Is Australia Too Entitled About Tech And TV?

Australia's a funny place. We're currently occupying the largest island in the world with but a handful of people by comparison, and yet when it comes to technology like tablets and smartphones, and TV shows like Game Of Thrones and The Walking Dead, we expect to have them at the same time and at the same price as our US counterparts. Are we being too entitled?

Perhaps it's the fact that our popular culture is so heavily influenced by that of the US that we feel like the poor cousins that miss out on nice things meant for North Americans. We see what they're getting and pout when we can't have it immediately.

Or perhaps we're not entitled at all, and it's ridiculous to think that with something as pervasive as the internet we still have to wait a week and a day for Game of Thrones to appear locally online without the stigma of piracy nor should we think it's special that we only have to wait 33 hours for the next instalment of The Walking Dead?

What do you think? Are we too entitled when it comes to tech and entertainment?

Image: Tantrum by Ryan Boren, CC 2.0



    I'm going to ask you to close your eyes (not yet, once you've read this) and imagine looking up into a clear blue sky with the distant deep buzz of a skywriting plane barely audible. A tiny silver speck glints in the bright sunlight as the pilot deftly manoeuvres his little aircraft through the skies, spelling out the answer to this question, stroke by stroke, letter by letter, in capitals hundreds of metres high - Y E S !

    I find the comments around these topics mostly sickening. The belief that you have the right to steal something just because it is not presented to you when you demand it is the kind of behaviour most of us would expect from a two year-old. That it seems today to be carried into adolescence and beyond speaks to the total and abject failure of society and brings to mind the decline of the Roman Empire.

    I am more than happy to wait for as long as it takes to see the next episode of my favourite shows. If I do get impatient for something or other, I go out and buy or rent it on DVD. I don't punish the company that makes my favourite show, I punish the company that makes it too hard for me to watch it. e.g. When Ch. 10 kept moving Battlestar Galactica and Dexter around, causing me to miss a few episodes, I stopped watching it on TV and went out and bought the DVDs when they were released. That way the production company still earns their money to make the next season but Ch. 10 get nothing. If you want to see your favourite shows wither and die, then don't support them.

      "If I do get impatient for something or other, I go out and buy or rent it on DVD"

      How would you even do this for game of thrones, when I literally can't pay for it outside of Foxtel?

      You must be joking, seriously, you have the internet... and you still watch DVD's.

        don't feed the trolls ;)

    Smart move Luke.

    You got website hits and people's comments on a topic readers are actually passionate about.

    Australian TV execs have tried to limit access to overseas shows to their lazy, unimaginative and slow distribution methods. Then they keep changing schedules till they have totally pissed off viewing audiences. It takes SBS & ABC to get some of the more adventurous fare off the ground, till the executives see an easy profit.
    It is a question of scale - as we rate as a buying country, little more profitable than a state of the US when it comes to distribution - and we have to be resourceful as individuals to take matters into our own hands if we can't get fair access to what would be relatively easy to distribute internationally.
    I am all for the support of local content, but due to the lack of interest in what it churns out, I don't watch free to air at all

    I dont think we're entitled. I do think that we are entitled to get equal treatment (or as close to equal treatment as possible) as the rest of the world.

    I dont mind waiting a few days to see the next episode of whatever series. but when were talking 12+ months (I'm looking at you, Walking Dead s1 & Oz) then I think weve got a problem.

    If theres not a way to legaly enjoy a series / film / game / book at a reasonable price in a reasonable timeframe, then thats when piracy becomes a problem for publishers.

    tl;dr get it available in Oz in a timely manner & dont charge double the US price for it, then everybodys happy.

    In a world where the TV/Movie entertainment industry is using social media to try and integrate their products with our entire lives, being 33 hours behind is a big thing.

    Take Sherlock for example. This is a brilliant and funny take on the old books, and to make it feel more real the characters have their own blogs. In the first season finale Sherlock was updating "his" blog in real time while the show ran. This means that the BBC have just gathered more attention from those (like myself) who tend to watch TV with either a laptop or tablet at hand. Had I been able to watch the episode at the same time as the UK audience, I would have been checking out his blog and participating in the show a lot more.

    Of course, if I had been able to watch the show at the same time as the UK Audience, it would have been around 9am here, and I would have been at work. How does the saying go? "You can't always get what you want". :P

    Why not make the show available to download for free but with adverts included. I would download it and watch it this way. No different to recording it to DVR just much more convenient.

