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Old 10-01-2010, 08:48 PM   #21
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Now if they would only outlaw those extremely obtrusive lower-right TV channel logos! I refuse to watch channels such as Lifetime for just this reason alone--its logo taking up almost 10% of the screen, it seems.
I see commercials that intrude all the way up to the midpoint of the screen, along with distracting moving graphics (like someone dancing).

I saw one (TBS) in which a bird flew all the way to the top of the screen -- I thought it was part of the show I was watching.
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:11 PM   #22
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It won't work. No matter what set of regulations are specified, they'll be a set of mechanical limits of some form; peak loudness, or loudness integrated across some time window, or similar things that can be converted to a meter reading. Advertisers, wanting their commercials to stand out in some way, will simply adapt. The loudness integrated over a time window might be met, for example, with most of the window relatively quiet, but a really loud short noise in the middle. Blipverts. Or, they might play games with spectral distribution, which would be really annoying.

Worst case, they'll complain the regulation and law interfere with their free speech rights. (Yes, corporations have free speech rights. Remember the 'money is free speech' cases?)
1) Free speech rights only apply to content, not time place and manner.

2) I've written noise regulations , it's no harder than anything else. We do peak and average and sustained peak etc.
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:24 PM   #23
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I've written noise regulations , it's no harder than anything else. We do peak and average and sustained peak etc.

You'd be amazed at how obnoxious a noise can be, without coming close to breaking a simple peak, sustained peak, or average (Fast or Slow, A or C weighted, etc) limit. Narrow band pink noise, spectral sweeps, ring oscillators, and such are crude examples. If you can write a regulation, someone else will dissect it and find a way to meet the letter of the law while still implementing their intent. This is just the sort of regulation that will trigger an acoustic arms race. Advertisers want to grab the viewer's attention.

There are already limits on the peak 'loudness' of TV audio as transmitted. These happen to be technological limits. Some of the 'loud ads' simply use range compression to push more of their audio closer to the peak level. A sustained peak or slow weighted average limit might affect ads using this specific strategy, but Bronco Bob's Used Car Emporium and Hook Shop will just find another gimmick to get you to look up from your newspaper.

If there is a regulation, and money can be made by working around that regulation, then a workaround will be developed. Take a look at recent regulations and laws regarding credit cards, bank fees, campaign reform, or any number of other well intended changes that happened to interfere with someone's cash flow.
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:44 PM   #24
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You'd be amazed at how obnoxious a noise can be, without coming close to breaking a simple peak, sustained peak, or average (Fast or Slow, A or C weighted, etc) limit. Narrow band pink noise, spectral sweeps, ring oscillators, and such are crude examples. If you can write a regulation, someone else will dissect it and find a way to meet the letter of the law while still implementing their intent. This is just the sort of regulation that will trigger an acoustic arms race. Advertisers want to grab the viewer's attention.

There are already limits on the peak 'loudness' of TV audio as transmitted. These happen to be technological limits. Some of the 'loud ads' simply use range compression to push more of their audio closer to the peak level. A sustained peak or slow weighted average limit might affect ads using this specific strategy, but Bronco Bob's Used Car Emporium and Hook Shop will just find another gimmick to get you to look up from your newspaper.

If there is a regulation, and money can be made by working around that regulation, then a workaround will be developed. Take a look at recent regulations and laws regarding credit cards, bank fees, campaign reform, or any number of other well intended changes that happened to interfere with someone's cash flow.
Sure , Ive also worked on minimum noise requirements (e.g. fire alarms) I've even, long ago worked on noise warning labels for blind nearly deaf people

When you write this type of regulation it has two parts . one only requires enforcement, the other requires an adjudicatory hearing.

E.g. you prohibit noise " which though in technical compliance with the regulation exhibits the general invasive characteritic of the prohibited noise" The defendant gets an adjudicatory hearing and if the regulator finds it too noisy, they get a cease and desist order. Standard Administrative procedure act stuff.

for example DOT can go after both unsafe cars and cars that violate safety standards. Unsafe cars get an adjudicatory hearing. violations get an enforcement hearing.
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Old 10-02-2010, 12:16 AM   #25
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Sure , Ive also worked on minimum noise requirements (e.g. fire alarms) I've even, long ago worked on noise warning labels for blind nearly deaf people

When you write this type of regulation it has two parts . one only requires enforcement, the other requires an adjudicatory hearing.

