NZ Gets New 'Homeland' Episodes Less Than 4 Hours After US

from the fighting-piracy-and-connecting-fans-by-breaking-windows dept

Despite windowing and regional restrictions being the international sign for "PIRATE ME!" many content providers continue to throw artificial locks on their offerings. Their potential viewers soon discover that "2 weeks out" in TV network time means "3 hours or less" in TorrentTime. If the content providers truly believe that Piracy = Lost Sales, why aren't they doing more to eliminate the gap between the content's debut and its worldwide spread?

It's not as if it's impossible. Another case in point: New Zealand's TV3 is chopping away at the excessive (and arbitrary) delay between Showtime's American debut of Homeland episodes and their availability locally.
TV3 is going to screen the new series of Homeland just four hours after episodes play in the US – with episodes posted to TV3.co.nz's on demand service at midnight on the day of broadcast.
The timing is actually even tighter than that. Here's the breakdown directly from TV3:
Homeland episodes will screen 3 hours 25 minutes after the Pacific Time debuts in the US. That US-NZ gap will be consistent until there's a daylight savings change. The broadcast time in each country won't change.

With ondemand, we can have each ep available from midnight the same night.
As someone in the comments points out, that's roughly the same amount of time it takes for new episodes to show up at, um, "unlicensed" distributors:
4 hours would put it on schedule with me getting it off torrents, so quite viable to watch.
Beating free at its own game often simply means eliminating legacy remnants like exaggerated delays and other restrictions. Even though this move will likely trim down the number of fans looking elsewhere for new episodes, MediaWorks (TV3's parent company) refreshingly claims converting pirates is not the "primary motivation" for this move:
"TV viewing is increasingly a community event, and online communities are global rather than local," spokeswoman Rachel Lorimer told NBR.

"By screening international shows as close to their global premieres as practical, we ensure our audience is part of the global conversation around a big show and, of course, that keeps us relevant. Those are the main motivations.
How often do you hear a spokesperson for a large corporation (content or otherwise) talk about doing what's important for the fans rather than, say, the quarterly financial statements? Many, many content providers refuse to acknowledge that the internet has made "country of origin" a non-factor while also providing an incredibly powerful platform for both distribution and "global conversation."

Lorimer also acknowledges the side benefits of catering to the customers:
"However, positive side effects may well be that our viewers save on their broadband data cap and are less likely to risk illegally downloading TV series. And a win for viewers is a win for us."
Giving viewers what they want when they want it. It's a plan so crazy it might be profitable.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Alana (profile), Sep 26th, 2012 @ 12:16am

    This is a freaking awesome idea and I hope they do this with more shows.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2012 @ 12:20am

    Smart move customers will be happier they don't have an excessive silly time delay.

     

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  3.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Sep 26th, 2012 @ 12:34am

    This Is Not The First

    Back when C4 was showing The Daily Show a few years ago (sigh...), we were getting it, as I recall, 5 hours after the US broadcast.

     

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  4.  
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    Josef Anvil (profile), Sep 26th, 2012 @ 12:39am

    WTF?

    "TV viewing is increasingly a community event, and online communities are global rather than local," spokeswoman Rachel Lorimer told NBR.

    People discuss the TV shows they like with their friends? The internet is global? Alert the newspapers! We need to get ahead of this story.

     

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  5. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2012 @ 1:28am

    "Giving viewers what they want when they want it. It's a plan so crazy it might be profitable."

    Sadly, the pirate types will just roll out more excuses, like "it's not on when I want to watch" or "cable costs too much" or "I can't be arsed to pay".

    It may solve some issues, but not many. NZ is how many people? That's not a huge part of the piracy issue right there. Even if every pirate in NZ suddenly stopped, it would be, what 1% of the issue?

    Nice, but nothing to write home about.

     

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  6.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Sep 26th, 2012 @ 1:35am

    Re: WTF?

