

    Sending FOX a tape isn't going to do any good. They'll just toss it out (along with all of the other complaints that they have received).

    As for right or privlege - it depends on who you ask, but the bottom line is the advertisers. They pay the station's bills because you buy their product. It might be interesting to see what would happen if you send them the bill, just to see how they would respond.

    Yeah, we already know that the commercials are bug free, so they have already spoken, so that was why I mentioned getting an attorney.

    Glenn
     

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