Friday, March 04, 2016

You give pirates their reasons

Dear Entertainment Industry

You don't like piracy very much, do you? No, of course you don't. Luckily, piracy of movies and TV shows have shown a decline in recent years, in large part, due to the fact that consumers of content are finally getting a taste of what they've been asking for for years. Content on demand. Thanks to the Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu, Shomi and Crave TVs of the world, consumers are finally being given the opportunity to watch what they want, when they want. No commercials. No lectures about piracy. No waiting.

Except, there's one giant problem. You still won't let consumers from outside your jurisdiction access certain content. As a Canadian, I cannot access Hulu. I cannot access HBO Go. I cannot access many titles that are available on the American version of Netflix. At least, not legally. If I want to access exclusive American content, I have to either lie about where I live or use some kind of network masking service to lie about where I'm connecting from. Which you don't like. Because you've negotiated various licensing agreements with various countries.

What consumers like me find confusing, is that some of the shows we can't access on demand are shows we can already see live on other channels. Or buy in the store. So why are you preventing us from accessing this content in the preferred manner? It just doesn't make sense to us. So guess what we're inclined to do?

PIRATE! If you're not going to let me pay to access all of your content at any time, I'm going to be motivated to steal that content for free. So, which would you prefer? I could continue to pay every month for access, and you give me what I want. Or I could stop paying you every month, and access everything I want elsewhere.

Your move.

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