    You say that but, unfortunately, the entertainment industries have not realised this so it needs to be pointed out at every opportunity so it sinks in to some very thick skulls.

    When they do realise it, however, it will be a great day for fans, musicians, film makers and everyone else with a stake in the fight.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2012 @ 1:36am

    I'd use another tag for this:

    from the sudden-outbreak-of-common-sense dept
    alternatively:
    from the it's-never-too-late-to-do-the-right-thing dept
    or:
    from the maybe-we-should-try-to-give-our-customers-what-they-want dept
    or even:
    from the this-will-make-you-feel-warm-and-fuzzy-inside dept

    Fun aside, I can only applaud this move, it's got win written all over it.
    They're generating a single tsunami of attention that'll ripple thru the tubes globally, instead of a series of localized waves that'll go largely unnoticed.
    They're also removing one of main incentives to pirate tv shows.
    Another bonus point they're scoring is that the chance of having your favorite show spoiled by online discussions is drastically reduced.

     

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  8.  
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    Chargone (profile), Sep 26th, 2012 @ 1:45am

    Re:

    NZ does not have meaningful cable. TV3 is free to air. paid for by advertising (and the advertising is NOT obnoxiously placed, most of the time.)

    NZ does not really have meaningful cable. (Telstra's fibre optic network Does provide rebroadcasting of Sky and the terrestrial broad cast free to air channels as an optional extra, as well as a telephone service, but the point in that network is it's role as an ISP, mainly. if you get ALL of those through them it's slightly cheaper than getting each one separately. by about ten bucks out of a cost of something like 150 or so a month.)

    like wise, time-shifting is entirely legal, and most such devices can be set up to record automatically.

    so, yeah, none of those excuses really hold water here.
    (well, except that replacements for the obsolete VHS tape (other than 'download it to the computer's hard drive, probably from torrents') seem to have not really taken off despite VHS itself falling out of use... though with the converter boxes for digital TV having sockets for external hard drives and the shift to that system, this may change.)

     

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  9.  
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    Panda (profile), Sep 26th, 2012 @ 2:12am

    Newspaper?

    What's a newspaper?

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2012 @ 2:26am

    Re: This Is Not The First

    Why doesnt channel 4 get the daily show any more?

     

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  11.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Sep 26th, 2012 @ 2:50am

    Re:

    Australia is doing the same thing.

    In fact the BBC just did it with the ABC in Australia in regards to Doctor Who. This is only the beginning and seeing as the US networks rely on the money from O/S networks who now are saying you either give it to us AT THE SAME TIME or we refuse to buy it (which cuts very much into there bottom line) they are basically coming to the idea, admittedly kicking and screaming,. that the USA is only a small part of the actual viewer market.

    But you don't really care about any of that do you, e-gads it would be terribly devastating if piracy actually fell due to these initiatives. I mean how would you justify being paid as their shill then.. Sad for you hey! But really nothing to write home about in the scheme of things

     

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  12.  
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    PaulT (profile), Sep 26th, 2012 @ 3:22am

    Re:

    So, you're saying that because this isn't a magic bullet that will stop all piracy in NZ, media companies should continue refusing to offer customers the content they want? Sounds like the sort of moronic rambling you people would come out with.

    I'll give you some credit, I expected the "I don't like Homeland/it's not the biggest show on TV therefore this doesn't count" argument first.

     

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  13.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Sep 26th, 2012 @ 3:38am

    Re: This Is Not The First

    Ratings, unfortunately.

     

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  14.  
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    Ed C., Sep 26th, 2012 @ 4:37am

    from the *nailed it!* department

    Even if their motivation isn't "converting pirates", they obviously get the real motivation for why international consumers pirate current episodes of TV shows. When there's a huge buzz on the net from those who get to watch it first, people in other countries want to see what the buzz is all about. However, if there isn't ANY legal means for them to watch it in their country, they'll sometimes go to illegal means to do so.

