What’s wrong with sites like Hulu? Well nothing, per se, except for the fact that they can’t be used anywhere outside of the Unites States. As if other countries don’t want to watch… um, really great shows like “Extreme Makeover” and “The [American] Office”! Perhaps that’s why, then, BitTorrent site EZTV has seen traffic double, mainly from non-American IPs, in the past year? For whatever reason, people want to watch these shows, but since there’s no legal outlet to do so, well, it’s not exactly hard to configure uTorrent or Transmission, now is it?
The problem goes back to a time before the Internet ruined Hollywood’s business model. Back in the day (and still today, actually) people in other countries had to wait months, if not years, for “American TV Show” to show up on their local TV networks. That wasn’t much of a problem before the Internet, because how could you get jealous in London that a new season of The Simpsons started when all you had access to was whatever the hell Sky put on the air? You can’t want to see something if you don’t know it exists.
With apologies to alt.tv.simpsons, where I used to hang out for a minute.
But now you can’t visit Digg or Facebook without seeing your online, American buddies chatting about “30 Rock” or “Curb Your Enthusiasm. These shows won’t show up on your local TV stations for months, but that’s why there’s BitTorrent!
It’s like this: would you rather wait months and months to see “Whatever” when you can download it in seconds from EZTV? That’s what I did when I was in Barcelona and wanted to see “Generation Kill.” I downloaded the episodes a few minutes after they made their way to whatever site I was using at the time.
Is that piracy though? I mean, I guess it is, but what are you gonna do? Wait around like a jerk for Local TV Station to pick up the shows?
What the studios should do, but probably never will, is either A) eliminate staggered release schedules or B) set up international versions of sites like Hulu. I mean, why do they do that staggered release nonsense anyway? To protect the local market from imports or some nonsense? One World, baby, so treat it as such.
And why can’t a Web site be set up where my BROTHERS FROM ANOTHER MOTHER~! can stream “Family Guy” from the comfort of their home in Vienna, Melbourne, or Rio? It’s a stupid, Old World restriction that no longer make sense in this environment.
And yes, I know you can merely use a U.S. proxy, but that’s not the point, now is it?