Monday, April 16, 2007

Wilfred, & Bigpond Movies

"Most people want to do the right thing," he told CNET.com.au, adding that "they [the public] are aware that BitTorrent isn't providing payment to the content producers…[and] now that we're providing a legal alternative, people will come to us." --original

It's with that quote my Monday night of comedy has concluded, leaving only a sour taste in my mouth.

I've just watched Wilfred on SBS. I love this show. I've missed the first few episodes, and only just caught up with it.
Naturally, I'm interested in the idea of downloading it. SBS has just the right amount of credibility to sell me on something which few others can - trusting Australia's biggest telecommunications behemoth insofar as to be willing to buy something from them.
Also, I'm not afraid to watch something on a laptop. Further, I'm most of the way through a bottle of red wine. It's practically impossible not to sell me on something.
So off I go, and I Google. SBS have a #2 ranking on the web for Wilfred. Perfect. I play around a little with the flash-driven site - not much content, but what is there amuses me. Finally, a banner ad hooks me. Download next week's episode of Wilfred.

I click
.


Does anyone want a friendlier URL? Wilfred is just some random number to bigpond. It really shows. 70% of the job of selling me has already been done, but the moment I land on this page; they start to slip.
With what can only be momentum behind me, I even go so far as to add an episode I want to my cart.

Sadly for Telstra, it's there I stop.

Why?

  • I must be logged in to buy things
  • I went from a very well targetted wilfred sit to a lame one.
  • When I get to the lame site, there is no information about how the downloading side of it works - am I paying $3 an episode (which, by the way, is a perfect price point) for something crippled?
  • The about page doesn't do a fucking thing to calm my qualms on this issue.
  • A further googling brings me to a CNET article on the subject.
  • I read the words or impressions: Expiry, DRM, Sony, Telstra, self destructs after a period, regardless of what you paid, Windows Media 10 Digital Rights Management (DRM), BigPond Media Manager required, which only supports Windows XP... all of these in the same article. Can you pick anymore embodiments of evil?
Bam! I went from sold to unsold. I'm a 50% of the time Ubuntu user, I'm not stupid, I'm one of the few who actually downloads movies for watching and who cares about copyright. I can understand paying $3 for a movie or tv show on DVD at the local video store; on the condition I return it.

I'm sure as hell not paying $3 for your defective by design software to remove itself at the end of a contract. I don't want that. I want to pay $10 to 30 for a full episode that I own forever and can give to my friends. Failing that, $3 for a copy, low quality, to which I can do the same.

Telstra have just steered me away with their top ten google results - the bad review strikes again. I don't hold a grudge against SBS - a big company offers them a distribution deal in return for very prominent plugging. You'd be stupid not to enterer into a deal like that. Even better - SBS delivered on their end. SBS gave Telstra a customer ready and willing to pay for content. They provided a targeted, plush website, fully prepared to milk money from fans.
What does Telstra do in return?
Tries to force their own shitty products onto me; rather than just giving me choice.
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