Weekly News Roundup (26 April 2015)

April 26th, 2015
Microsoft Surface Pro 3

The Surface Pro 3 – can it be my tablet, laptop and desktop all in one?

I got my Surface Pro 3 on Friday, so I haven’t had enough time to set it up yet as my primary work computer. My initial impressions are very positive though, it’s such a nicely built, lightweight and versatile device, and the Type Cover and the excellent kickstand means it’s more than capable in laptop mode. And with the separately sold dock, there’s no reason why it can’t be a desktop replacement as well. The negative? I still don’t like Window 8 (even with the 8.1 update).

So this week’s WNR is still bought to you by my old trusty (and a bit rusty) Core 2 Duo E8500, which, after nearly 6 years, is still more than adequate for work (and some games, courtesy of a mid-life Radeon 6850 upgrade). Let’s get started …

Copyright

While the pre-release leak of the first four Game of Thrones episodes prevented the season premier from breaking single swarm records, as people downloaded both before and after the first episode aired, and from different torrents, but after a week of downloads, there’s no escaping the fact that Game of Thrones piracy is still on the rise.

The leaked episodes, plus the post-broadcast uploads (and even a documentary on the show itself), when combined, totaled 32 million downloads in the first week alone, setting a new download record.

Game of Thrones: Season 4

It’s hard to upload a new screenshot for season 5 without the risk of spoilers, so here’s one from season 4

While at first this seems like bad news for HBO, the fact that official ratings for the show is up, meant that the increased downloads is more just a healthy sign of the show’s growing audience, rather than a slide towards piracy oblivion. Many of those that did download the new episodes were in the US, and are prime candidates for HBO’s new unbundled streaming platform, HBO Now. How to convert piracy traffic to paying subscribers may take some more tweaks in pricing and value, but I’m sure by this time next year, we’ll be looking at a different downloading paradigm.

Or maybe people will be watching the show, illegally, some other way. Twitter’s newly launched live streaming app Periscope has apparently been put to “good” use by enterprising pirates, to share the broadcast of new season premier with friends and strangers alike. HBO was not best please, issuing take-down notices and warning Twitter to get their act together and allow rights-holders to more efficiently remove streams.

With almost all anti-piracy efforts on torrents and direct downloads, it just goes to show that if people want to watch something for free, they’ll find a way to do it. The key is to convince people what you have is worth paying for, and at a price that they’re willing to pay.

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The next couple of stories all come via leaked Sony emails, more of which were recently published by Wikileaks. First up is the rather ironic story of the MPAA pirating clips from a Google commercial for their own promotional purposes. This is the same MPAA that has painted a target on Google, labeled them as public piracy enemy number one, and proceeded to attack the search engine (not always directly) whenever it can. The MPAA inserting themselves into where the general public feels they don’t belong is something that’s directly responsible for the group’s poor public image – the very same public image they were trying to repair with their pirated promo video. Oh, the irony!

Unblock-Us

Hollywood to go after users who are desperate to pay for content

The leaked emails also reveal other activities that won’t make the public like Hollywood much better. There seems to be a renewed effort from Hollywood to ban geo-dodging services, such as VPNs and smart DNS solutions used to access the likes of Netflix in places where there’s no Netflix (or access the international version of Netflix, which often yields a lot more content). This is despite a well known fact that if these services weren’t available, the same users would probably just rely on pirated streams and downloads. It’s Hollywood’s new way of punishing people that actually want to give them money (but just not as money as they want, or paid so in a way that allowed other companies to make some money too, both of which Hollywood find unacceptable).

The leaked emails exposes all the ways the MPAA has set out to put pressure on Netflix and others to ban VPN usage. The MPAA and their cohorts even went as far as threatening to sue ISPs that offered VPN services to their customers, despite VPNs being commonly used for many other purposes, including telecommuting. And even for things like watching Netflix, it’s still unclear if this even constitutes copyright infringement – a breach of the terms of service, yes, but the fact that people are paying (so it’s more like grey imports, rather than outright piracy) and that streaming is different to torrenting (as streaming does not have an upload component), means that Hollywood’s threats may not have a legal basis, in certain countries.

A blast from the past, here’s what the MPAA thought about the iPad when it was first released more than 5 years ago. There are some spot-on predictions made by the MPAA, both on the positives and negatives of the ground-breaking device. The MPAA liked the “walled garden” approach of the iPad, especially when it comes to DRM and difficulty in jailbreaking for novice users. The process of purchasing content and apps on iTunes and App Store, the MPAA argues, also serves to educate users about the value of digital content and the need to pay for stuff.