    Sure, they could do without, but that doesn't really help anyone. By the time the gatekeepers open the doors in their country, the people who were the most stoked will have already seen it, and most others will have moved on to something else. When the buzz on the net basically crates a worldwide flash fire, it's best to strike when the fire is hot. That's where the biggest profit is to be had, not months later when the fire is but mere embers. I know the gatekeepers have been claiming for years now that a big reason for delaying, or even withholding, content was "lack of sales". Of course, they never got the fact that it's the fucking delays that damage their sales in the first place!

    I ought to mention though that there are legal reason for some delays, but those don't really matter from the consumers perspective. If the those who own the content can't get it sorted out beforehand, someone else will just ignore the laws and get it out before them.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2012 @ 4:41am

    In Australia for the last month the ABC has been airing the new Dr Who season online just a few hours after it's broadcast on the BBC in the UK.

    The first episode got more than double the (legal) views on the ABCs website (which allows every episode of every show they air to be watched online for about two weeks) in 24 hours than the most (illegally) downloaded tv show in Australia (How I Met Your Mother) gets in an entire month!

    They're finally starting to wake up to how things are now...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    Josef Anvil (profile), Sep 26th, 2012 @ 4:45am

    Re: Cord cutters

    "Sadly, the pirate types will just roll out more excuses, like 'it's not on when I want to watch' or 'cable costs too much' or 'I can't be arsed to pay'."

    What you fail to take into consideration is that many cord cutters (pirates) may have already fallen into the use of services that legally meet their needs. The content may be infringing, but the site linking to the content isn't hosting it. In other words, the market adapted around the situation.

    It's not on when I want to watch, is a valid argument. Anyone who sells DVRs will tell you that. Btw the whole point of this article is that the broadcaster is addressing that concern, so I'm not sure why you used that.

    Cable costs too much, is a VERY valid argument. Why should anyone have to pay a premium for channels they don't watch. It's an incredible stretch to think that anyone is out there pirating 200 channels a day.

    I can't be assed to pay, doesn't even apply to broadcast TV.


    But...but...but... piracy?! Well sorry to say, but the TV networks have had several years to adapt and have only recently figured out that they can offer their content online and still monetize it. Now they have to figure out how to bring those lost customers back into the fold. The best way to do that would be to run marketing campaigns to let the public know that the content they want is available online from the broadcasters website.

     

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  17.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Sep 26th, 2012 @ 5:28am

    Re:

    "Sadly, the pirate types will just roll out more excuses, like "it's not on when I want to watch" or "cable costs too much" or "I can't be arsed to pay"."

    It's free, and I'll DVR it (in HD and 5.1) to watch probably on the same evening or the next day. Why on earth would I make excuses and pirate it?

    "It may solve some issues, but not many. NZ is how many people? That's not a huge part of the piracy issue right there. Even if every pirate in NZ suddenly stopped, it would be, what 1% of the issue?"

    How is that even slightly relevant? If one network can do it for one show then lots of other networks can do it for lots of other shows. Having lots of satisfied customers is a far better end result than anything you'll get from traditional anti-piracy measures.

    "Nice, but nothing to write home about."

    Way to miss the point of the article. Try thinking beyond the one little thing right in front of you.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2012 @ 5:44am

    "If the content providers truly believe that Piracy = Lost Sales, why aren't they doing more to eliminate the gap between the content's debut and its worldwide spread?"

    Silly Tim, you're forgetting the piracy lawsuit model, it goes something like this.

