This situation is one of the downsides of the Internet (while I’m here, why should Internet have a capital ‘I’? Whenever I see it written in newspapers it’s capitalised, why is that?). Information about things we in Europe or elsewhere would like to be a part of, but can’t be because we’ll have to wait months and months to get to the same point.
There is, of course, a way around that. Downloading. But this is illegal, and The Man don’t want us doing such things. I can see why downloading would effect CD sales or cinema receipts/DVD sales, but with TV shows? Okay, there’ll probably be fewer DVDs sold of the exceedingly expensive season box sets, and downloading affords us the opportunity to not watch the commercials; but surely their main reason for not wanting us to do this is control. I have a problem when big companies spend so much money on advertising, making us aware of the Six Feet Under finale, and then complain when those of us are tempted to download torrents because we use exactly the same nation-non-specific Internet that they are using to promote the show, and we damn well wanna see what happens!
Why can’t these TV channels take a leaf out of MLB’s book? Forty dollars to watch as many live baseball games as you want for the whole season. That means, if you were so inclined, you could watch about 900 hours of baseball for $40. Which is amazingly good value (especially compared with the £45 I pay every season to listen to fairly ropey audio commentaries of Liverpool FC matches).
This is especially pertinent, I think, for BBC stuff, where commercial breaks aren’t an issue. I can’t see where I’m doing any harm by trying to download episodes of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s new series, Extras.
1. If Extras gets shown on German TV, it’ll be dubbed into German. I’m not gonna watch that. Ever.
2. I am curious about Extras. If I like it, I’ll probably end up buying the DVD anyway. If not, I’ve not wasted twenty quid on a DVD I don’t want; ie. I’m using the Internet like a common or garden television.
3. And if I didn’t download it, I’d just ask my mum to tape it and send it to me (of course, this’d probably mean The Man would come down, all helicopters blazing, onto my mum’s lawn and drag her off to prison for taping it for me).
I can see the point of protecting copyright. But to label EVERYONE who downloads anything a thief is such a fucking insult. Especially when there’s no option, like, for example, a subscription service for those outside the country of origin who would pay an applicable amount of money to view something they like.
If someone’s taking the trouble to download, say, the 16th series of The Simpsons, they’re probably the sort of person who’s spending their money on the box sets of DVD releases anyway, *big neon arrow pointing at a smiling Craig*, and will, come Season 16’s DVD release, be buying that too.
Sometimes it just gets me down when these companies do everything they can to promote stuff, and leave some of us with no option but to do something illegal.
As it is, I quite enjoyed the first episode of Extras which I somehow managed to watch last night.