E.g. you prohibit noise " which though in technical compliance with the regulation exhibits the general invasive characteritic of the prohibited noise" The defendant gets an adjudicatory hearing and if the regulator finds it too noisy, they get a cease and desist order. Standard Administrative procedure act stuff.
This should be interesting. Remember that you are dealing with advertising, where a specific ad might be in play for at most several days. By the time that adjudicatory hearing happens, the ad will have been off the air for months to years. Cease and desist? Soitanly, yer honor! Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck!

I particularly like that this falls back ultimately to the "Yeah, but I know it when I hear it" process. "Please note that the complaint was lodged by a person using a Pioneer YSR-701K receiver, which is known to excessively expand the audio range by several decibels." There are many 'moving parts' between the recording studio and the listener's speakers. That provides plenty of room for finger pointing and argument. (It's all billable hours, though, so I don't mind.)

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. This sort of regulation is doomed to fail, or at least provide a really nice living to people familiar with the issues.

Advertising can continue to be obnoxious without fear of any real impact.

Anyone notice the ads now being put in-line in TV shows and movies? The 60 second product demo for voice navigation in the detective's car? Actors setting down their sodas and turning the can so the label faces the camera?
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Old 10-02-2010, 12:19 AM   #26
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Anyone notice the ads now being put in-line in TV shows and movies? The 60 second product demo for voice navigation in the detective's car? Actors setting down their sodas and turning the can so the label faces the camera?
Jerry Seinfeld's cereal box on the counter?

Every year I seem to watch less & less TV. There's not much "less" left.
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Old 10-02-2010, 07:04 AM   #27
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This should be interesting. Remember that you are dealing with advertising, where a specific ad might be in play for at most several days. By the time that adjudicatory hearing happens, the ad will have been off the air for months to years. Cease and desist? Soitanly, yer honor! Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck!

I particularly like that this falls back ultimately to the "Yeah, but I know it when I hear it" process. "Please note that the complaint was lodged by a person using a Pioneer YSR-701K receiver, which is known to excessively expand the audio range by several decibels." There are many 'moving parts' between the recording studio and the listener's speakers. That provides plenty of room for finger pointing and argument. (It's all billable hours, though, so I don't mind.)

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. This sort of regulation is doomed to fail, or at least provide a really nice living to people familiar with the issues.

Advertising can continue to be obnoxious without fear of any real impact.

Anyone notice the ads now being put in-line in TV shows and movies? The 60 second product demo for voice navigation in the detective's car? Actors setting down their sodas and turning the can so the label faces the camera?
You don't go after the advertiser , you go after the cable operator or broadcaster. They have a lot at stake. It's just like a loud bar, you don't sue the patrons you threaten to take away the bar license from the bar. You make them come up with a system. Repeat violations are contempt of court and they get shut down. I agree that there can be a lack of political willingness but "I know it when I see it" is absolutely standard in administrative law.
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Old 10-02-2010, 07:22 AM   #28
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If I had to choose between the technical ability of regulators and the skill, guile, and cleverness of those trying to work around a regulation of this type, I know where I'd put my money. The deciding factors would be "degree of motivation" and "agility."
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Old 10-02-2010, 07:41 AM   #29
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If I had to choose between the technical ability of regulators and the skill, guile, and cleverness of those trying to work around a regulation of this type, I know where I'd put my money. The deciding factors would be "degree of motivation" and "agility."
You forgot political clout, campaign contributions (AKA Bribes) and public apathy.

e.g. look at the obstructionism in dealing with contaminated eggs

My point is simply that the law part is straightforward.
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Old 10-02-2010, 07:48 AM   #30
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Are political ads exempt from this regulation? Ya know, like the Do Not Call list?

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Old 10-02-2010, 08:31 AM   #31
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I agree (but am mostly ignorant of the inner workings of regulators versus Congress). IMO, Congress micro-manages far too much. Details like this should be left to a regulatory agency, or the free market (not totally applicable in this case, since they are using public airwaves). If Congress doesn't think the agency is doing its job, they should fix that, not regulate around it.



