I guess no one have missed this weekends ebook wars between Amazon and MacMillan (recap below). Even with this kind of controversy and all the issues left to solve in the ebook business, it is a mature and democratic market compared to evideo.
Why is it illegal to buy a video stream or a video file of a movie or a TV program from another country? Where is net neutrality when you need it? where is free trade when you need it? Are they only for corporations?
I wish someone would stir the pot in the eVideo market too (this is in no way an indication i like what Amazon did). I don’t think most ordinary people outside the US and maybe to some extent the UK realize how much they have been left out of the on going electronic media revolution. The problem isn’t on the hardware or software solutions, it’s about access to the media itself that is a problem, especially in small countries and concerning televised material.
Podcasts, ebooks and audiobooks is available more or less all over the world. I love my iPhone and listen to downloaded podcasts or audio books all the time. But I can’t buy a TV series from iTunes in the US portal without breaking the law. There are copyright and rights issues with video that has to do with old tech, national channels buy the rights for it in their country banning it’s use by any one else inside national borders. Eventually I can buy a DVD/BR with their own issues but lets not go there.
I think Apple have made a lot of strides to make video available to the online public inside the United States and to some extent the UK while leaving the rest of the world outside in the cold. Personally I am surprised there isn’t any more information about this from Apple concerning the rest of the world, no road map, no explanation, no public intentions. I doubt it’s Apples fault we don’t have it. Part of the problem seems to relate to that the rights are handled on a country for country basis.
Hulu is another great stride in the right direction only available in the US.
hulu.com – International
For now, Hulu is a U.S. service only. That said, our intention is to make Hulu’s growing content lineup available worldwide. This requires clearing the rights for each show or film in each specific geography and will take time. We’re encouraged by how many content providers have already been working along these lines so that their programs can be available over the Internet to a much larger, global audience. The Hulu team is committed to making great programming available across the globe.
They talk about making more available and that contents providers are working for it, but where are the results?
Is it because I live in a small country (Sweden, but it applies to most other small countries) I don’t have it? Or is it because the business model stops online sales of on-going TV shows? And if so who’s fault is it? the sellers or the buyers?
Solutions? Maybe pay a fee to the national rights holders for each sale to their country? Maybe exclude online purchases from national rights?
I love that I can buy a book online and start reading a few seconds later. I hate I can’t do the same with video.
What do you think?
A short recap of the ebook wars:
sfwsignal.com Macmillan (who doesn’t want to undermine their print book business) allegedly wants Amazon to raise their Macmillan eBook prices from $10 to $15. In retaliation, Amazon (who wishes to promote their Kindle reading device, even if it means selling eBooks at a loss) stopped selling Macmillan titles altogether (except through 3rd parties).
sfwa.org —Dispatches from the Ebook Wars: Macmillan vs. Amazon by Victoria Strauss For some time, publishers andothers have been concerned about Amazon’s policy of pricingebooks at $9.99, regardless of the price tag publishers put on them. Many feel that Amazon’s discounted ebook pricing is an attempt to control and monopolize the ebook …