The things the MPAA didn’t like about the iPad was its ability to play ripped movies, stream illegal content, and also to wirelessly stream playback to external screens – something that wasn’t even possible when the report was written, but now quite common via Apple Airplay.

The MPAA also predicted that streaming video, like Netflix (its streaming app launched with the iPad), would take off.

So it seems to me that the Hollywood and the MPAA are more than capable of predicting the future and anticipating user demand. It’s just that they don’t actually want to serve the demand, if what their customers want do not align when their own short term self interest.

Gaming

While this story also pretty much falls within the copyright section of the WNR, it is also about gaming and about the things gamers have to do just to be able to play a game they’ve purchased. Yes, I’m talking about DRM and about how the gaming industry do not want any exceptions to the DMCA to allow the hacking of DRM, even if it’s just to bypass their poorly designed gaming DRM to allow allow their games to be played. This is especially true of older games that the publishers have ended support for.

No DRM

What do game companies have to gain to prevent gamers from bypassing DRM on games they no longer even support?

The EFF, as part of its submission to the U.S. Copyright Office and the Librarian of Congress’s review of copyright laws, wants an exception to be made to allow gamers to bypass DRM to play games that are no longer supported by the publishers and developers. A very sensible and limited exception, but one that’s still being opposed by the gaming industry, as well as the MPAA and RIAA. These rights-holders argue that somehow allowing users to make modifications to something they own would “undermine the fundamental copyright principles on which our copyright laws are based” and send the message that hacking is legal.

Except that hacking is legal, and playing around with other people’s stuff is how many programmers, including those in the gaming industry, got their start. “If ‘hacking,’ broadly defined, were actually illegal, there likely would have been no video game industry,” correctly argues the EFF.

——

That’s it for this quite busy week. Hope the next week is just as busy. See you again soon.

Weekly News Roundup (19 April 2015)

April 19th, 2015

My main workhorse computer (more and more just a glorified web browser these days, considering how ever app has moved online, and how little gaming I do these days) is starting to show signs of strain, and so it’s time to get something new. The matter is made more complicated by the fact that I also need a new laptop. So I thought, why not combine these two requirements, add in the (more want than) need for a new Windows tablet, and get the Surface Pro 3, plus the dock, and use that as my desktop replacement. It’s not going to play any serious games (games consoles are a much more economical choice for it these days, or a dedicated gaming PC for those that have the time and money to devote to such a beast and its time consuming ways), but it will be more than enough for work, and work can be taken away by me in both tablet form, or laptop form with the optional (but really should be standard) Type Cover accessory. Some light gaming may also be included.

I opted for the i7/256GB/8GB RAM model, since this is a business purchase and end of financial year, tax deductions blah blah blah – but most will find the i5/128GB/4GB RAM model more than adequate.

I may live to regret my decision, especially given the high cost of the SP3, but it’s hard to justify spending money on a gaming PC when my current 6 year old PC can still do a semi-decent job at medium quality levels, and when I haven’t played a PC game in about 6 months. And an Ultrabook or Macbook Pro with the same portability as the SP3 won’t cost much less, and does not transform into a tablet.

A gaming PC might still be on the table, but it will probably be one that I will build from scratch, part by part, just for the fun of it.

Time will tell if I’ve made the right decision.

Oh yeah, news stuff.

Copyright

Game of Thrones: Season 4

Game of Thrones continues where we left off last season … still sh*t load of piracy!

Dragons, nudity, death of a beloved character. These are things synonymous with HBO’s Game of Thrones. Piracy, record, smashed – these are also words associated with the hit TV show. And the season 5 premier is no different. Well actually, it is different, and it is a lot worse!

The good news is that the piracy record wasn’t broken this time, but that was only because the first four episodes of the show was leaked prior to the show’s debut, catching HBO and pirates alike off-guard. As downloaders slowly trickled into the swarms, it soon became a downloading frenzy, but the spread out nature of the downloads meant that, technically, no records were broken (and I’m sure if the download totals over a week from after the pre-release leaks were released was ever calculated, I’m sure records will have been broken).

