Geofiltering tomfoolery: one of the two downsides to being a US expat
Sunday May 03rd 2009, 7:04 am

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.


10 Comments so far
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Thanks for the X-forwarder tip – Lifesaver!!!

Comment by Marcus 05.11.09 @ 12:56 pm

No worries, Marcus. Happy to help. πŸ™‚

Comment by weez 05.15.09 @ 6:56 am

American TV has been markedly improved in the years since you left. Get yourself over to JB HIFI.

Can’t agree about Ben and Jerry’s though, ever since they discontinued Blueberry Cheesecake.

Comment by chris 06.03.09 @ 1:07 pm

chris, I actually have been to JB and not too long ago. KRudd bought me a 50″ Panasonic plasma as a somewhat belated xmas pressie. Diggin’ it, I didn’t even have to become a xian. πŸ™‚

B&J’s discontinued Wavy Gravy in my absence as well, severely devaluing their stock in my eyes anyway, but there’s still an awful lot of good to be said for NYSFC. πŸ˜‰

Comment by weez 06.03.09 @ 1:12 pm

You need to get some new DVDs, I suspect. Have you seen “The Wire”?

Comment by chris 06.03.09 @ 4:58 pm

Nah, if it’s worth seeing, ’tis on the torrents. We don’t need no steeeeenkeeeng DVDs. πŸ™‚

I probably would not be too interested in ‘The Wire’ if but for the fact I’m not a fan of cop dramas, but thanks for the suggestion. About the only US TV we watch, aside from TDS & TCR, is PBS NOVA docos.

Comment by weez 06.03.09 @ 6:00 pm

I don’t know what you mean by the “torrents”. I have to say though that The Wire has got to be one of the best shows of all time and it is virtually unknown down here. Anyway, it is much more than a cop drama.

I could name a half dozen shows that came out in the past few years that were real quality television. “Breaking Bad” is another, but you can’t get it here yet.

Comment by chris 06.03.09 @ 6:45 pm

Whoa – that is new for me. I’m just a finance guy. Those downloads look to eat up my monthly allotment from Telstra, though.

Too bad you can’t download ice cream…

Comment by chris 06.03.09 @ 7:56 pm

yep, you definitely need a big d/l limit to make it work for ya, but ours is 60GB/mo. πŸ™‚

Downloading ice cream would be far preferable, tho. πŸ™‚

Comment by weez 06.03.09 @ 8:11 pm

I don’t know what you mean by the “torrents”.

duuuude… where ya been? πŸ˜†

Get a copy of ΞΌTorrent then check Mininova or TPB to download lotsa interesting stuph. πŸ™‚ If it’s been on free-to-air or cable in the US (or anywhere else for that matter) it can almost certainly be had on the torrents.

Comment by weez 06.03.09 @ 7:30 pm

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