    -More Delays = More Piracy
    -More Piracy = More people for your legal department to sue
    -More court victories against pirates = more outrage fines against those pirates that go into your bank account
    -Money earned from suing pirates > Money earned from legitimate viewers (by more then 10,000 to 1)

    So you see, they DO have a business plan! And it's one that looks darn good if you forget that pesky 'long term' thinking thing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2012 @ 6:19am

    Re:

    That sounds very nice! Let us hope that the numbers can stay significantly above the rest of the pack, so we can get some proof of concept instead of fearmongering saying that it is useless to accomodate customers as long as piracy exists!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    ROb, Sep 26th, 2012 @ 6:20am

    The BBC did this with Doctor Who. It use to air here in the USA weeks after it had been shown in the UK. Now it airs on BBC America just a few hours after it airs in the UK. I no longer need to download it! :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    Keroberos (profile), Sep 26th, 2012 @ 6:28am

    Re:

    "cable costs too much"
    It does. I watch a grand total of ONE show that is on cable/satellite. In two years this show has aired 19 episodes. Satellite (the only thing available in my area) is about $100/month + a $300 connection fee. That would equals $250 per episode for the first season (6 episodes: $100 x12 + $300 / 6 = $250), and $92.31 per episode for the second season (13 episodes: $100 x12 / 13 ≈ $92.31). Ain't gonna happen.

     

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  22.  
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    Keroberos (profile), Sep 26th, 2012 @ 6:35am

    Re:

    Plus if you forget that you'll most likely never see much if any of that lawsuit money (people can't pay what the don't have). The only ones that profit from infringement lawsuits against non-corporate targets are the lawyers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2012 @ 6:45am

    Re: Re: Cord cutters

    "The content may be infringing, but the site linking to the content isn't hosting it. In other words, the market adapted around the situation. "

    Dancing on the head of a legal pin. Who would visit the site if it didn't offer the content?

    I now have you marked as a serious piracy apologist, probably a frequent flier.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Sep 26th, 2012 @ 7:01am

    Their potential viewers soon discover that "2 weeks out" in TV network time means "3 hours or less" in TorrentTime.

    Three hours? You need a better tracker.

     

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  25.  
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    PaulT (profile), Sep 26th, 2012 @ 7:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Cord cutters

    "Dancing on the head of a legal pin. Who would visit the site if it didn't offer the content?"

    Google News doesn't get visitors now?

    "I now have you marked as a serious piracy apologist, probably a frequent flier"

    You have a lot of people marked for bullshit positions you make up you head. Far easier than listening to their actual opinions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    abc gum, Sep 26th, 2012 @ 7:21am

    Perhaps the show would not be pirated if there were better security ... I wonder what it would be named.

     

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  27.  
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    Dave Xanatos, Sep 26th, 2012 @ 7:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Cord cutters

    I now have you marked as a serious piracy apologist, probably a frequent flier.
    OOOooo! Mark me too! Mark me too!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    The eejit (profile), Sep 26th, 2012 @ 7:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Cord cutters

    It does not matter if it's dancing of the head of a legal pin. It is still, technically speaking, legal.

    ...Do I get more Frequent Pirate Miles for pointing out legality?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    The eejit (profile), Sep 26th, 2012 @ 7:35am

    Re:

    Well, all the good ones are hiding behind the DMCA, y'know!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2012 @ 7:44am

    Re: Re:

    I don't like Homeland, but it's still a positive development.

    They (TV3)are also doing "same week" with a few shows on their sister channel (TV4; they're super creative with TV station names in NZ...lol), but tonight on yet another channel I finally saw the third episode of Game of Thrones.

    Meh...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2012 @ 7:53am

    Re: Re:

    Rupert the Cunt Murdoch is too cheap to bother with cables. Sky just broadcasts a scrambled signal and customer have decoders. No cables needed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
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    PRMan, Sep 26th, 2012 @ 8:07am

    Re: WTF?

    Hey, it might not be news to you, but it certainly is to most media companies...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
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    PaulT (profile), Sep 26th, 2012 @ 8:28am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "I don't like Homeland, but it's still a positive development."

    Exactly. The business models used and your personal opinion of the content itself are two separate discussions. I can happily discuss the merits of a business model even if I despise the content it's pushing (or vice versa).