So it’s bad to worse for HBO, which to their credit, tried really hard this time to reduce the incentive to pirate by making new episodes available worldwide simultaneously, and by launching the standalone streaming product HBO Now. The pre-release leak is particularly worrying, and it should prompt HBO to tighten up security for screener copies being sent to reviewers (unique visual and digital watermarks for each copy might be something HBO needs to consider).

One thing they could do is to make HBO Now available outside of the U.S. For example, in Australia, where users have tried to sign up using VPN/smart DNS services, but are now apparently being banned. This will be difficult not just in Australia but all around the world due to HBO’s deals with local pay TV operators, many of whom have locked up HBO programming in exclusive deals, in order to protect their premium pricing model. Piracy is the inevitable result.

Ironically, it’s this kind of piracy that is causing Netflix to drop their prices. Apparently, Netflix sets pricing for their international subscriptions based on that country’s piracy rate – the more pirated downloads, the cheaper their service will be. Netflix says that this is because they’ve positioned their service as a competitor to piracy, and as a result, they cannot ignore the reality of piracy. Or at the very least, they don’t treat piracy as something that can be easily eradicated and devote all their resources to combat piracy based on this false believe.

It’s this false believe that’s the driving force behind the urgency to change copyright laws in Australia to deal with the piracy scourge. Change that apparently is headed not by the local film industry, but by Hollywood lobbyists, many of whom have never set foot in Australia. According to the latest leaked Sony documents published by Wikileaks, much of the US based effort is being channeled via local Village Roadshow co-chairman Graham Burke. Local film studio Village Roadshow is infamously known as the company that compared movie downloads to “terrorism or paedophilia”, and believes in the possibility of “total eradication” of piracy as the end-goal.

Good luck with that!

High Definition

The Simpsons Season 17 Blu-ray

Do discs still have a place in our homes? Fox says no!

Changes are-a-coming for The Simpsons, and it could be the end of an era. No, Fox isn’t cancelling the iconic animated show, but they are cancelling the DVD and Blu-ray releases for it. Bad luck for collectors, who should have season 1-17, and season 20, on disc, but will no longer be able to continue adding to their collection.

Both Fox and Al Jean, the Simpsons’ showrunner, blames the “collapse of DVD market and rise of downloads” for the decision, with Jean also apologising to fans outside of North America for the digital option, such as Fox’s streaming service FX Now, being not available in most places.

Regular followers of our Blu-ray/DVD sales report will already know that DVD sales have been declining steadily for years, while Blu-ray sales have also started to stall recently. Most of the business is going to the digital side of things, from iTunes, to Hulu Plus to FX Now (all places where you can watch The Simpsons), so Fox’s decision is understandable, even if, once more, overseas fans lose out.

Gaming

Fox’s move may be signalling the end of discs, Nintendo may also be signalling the end of the Wii U. With the delay of Zelda that I mentioned here a couple of issues ago, the announcement of the Wii U’s successor, the Nintendo NX, barely 2 years into the console’s lifespan, and with the number of announced titles shrinking all the time, Nintendo may have finally decided that the Wii U isn’t going to cut it anymore in the face of stern competition from the PS4 and the Xbox One.

So the new Zelda game could very well end up having the same fate as the last Zelda game, Twilight Princess, which was originally meant for the GameCube, only to be delayed so that it could be simultaneously released on the Wii as well.

Wii U

The end is nigh for the Wii U? Maybe not, but Nintendo knows it doesn’t have long left …

And let’s hope Nintendo don’t mess up the NX the same way they “messed up” the Wii U. While the Wii U was by no means a complete failure, the fact that it wasn’t a huge improvement on the last gen, and clearly behind the current gen, arrived at a relatively high price with few third-party game support, and with Nintendo failing to properly demonstrate how gaming on the Wii U would be better and more fun (even though, albeit subjectively speaking, it should be). Release a console that’s more powerful than the PS4/Xbox One, had all the “family fun” stuff that Nintendo is famous for, add in a sprinkle of first-party must-haves close to release (Mario, Mario Kart, Zelda …), and then ensure there are plenty of third-party exclusive worth mentioning, and Nintendo may be onto another winner. And from the perspective of someone who writes this particular blog and its main topics of discussions, maybe ensuring the Wii U is also a competent media player would also be a good idea(Blu-ray preferred, but should at least support all the streaming apps, plus local/network based media playback/streaming).