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The bills require the FCC to come up with the rules. So, they are telling the FCC to get off its rear. One thing I did read is that some engineers say that it is harder than you think to match sound level up with the tv show, so there may be the possibility of getting a waiver. I guess that is for the FCC to figure out.
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Old 10-02-2010, 08:48 AM   #32
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Agree the FCC should have done this long ago. Still, I'm happy for it to be addressed.

Hope other distributors will follow suit. It's not fun to be watching something online on the laptop with ear buds and then a commercial comes on which blasts the volume. You can't always tell when a commercial is about to play.

I was thrilled re: the "Do Not Call" legislation, as were others (remember when that law was about to expire?)
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:42 AM   #33
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One thing I did read is that some engineers say that it is harder than you think to match sound level up with the tv show, so there may be the possibility of getting a waiver. I guess that is for the FCC to figure out.
Even if the broadcast engineer can manage to get average and peak loudness matched up, bear in mind that the advertiser's goal is to get you to look up from the newspaper to the TV. There are plenty of ways to startle or distract the viewer beyond playing games with loudness, which the broadcast engineer has no control over. I've enumerated some of these in previous posts.

I'm sure that TV viewers will find these as annoying as the range compressed loudness of some current ads.
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:15 AM   #34
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I dont think this is something they need to be messing with. FCC- maybe. Congress? c'mon
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Old 10-03-2010, 08:53 AM   #35
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I am becoming more of a libertarian as each day passes. Where does it end? Can you picture the enforcement of this? Say you are in Onalaska Texas, and you think the commercials are too high. What sort of bureaucracy will exist to check out you complaint. I have a volume control, a mute button, and a channel button. I can handle this and do not need another Washington bureaucracy/police department to solve this problem.
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Old 10-03-2010, 09:25 AM   #36
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All in all, it's just another couple of pages in the thousands of volumes that make up our laws. As unenforceable as the no texting while driving laws. I've read that that law has actually increased the number of accidents, since texters are holding their phones down low so they don't get caught, resulting in having to take their eyes even farther off the road.
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:00 AM   #37
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All in all, it's just another couple of pages in the thousands of volumes that make up our laws. As unenforceable as the no texting while driving laws. I've read that that law has actually increased the number of accidents, since texters are holding their phones down low so they don't get caught, resulting in having to take their eyes even farther off the road.
Texting while driving is simply another example of the social cost of "I've got mine, screw you and yours" Its not a question of law or law enforcement it's a question of what kind of society we live in. If from the word go "what's in it for ME" is the only value we respect we are in deep trouble whatever the law is.

You want real libertarianism? go to Kabul See what happens when society breaks down completely
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:03 AM   #38
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Texting while driving is simply another example of the social cost of "I've got mine, screw you and yours" Its not a question of law or law enforcement it's a question of what kind of society we live in. If from the word go "what's in it for ME" is the only value we respect we are in deep trouble whatever the law is.

You want real libertarianism? go to Kabul See what happens when society breaks down completely
I would think someone who claims the education levels you do would understand the simple differences between libertarianism and anarchy. That's the last time I'll ever press the "view ignored post" button.
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:27 AM   #39
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I would think someone who claims the education levels you do would understand the simple differences between libertarianism and anarchy. That's the last time I'll ever press the "view ignored post" button.
I'm well aware of the claims of difference between what some people think of as libertarianism and some people think of as anarchy.
Are you familiar with Déjacque , the person who coined the term libertarianism ? He was unquestionably an anarchist
Perhaps a reading of Grhams Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas will give a grounding in the subject.

As just one example of libertarian mind muddle ask a libertarian "who gets to define what is "property"?

I'm a legal taxonomist and I study reification. People routinely create fantasies of libertarianism where somehow they get to keep all the benefits of civilized society without the costs, financial and otherwise.
I specifically teach the problem of protecting privacy in a libertarian society. Its a very difficult concept.
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:27 AM   #40
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You want real libertarianism? go to Kabul See what happens when society breaks down completely
And the equally ignorant response could be: You want real Government control? Turn over all your belongings and income to the Government and let them determine how much you get and what you are allowed to do with your time since they are so all-knowing. Let us know after you've done that, if they allow you computer access. geesh.

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I would think someone who claims the education levels you do would understand the simple differences between libertarianism and anarchy.
I'll paraphrase a bit, but there is a saying that it is difficult/impossible to convince someone of something, if the belief in that thing challenges their own livelihood.

How they appear to others when they try to defend the indefensible isn't changed though.

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