      + 1 gazillion

    The reason I watch TV shows from the internet and not on free to air is due to the lack of commitment from the broadcasters keeping the show on time and on the air. Nothing like settling into an episode a week only to find out that next weeks show will not be shown due to sport/event/new programming or the time slot has been changed. Channel 9 was notorious for doing this with Star Trek in in the 90's. In some severe cases not even showing the rest of a season forcing a trip to the Video store to rent the season (back before the days of internet downloading and DVDs) So if a show on the interwebs is 1 day/week/month/year! ahead of Aussie broadcast viewing I'm watching it then and there because I know I will be able to watch all episodes when I want to watch them. Greedy? Yes. Entitled? Sure, why not?

    Have a look at the Oatmeal's "I tried to watch Game of Thrones and this is what happened".That basically sums up my feelings.
    Imagine the ruckus if the 50 year old housewives in Australia weren't allowed to read 50 Shades of Grey for another year, and then the book had large colour ads jump out at you every 20 odd pages. What if they could only read a chapter a week, and the timing of that chapter may change depending on the whims of the publishers and whether or not the tabloid trash preceding this weeks chapter ran over time?
    That's how it is with TV shows.

    Also, I don't watch much TV as the show I want is never on when I have time to watch, so I download so I can watch the show when I can.

    The bottom line is that it can be done, they can put a show online, as soon as it airs in the US, in full high definition and surround sound. But they don't, they don't have an appropriate business model for such a system so instead they choose to not have one at all, even if they had an ad based streaming site, they would still get more money that the current $0 they are getting from pirating.

    It just makes too much sense, that's why we feel entitled, because it's possible, it's easy, but it's not happening.

    Game of Thrones - Best series I have seen in a long time. My options right now? Watch a copy or don't watch it. While I sympathise somewhat with the producers needing to recoup costs to make these extravagant dramas for us, I feel no remorse in that if I did not get to see these through friends, I simply would not see them. In other words, my seeing these without paying actually costs the production companies ZERO in lost revenue. And I have said to many friends "have you seen Game of Thrones?" Conversations that may have lead to new patrons. Maybe I should demand an advertising fee???
    Oh, and if they did have an internet channel that ran these shows, uncut, and supported by showing advertisements? - yes, I would use that. If TV can show them and pay for it with ads, why not the interwebs????
    But I guess it is my bad that I even try to justify watching a show without paying. Its not like the Recording industry / Movie distributors have a pricing structure in Australia that Choice Magazine and others can find no real cost justification (besides gouging) for. Is it??? (CD DVD Pricing) And I guess the recording industry and Movie studios have always kept up with market realities and moved along with the times, stayed competitive, and been the leaders of innovation with the new digital reality. Bringing their goods to new markets through innovation.

    Yeah, not too upset by it all...

    "Regional Pricing" is the real evil.

    I stopped watching FTA TV content a few years ago and now rely on both purchased DVD content and downloaded content when I noticed parts of the show was being cut to make more room for adds.
    Some shows I have down loaded each week fromthe pirate sites and when it is released on DVD I buy it. I don't buy it first off because it simply not available... The FTA TV stations have screwed up the shows I like to watch far too many time and now I don't watch them at all. The same thing applies to movies. I down load them and watch as soon as they are available online, when they are eventually released to DVD if they were any good I buy them. As for the not so good shows, if they had been released to DVD before they were pirated they would have had another sale. By delaying the release hear in Australia they are just shooting themselves in the feet.

    The price thing I understand to a point however making us wait weeks and months for digital streams/downloads (that we pay for)? How does that even make sense? The data could be here almost instantly it's not like they have to load a copy on a ship wait for it to arrive here and then start streaming it from an Australian Server...

      To continue this problem is the fact that with how connected the world is now we hear about all these things at the same time as the U.S. but then we have to wait months to get them whilst reading all about them online when the digital downloads that we are willing to pay for are being withheld for no reason other then our location.

    I pirate mostly everything I have, and I also pay for a few things if I can't pirate it.

    Software and shows I could care less about. The markup on hardware though, is absolutely ridiculous. An iPhone 4s in America is like, $100, right? It's $700 here for the 16gB model.
    We get fucked in the ass when it comes to phones, computers and basically everything else. Especially fucking petrol.