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The March NPD results do not reveal any surprises at all. The PS4 once again beat the Xbox One for first place, with the Wii U in a distant third (probably). It’s probably not even worth mentioning the NPD results every month anymore, unless something strange happens, like the Xbox One finally managing to beat the PS4 (might happen, but Microsoft will need bigger price cuts and better exclusives to make it a consistent thing, as opposed to just during holiday discounting).

——

It’s unlikely that, by this time next week, I’ll be writing the WNR on my new SP3. Unlikely because it will take a while to get everything installed, set up and transferred in time. Ah, the simultaneous joy and pain of a new PC setup. See you next week.

Weekly News Roundup (12 April 2015)

April 12th, 2015
Reddited

Getting “Reddited” is both awesome and terrifying

A funny thing happened on Friday. There I was updating the site with the latest software downloads, I suddenly notice the site is all slow. I check the server stats, and find that traffic throughput is way up, so much that the server was finding it difficult to cope. My first thought was that the server might be under some kind DDoS attack, since the traffic rise was so sudden, but upon closer inspection, almost all of the traffic was going to this outdated news article. A fancy type of DDoS attack, I thought, linking to such an old news article to try and take down the whole site. But an even closer look at the referrals, and it soon became clear what was happening: a Reddit Hug!

Apparently, that old article about that confusing artwork for the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo DVD made it to Reddit’s TIL (Today I Learned), and for a while, it was the second most popular article on the front page of Reddit.

So Today I Learned that getting linked to on the front page of Reddit is very much like a DDoS attack.

Here’s the news for this week …

Copyright

Piracy isn’t always a bad things, especially in developing countries. A new study by the African Governance and Development Institute has found that software piracy can lead to increased literacy and the spread of knowledge.

This seems fairly common sense to me. Poorer communities are possibly the most in need of access to technology and information, and the least capable of paying for the software needed to get that access. The fact that communities that have no resources to pay for software have to break copyright law in order to access the tools that they can use to better their situation, kind of points to what is wrong with the copyright regime in general. Users that can’t pay cannot cost rights holders anything when they use their product or content without authorisation, and if there’s no financial loss, then I don’t even know if this should be considered piracy.

But had these communities respected copyright law, then the real cost is that they could be missing out on a lot of the things we take for granted, like access to the Internet, educational eBooks, and other essential resources.

High Definition

Amazon’s streaming platform, Prime Instant Video, has seriously improved their offering recently, and even bagged an award or two for their original programming. However, it’s still very much lagging behind Netflix when it comes to bagging new subscribers, and the experts at Strategy Analytics say they may know why. While Netflix charges their subscription on a monthly basis, Amazon requires users to lock into an annual contract, even if the total price for Amazon’s Prime subscription, which also includes two-day free shipping and free Kindle book lending, is actually lower.

Amazon Prime Instant Videos

Amazon Prime is still finding it hard to compete with Netflix

While this may explain the lower sign up numbers, Netflix’s superior content library (especially originals), is still a big draw. Strategy Analytics found that even for those who have forked out the cash for Amazon Prime, most are actually spending more time watching Netflix than Prime Instant.

For me though, the problem for Amazon also comes down to support for the service on devices. Netflix simply works on more devices, and works better too. The install process for the Prime Instant Video app, at least on many Android tablets, is simply not good enough (requiring the install of the Amazon Appstore app first, and then the Prime Instant Video app, which then, at least on my Asus tablet, simply launches a browser window to the Amazon website). Just read the comments on the Amazon page for the app, and it’s easy to see where and how Amazon can make improvements.

Unblock-Us

Netflix *can* ban users who use VPNs and geo-unblockers, but they probably *won’t*

One things Netflix definitely shouldn’t do is to start banning VPN users, which Netflix’s terms and conditions allows them to do. The clause was added into Netflix’s T&Cs about a year ago, and was only noticed recently (thus once again providing that nobody read those things). Most analysts don’t believe Netflix will actually start banning their paying customers, no matter where they are, but that the clause may be there simply to appease rights holders. But with countries like Australia and Canada updating their copyright laws to copy existing laws in the US, the use of VPN and geo-unblockers to bypass geographical restrictions may, if the rights holders get their wish, become illegal as well.

So once again, we have rights holders trying to use technical measures to get what they want and force users to use content in an “approved” way. And when these technical measures inevitably fail, the pressure is then put on legislators to make unapproved usage illegal. Of course, there’s not much that can be done in terms of enforcement, which then leads to rights holder thinking up all sorts of crazy schemes (three-strikes, censorship), all in a bid to not give people what they want.

