TV is moving to the Web in the Wrong Way.
UK’s Channel 4 is to put its entire back catalog online for free
That’s the good news. The bad news is that this will presumably only apply within the UK.
Increasingly the dream of on-demand, online TV of the type that I tried to make available here from scraps that required sifting through endless search results is becoming a reality.
But there is one thing that is fucking it up royally – regionalization. The same moronic, antediluvian thinking that means that you can’t watch a DVD you bought in one country, in another is being applied to nearly all legitimate TV on the web. Its a disaster, something that doesn’t apply for music or text and is ruining something that could be great.
The usual excuse for this not being possible is the impossibility of handling things like the payments of residuals to actors. Like the music industry, the people who deal with this feel very threatened by the Internet and are actively trying to hold up progress.
The sad thing is that people won’t notice. You can’t miss something you never knew. But imagine if people in the UK could watch Hulu or people in the US could watch the Channel 4 in the same way that they can read the BBC online.