Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

That CBS/CNET/Dish Story Won’t Go Away

boxing kangarooFour weeks and counting.

That’s how long the story about CBS and CNET and Dish’s Hopper DVR has been percolating.

And today the story’s half-life got a little longer, courtesy of the Consumer Electronics Association: The CEA, which produces the annual CES show, announced that it was retroactively awarding the Hopper a “Best of Show” award — the designation that CNET staff had originally awarded the gadget before their corporate owners at CBS overruled them.

You can read the CEA’s press release, which includes words like “media firestorm,” here. Also in the release: A pronouncement that it won’t be working with CNET for its “Best of Show” awards next year. Per Tim Carmody, CNET had already announced that it wouldn’t be working with the CEA next time around.

But no matter the particulars, the news is an occasion to revisit, yet again, CBS’ baffling decision to meddle with the editorial operation of one of its best-known Web assets. Which my fellow typers are happy to do — make sure to click on the down arrow button on the side of this Techmeme block to see a roiling Twitter debate.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work