    My problem with these sorts of posts is that I try to have a constructive conversation about what preconditions are necessary to make me pay for content rather than pirate. I get called an ass hole or entitled. That's fair enough, but because people are so busy mud slinging, they ignore how easy it is to convert people like me to a pay system. I've been converted before. I used to pirate all of my games, but then Valve provided an outstanding and affordable service. I now almost never pirate games (I sometimes torrent as a demo). Similar services in the US have also met with a lot of success. Instead here, we get offered fast-tracking on foxtel.

      +1, I used to acquire a few games from friends external hdds now its steam all the way. Foxtel fast tracking isn't even 'fast' in most cases its a week behind. The problem with the whole situation is that the U.S. treats us like an extension, they advertise to us at the same time as the U.S. and we are deeply ingrained in the U.S. culture but then they decide to hold back a very large part of modern culture - television. MotorMouth will probably hate me for this but what the hell might as well say it, I accept that production people are probably paid quite badly but maybe instead of charging 30 dollars a dvd months after U.S. release go see the actors making $2 million per episode (looking at the crack boy here) which is what 1-2 weeks of work? When actors earn no more then a normal high income wage they can scream about 'lost' revenue

    Who are these people that actually wait for any digital products, seriously just make something like Spotify for music, film and games. Simultaneous release worldwide, for everything. It will literally stop all piracy. And if studios like HBO want to make "premium" shows like Game of Thrones, make us pay extra. Again simultaneous worldwide release. Of course I'm going to pay $1 or $2 to see a show when it is first aired. What's that? Necessary delays due to payment regions? Well I guess I'll just go the the guy's that have everything I want for free.

    Uh guys, just buy DVDs or otherwise you give me permission to rape your wives and murder your children. Because, you know, downloading a tv show is just that bad. It's bad, mmmkay?

    The price issues are the biggest hurdle for me. Like everybody else, I don't want to wait months to watch a TV show I'm interested in. Does that make me entitled? Well so be it.

    Now if I torrent the show (and copying is NOT stealing, it's license infrigement - big difference) I get it immediately, in HD and free. Now I'd be willing to pay $1-$2 per episode, but I can't.

    I could get Foxtel, but then I'd be paying $50+ a month for a handful of shows. Not an option.

    I could watch it on Netflex or Hulu - oh no I can't, they are region locked.

    I could buy it on iTunes. Hells no. iTunes is more expensive than buying the physical disk and that's just a bad joke.

    So I could buy it on DVD/BR. I could, but then I'm back to the waiting 6-12 months problem AND I have no need for physical media anymore. It just takes up space. I want everything digital and streaming from my NAS.

    Except I have to pay extra for that, and still deal with device restrictions.

    It's the stupidity of the networks causing these problems, not the greediness of the viewers.

    When piracy is viewed as being easier and more reliable than legal alternatives. The legal alternatives have a problem. As valve says, the best way to combat piracy is simply to out compete them.

    This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

    I pirate because I can. Simple as that. Back in '06 I was a big fan of Lost. I would watch it religiously on Channel 7 every Thursday. But then someone told me that I didn't have to wait 3 months to see it any more, that I could get it from the internet! So I looked on Channel 7's website - nothing there. ABC (US) website - nothing there. Google searches - nothing, until I found a web forum that said "you can download the newest episode here." So I did. And watched it. That particular episode was pretty ordinary, but that's not the point.

    Back when I watched Lost on telly, 7 and ABC never made a single cent from me watching it because my TV watching habits weren't measured by ratings surveys. In fact they still aren't. Me watching or not watching a show on the telly does not make one iota of difference to anyone's bottom line. Neither does downloading it. However, if somehow everyone's TV viewing habits were measured, people would be inclined to watch or record their favourite shows in order to keep them on the air, much the same as voting for their favourite X-Factor contestant keeps them on the show next week.

    I pirate because my actions as an individual make no difference to anyone whatsoever.

    So many times I think about commenting on forums and blogs, then I think there's no point.
    You only really ever reinforce what someone else thinks anyway or argue with someone who doesn't.

    It's quite rare for anyone to really influence anyone else's view, and especially for a reader to weed out the comments that are actually worthwhile.

      And it appears that on gizmodo, if you call people out on that, you get moderated into the ground.

      Bravo Allure!

    "entitled" -bullshit. This culture is global, if entertainment and distribution companies still can't grasp that it's their loss, literally.
    It's as simple as that. Don't whine about people whining. The genie isn't going back in the bottle: either they start accommodating the global market in the way it expects or the global market will get the content anyway and they won't get paid for it.

    Service, not Entitlement is the answer.

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