Thanks to the tyranny of distance, Australians of the past were used to getting things well after the rest of the world. We really didn’t know any differently, so it didn’t matter, in years gone by, that our television was months behind it’s US release, or our books came out two years later, or fashions, music and film were far behind their original releases. But this thing called the world wide web now means we KNOW when new shows, films, music and so on is released. We are well aware of the first release date of new books from our favourite authors, and we get the buzz on the next hot thing AS IT HAPPENS.
I believe firmly in creators receiving income for their work, and I’m more than happy to pay for film, tv, music and books, so I can ensure the continued existence of the creations I love. But right now, it’s becoming very clear to me exactly WHY people pirate, illegally download and torrent these things. Why SHOULD I have to wait for a film, a television series, a new song or a new book for weeks or even MONTHS after it’s release for it to be locally available? If someone can explain to me exactly WHY I have to be dependent upon unreliable distribution via television networks, or hyper expensive distribution of local ebooks retailers, or delayed release of television shows on iTunes in my region, when the web makes access to these things instantaneous, I’d like to hear about it.
Surely the paying market for these things would increase significantly if we were given global opportunity to purchase at reasonable prices upon release? The illegal market would significantly decrease, because legal access for all would be immediate, meaning we could acquire the media we wanted through legitimate channels. Am I being naive? We who are lucky enough to live in a first world country live in a connected world (and yes, I’m well aware this is a first world problem and thus not important in the grand scheme of things) and it seems ridiculous to continue the regionalisation of media in this global world. What barriers are there to global release of media, and how can we cross them?