Whether it’s release windows, or DVD region locking, or geo-restrictions – the fact is that many people around the world are paying more for less, leads them to feel they aren’t being treated fairly. This patent unfairness is what helps people justify their actions, dismissing moral and legal concerns in the process. So the real solution is the make things fairer, even if it means a cheaper Netflix (translating to lower licensing fees for rights holders) for regions that don’t get as much content.

——

While the next-gen codec wars have been won by H.265/HEVC, Google still hasn’t completely given up, having recently ditched Flash and going forwards with its HTML5/VP9 setup for YouTube. Since then, YouTube says that over 25 billion hours of VP9 content has been viewed on the video sharing site, with the amount of 4K videos being uploaded to the size also growing by three-fold. The most striking conclusion for me, based on these figures, is that people have way too much time on their hands!

——

Speaking of too much time, I think I’ve already wasted too much of your time this week. Thanks for reading, and see you next week!

Weekly News Roundup (5 April 2015)

April 5th, 2015

A short WNR this week, I guess maybe it’s because of the Easter break. May you have success in your hunt for the eggs of the Leporidae.

Otherwise, it’s been a really difficult week for finding news stories. Not because there weren’t any, but because there were too many, with approximately 94.12% all being April Fools made up stories. People have gotten really good at making up these, so it’s no longer obvious just which stories are April Fools and it’s been really frustrating trying to figure things out.

Copyright

No DRM

GOG frees your game from its awful DRM via its new “reclaim” program

GOG, forever fighting the good fight against DRM, has a new weapon in its arsenal – DRM-free reclaiming! The idea is simple – got a game whose DRM has expired which makes the game no longer playable? Simply enter the game’s serial key into GOG’s reclaim page, and you get a free and DRM-free copy of the game that will work forever.

Only a couple of games are supported now (basically just STALKER games at this time), but GOG plans to add more games once more publishers sign up, and the not-so-fun sounding “scavenger hunt to retrieve forgotten key-databases”.

I really hope more publishers sign up to GOG’s scheme – I mean they have nothing to lose, and really, they owe their paying customers this much. And if I was a publisher that used a DRM that’s likely to expire, I would openly advertise the fact that the DRM would be removed from the game after a set period of time (say a year?), and give their paying customers the peace of mind that they deserve!

High Definition

Sony 4K TV with 4K Media Player

4K streaming is great … when using it doesn’t take down the whole neighbourhood’s Internet

HEVC is already one of the most efficient ways to encode 4K video, but if the claims from firm V-Nova is to be believed, their Perseus codec will be even better. Of course claims like this have been made before, and only real-world testing will tell us whether this closed, proprietary codec is all that it claims to be.

But even if Perseus is as good as it claims to be, there’s no guarantee that it, or any other codec, will take the place of HEVC as the industry preferred compression standard. Even Google’s public backing of their own VP9 codec failed to make a real dent into the popularity of HEVC, so sometimes it’s not about technical merit (which often does not stack up to press release claims), but simply about marketing and getting the most hardware and software partners – something that HEVC did really well (true of its predecessor, H.264/AVC), signing up to partner like Netflix, Samsung, and being selected for use for Ultra HD Blu-rays.

Here in Australia, the news of a even more efficient codec is a welcomed one, since the arrival of Netflix has all but crippled our flaky Internet. Our current Luddites-in-charge (ie. our government) keeps on insisting that nobody needs faster Internet, not now and not in ten year’s time, and so promptly cancelled plans to roll out 100 Mbps fibre and replace it with a “up-to” 25 Mbps FTTN network (depending on how far you are from the exchange). Considering that a single 4K Netlix stream could theoretically max out the connection for a typical FTTN users, the need for a 50 or 100 Mbps connections is something that’s quite real right now.

Gaming

The Legend of Zelda - Wii U

Zelda for the Wii U has been delayed until 2016

The Legend of Zelda for Wii U has been delayed until 2016. If there’s one thing that really bugs me about how Nintendo has handled the Wii U is the lack of a Zelda for the platform. The rumor is that Nintendo’s next console may be coming in 2017, which means that there won’t be a Zelda game on the Wii U until pretty much the last year of its status as Nintendo’s flagship console. Compare that to ‘Twilight Princess’, which was released on the Wii pretty much at launch (also available on the GameCube, the last Nintendo release for that platform) and really helped to show off the Wii’s innovative controls, even if it was really just a port from the GameCube version. I just feel that had the release line-up for the Wii U included a made-for-the-platform Zelda game, the console’s fortunes might have been different – remember that it wasn’t until the Wii U Mario Kart game that the Wii U started to sell in better numbers.

