Wednesday, February 11, 2009

In which I criticize Steven Hodson's home country for geotarding

Two of the bloggers that I read frequently are Steven Hodson and Duncan Riley. There are some similarities between the two.

  • Neither Steven nor Duncan are American. Hodson is from Canada, Riley from Australia.

  • Both work for The Inquisitr. Well, Riley has a slightly higher position at The Inquisitr than Hodson.

  • Both hate geotarding.
Geotarding, as the term is often used, refers to the practice of an American company to restrict online content so that it can only be shown to people within the United States. See what Hodson has said about the practice (see point 3), as well as what Riley has said about the practice (namely, why he won't link to an ET story).

In my capacity as an ugly American, I often forget about this. For example, there are often discussions about the pros and cons of vs. Pandora. To much of the world, the decision between the two services is a no-brainer, since Pandora isn't available outside of the United States. (Too bad for Caroline.)

So it was with great interest that I discovered that I, an American, am now the target of a geotarding effort. And I have Steven Hodson's home country to thank for this. NewTeeVee:

Canadians really know what they’re doing when it comes to showing people the Olympics online, it seems. This morning we spoke to Alon Marcovici, vice president of digital media from the country’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium, after reading that “every single moment” of next year’s Winter Olympics would be available live online.

NewTeeVee's Liz Gannes describes the comprehensive online coverage that's being offered - but then notes that there's a catch:

None of these feeds, however, will be available in the U.S. — they’ll be geo-blocked for viewers outside of Canada.

But before I call Joe Baca, Dianne Feinstein, and Barbara Boxer to demand that President Obama invade Canada, I should note that Liz Gannes then mentioned an American company that has an interest in seeing these events be geotarded:

NBC still owns the American rights to the Olympics, and from all appearances they think their on-demand approach to coverage à la Beijing — delaying airing key events until primetime broadcast — is the way to go.

Don't get me started on delaying broadcasts of live events. It makes

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