Wednesday, September 05, 2012


You are a good person.

Really. I honestly believe that simple statement.

In the pursuit of selling something to you, there are many people who will say the opposite.

Of course, their product is the answer. It will fix you.

Or, you should watch their TV show, so you can see people who are equally as flawed as you. It's a race to the bottom.

I have had a lot of arguments over the years about whether humans are intrinsically good.

I get into this debate especially around piracy.

Many filmmakers argue that people are cheap and just want to steal content, i.e. films and TV shows.

But I'm not convinced.

Yes, there are exceptions. Bad eggs, if you will, but exceptions always exist.

I believe there is an element of people who steal content simply because they can. I also believe they are in the minority.

The other element, the majority, is the group who want to get their content - safely, legally and in the highest quality form - but are blocked by poor delivery mechanisms and ridiculous restrictions.

For example, an Australian wanting to access American TV shows or films legally, paying the requisite fee for the content, is blocked by outdated release windows and geographic restrictions.

I am referring to the American TV and film streaming website, Netflix. Netflix offers a safe and affordable ($10/month for access to their massive content library) way for an audience to get their content legally. It is available on this new invention called 'the internet', which you may have heard of.

But an Australian (or many other audiences from other countries) is blocked from using the site due to geographic restrictions forced on Netflix by the content makers. This mirrors the region restrictions that still exist on your DVDs if you buy them from another country.

So, a person wanting to legally access the content, and pay for it, is turned away.

Meanwhile, that same person can instantly just use that same 'internet' to steal the content and watch it anyway.

This situation is the pinnacle of stupidity.

Even more hilarious is that these shunned audiences have not been deterred. Rather than simply illegally download the content they want, people are finding technological work arounds to get to the US site.

So, faced with having to possibly steal the content simply to watch it, people get creative and find ways to get to the paying site instead.

Do you see now why I believe people are good?

Interestingly, despite restricting foreign users, the Netflix site accepts foreign credit cards for the payment side of the transaction. It's almost like they want to make the content as available to paying customers as possible.

What a crazy idea!

Or is it crazy to make your audience engage in online espionage just so they can have the opportunity to pay for it?

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