    Some of the regular trolls round here tend to bash the content or the artist if they can't find a business reason to reject the move being discussed, even if it's irrelevant. They seem to be taking a different route this time...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    OPxyz, Sep 26th, 2012 @ 8:36am

    "4 hours would put it on schedule with me getting it off torrents, so quite viable to watch."

    Guy needs a new torrent site. Every big name show is on torrent sites within 5-10 minutes of airing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
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    Zos (profile), Sep 26th, 2012 @ 8:54am

    Re: Re: This Is Not The First

    can you get the direct stream off comedy centrals website? now that they've fixed it and taken out the commercials i tend to use it over pirating daily show and colbert, just because it's easy and high quality.

     

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  36.  
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    Baldaur Regis (profile), Sep 26th, 2012 @ 9:08am

    After reading the latest on Dotcom over on TF, this seemed at first glance to be a "Good doggie, New Zealand, here's a biscuit!" gesture, a partial payment from the US for raiding Mega. Commenters have pointed out this trend in other regions, however, so I say good on ya networks for only taking 10 years to figure it out.

    With media execs using their brains for more than dustcatchers, what will all those nasty torrenters do?

    Won't somebody think of the pirates?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2012 @ 10:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Cord cutters

    Get a high enough number of those Pirate Miles and you might be able to join the Pirate Mile High Club...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2012 @ 10:26am

    I pirate just t' spite t' AA's. That ship has sailed. Dont care if they come out at t' same time. Now if Dodd gets jail time over t' Maga case then I might look in t' dollar in at China Mart.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2012 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Cord cutters

    "The content may be infringing, but the site linking to the content isn't hosting it. In other words, the market adapted around the situation. "

    Wasn't that O'Dwyer's contention? How'd that work out for him?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Sep 26th, 2012 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re: Re: This Is Not The First

    can you get the direct stream off comedy centrals website?

    You can certainly get it from Hulu, without needing Hulu+, so it has to be free somewhere if Hulu has it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
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    Scott, Sep 26th, 2012 @ 10:50am

    Re:

    Ditto to that

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
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    Keroberos (profile), Sep 26th, 2012 @ 11:20am

    Re:

    I was thinking the same thing. Stuff get put up within 5 minutes--maybe an hour--tops.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
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    Keroberos (profile), Sep 26th, 2012 @ 11:29am

    Re:

    Nah, the torrents still got 'em beat. Until they release their shows for DOWNLOAD (for us who can't stream in HD) before it stops airing on TV (or better yet--at the same time), with no DRM in an open format that can be played on/converted for any device you want to watch it on, piracy will always be a more attractive alternative.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
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    Zos (profile), Sep 26th, 2012 @ 2:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: This Is Not The First

    i'm just not sure if you can stream direct from outside the US... or get hulu for that matter.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Sep 26th, 2012 @ 6:44pm

    Z O M G!

    You mean they found a methods to nearly instantaneously transmit data around the globe, while at the same time inverting the signal upside down?!
    You mean they can stop putting these things on galleons and sending them out across the sea monster filled waters and actually get the content to consumers in less than months and without charging 3 times the price?!

    THIS WILL REVOLUTIONIZE CONTENT DELIVERY!

    I expect the **AA's to have CEO's of the companies doing this facing trumped up charges in Virginia in a few days, then a Anti-terrorism Task Force to use their chopper to detain them for extradition.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    icon
    R.H. (profile), Sep 26th, 2012 @ 10:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Cord cutters

    Quite well, in the jurisdiction where he lives and his site is hosted. Here in the US, where he has been charged with conspiracy to commit copyright infringement and criminal infringement of copyright, he hasn't been tried as yet so we don't know how it's worked out for him.

    I don't like the extradition for something that isn't illegal where he is but, I think that I'll enjoy seeing my unfortunately misguided government lose a case such as this. Maybe they'll learn something.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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