It's well established that Rupert Murdoch threw a bit of a hissy fit
on Twitter, after public protests helped put SOPA and PIPA on hold. However, as plenty of people have been pointing out, perhaps the real problem is with Murdoch's (and others') own business model choices. Danny Sullivan recently put forth an open letter to Murdoch
, talking about the difficulty of getting The Simpsons
legally, despite paying for it:
That’s right. I pay you three times for The Simpsons. First, I get it broadcast over the air. That’s me paying you for it, because the airwaves are mine — not yours. You’re simply allowed to lease them from the public. You’re getting a piece of that spectrum from me. In return, I expect you to deliver me valuable content through it. Well done with The Simpsons.
But you know, it’s easy to miss things broadcast live over the air. Also, my signal is pretty bad. So I pay a second time, to DirecTV, to get exactly the same content you send over the air to me through satellite TV. I get a better picture. I get the ability to DVR episodes to watch later. And I pay something like $125 per month for my subscription, some of which goes into your pocket.
That brings me to my third way of paying: Hulu Plus. I don’t DVR everything. Somehow, I missed The Simpsons when it started up again this fall. But Hulu Plus has turned into a lifesaver in these cases. It has let me catch-up on programs. It’s been well worth the $7 per month I pay for it, some of which, again, goes directly into your pocket.
Yup, triple pay. So, clearly, Sullivan can watch the Simpsons when and how he wants, right? Nope:
And now to tonight. My son fired up Hulu Plus, so we could watch The Simpsons, as we have in the past. But no luck — he got a “web only” message. Turns out, I discovered after doing a little searching with your least favorite search engine, last year you started limited next-day episodes.....
Despite paying for Hulu Plus, I cannot watch The Simpson on any device like my Roku player that is designed to play The Simpsons direct to my TV.
I gather this is because you don’t want me to buy Hulu Plus and stop paying for DirecTV, right? I get that. But it’s not like I have the same option to watch archived episodes on DirecTV, If they’re offered on demand, they are impossible to find.
Sullivan points out that all this is really doing is pushing kids to go to their search engines and to start exploring the infringing sources Murdoch seems so angry about. Seems like more of the same old story we've heard over and over again... with the twist here being the fact that Sullivan is already paying three times for the same content and still
can't get it legally.