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Have a great Easter break, if you have one. See you next week!

Weekly News Roundup (29 March 2015)

March 30th, 2015

The way I see it, how licensing works today is so inefficient. Someone like Netflix has to negotiate with the same studios (or at least studios with the same parent company) over and over again, in every country that it’s available in. And studios, forever trying to squeeze the last cent from distribution deals, are still using the old way of thinking in regards to release windows, exclusivity deals, and different licenses for different platforms (one for TV, one for pay TV and another for streaming) – I’m just not sure they can continue to do business this way in the age of the Internet and with piracy so rampant (exclusivity means nothing when it’s available 2 hours after broadcast on the regular torrent sites).

More on this later in this WNR, but first …

Copyright

DVDFab

DVDFab’s double trouble this week with the courts, and with Google

Don’t try to trick the court – that’s the lesson to be learnt from the latest ruling in the DVDFab trial. The company that makes the DVD ripping tool was the subject of a rather harsh preliminary injunction last year that saw domain name seized, social media accounts locked up, and online payment accounts frozen.

The company behind DVDFab, Fengtao Software Inc, responded to the injunction by promising to no longer sell their product to US customers. All that was fine, except it appears that unwilling to lose a huge share of their business, the makers of DVDFab tried to bypass the injunction by launching several sites targeting US patrons (sites like BluFab.com, TDMore.com).

When the complainants, AACS LA, got wind of this and notified the court, the court had no other choice but to issue further injunctions against a defendant whose action in continuing to try and sell to US customers, the judge in the case says, can only be classified as “recalcitrant persistence”. As a result, the judge ordered these other domain names seized, and for DVDFab’s new social media accounts, including Twitter account @dvdfabofficial, to be seized. The judge also barred payment processors in the US from working with DVDFab, which makes it almost impossible for DVDFab to do business in the US (and very difficult worldwide).

To make matters worse, Google’s Chrome browser is now listing both the download sites of DVDFab and the download itself as malicious (Firefox and IE downloads are unaffected). This is despite Google owned VirusTotal classifying the file as completely clean.

One possible scenario is that the same download servers used to host the DVDFab files are also hosting actual malicious or adware programs, and that DVDFab has been labelled as such by association.

Update: It appears the block on the download servers and the download itself has been removed, and that it was a false positive or the above described scenario of guilty by association. Google Chrome has been a bit over-active in blocking downloads lately, which I guess is what you have to expect from a search engine/browser maker trying to also be an anti-malware/security company.

——

Australia’s new ISP copyright policing regime has already been condemned by consumer groups, but some content holders are still not happy. Apparently, some want further action to be taken against VPNs and geo-unblockers. It seems in their eyes, users who want access and are willing to pay, but not in a way that’s “approved” by rights-holders (to allow them to maximize their profits) are no better than pirates and should be dealt with accordingly.

New Netflix UI

Netflix wants to make VPNs obsolete by making the same content available everywhere

Netflix, on the other hand, sees it differently. Instead of castigating users that are clearly trying to do the right thing, Netflix wants licensing to be changed so that users will no longer need to use VPNs to get the content they want – a type of global licensing scheme that doesn’t discriminate against users just because they don’t live in the right country.

I understand why content holders want to maximize their profits via regional deals (because they’re greedy), but in this day and age where borders means nothing on the Internet, I find their way of thinking extremely outdated. This kind of wheeling and dealing is also one of the major reasons behind why people choose to pirate, with content locked up in expensive deals, which means higher costs to consumers, taking the content out of the reach of a growing segment of the consuming public. If the costs of piracy are so high, as rights-holders contend all the time, does making a few extra bucks in these kind of licensing deals really worth the cost in rising piracy rates?

And it’s not as if we’re talking about premium content like Game of Thrones – catalog and older titles are subject to the same restrictions, which is why Australia’s Netflix library only contains a fraction of what’s available in the US, despite most of these content being older stuff that nobody is paying for anyway. It’s just short-sighted greed, pure and simple!

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That’s it for this week’s rather short WNR. See you next week.


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