In the nearly 14 years I have lived in Australia to date, the only American stuff I have truly missed is Ben & Jerry’s. I certainly did not miss living in the US during the reign of King George the Torturer. Up ’til this point, pretty much any US TV offerings worth seeing (and those are damned rare) have been readily available, either on the ‘torrents or through the kindness of producers of such shows, who have made them viewable via their websites.
Well, a couple of days ago, the folks over at Comedy Central decided that it’s more important to please international copyright holders than the fans of the shows and so have geofiltered the availability of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Never you mind that TDS & TCR either don’t air at all in Australia or don’t air in their entirety. TDS is occasionally aired in Aus in a weekly ‘global edition’ digest form- and often a week (or more) later than the US airing, while TCR doesn’t air in Aus at all. This is suicide for a news and current affairs program. Who cares about month-or-more-old satires of current events?
While I’ve not succeeded over the years in getting any New York Super Fudge Chunk here in Aus, geofiltering of US websites is trivial to beat. The only thing that Comedy Central have accomplished by slamming the door on overseas fans of TDS & TCR is to generate an awful lot of badwill, particularly after Jon Stewart has bragged so many times that TDS is available for free, worldwide, via the TDS website. Well, that and will force TDS fans to get the show (probably illegally) off the ‘torrents.
American insularity is something that Stewart has railed against for all the time TDS has been on air. Lets hope commonsense prevails, but in the meantime, proxying, IP spoofing and torrents will keep any dedicated TDS/TCR fans from missing anything. One thing geofiltering will definitely not accomplish is to force fans in Australia to buy cable/satellite services so they can get old or truncated versions of the shows.
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