Külföldi torrent oldalak Dear Netflix, Please Fix Your Catalogue "australia Tax" When It Finally Arrived

A témát ebben részben 'Torrent oldalak hírei' Dred hozta létre. Ekkor: 2015. június 26..

  1. Dred /

    2012. április 05.
    Kapott lájkok:
    Beküldött adatlapok:
    The proliferation of video streaming services in Australia in 2015 was meant to finally start chipping away at that favourite of national pastimes: online piracy.

    For too long we'd been ripped off by Hollywood, waiting sometimes months for content that was already stale overseas, only to be slugged with a so-called "Australia tax" when it finally arrived.

    Our new friends Stan*, Presto and Netflix would bring us any film or TV series we wanted at the click of a button – a veritable smorgasbord of content – all for just $10 a month, give or take.

    No-flix?: Australian classic The Castle is not available on subscription streaming services Netflix, Stan or Presto.
    No-flix?: Australian classic The Castle is not available on subscription streaming services Netflix, Stan or Presto. Photo: Supplied
    Well, as The Castle's Darryl Kerrigan would say: "Tell 'em they're dreamin'."


    The truth is, when it comes to accessible, timely and affordable content, Australians are not much better off today.

    Once the requisite binge-watching series have been exhausted, a browse through Netflix's Australian catalogue feels a little like walking into the local DVD rental store a week before it closed forever, with only two shelves left to browse the crappy films nobody wanted to buy for a buck.

    The other night I settled in on the couch with a good mind to banishing the winter blues with a decent film or two on Netflix.

    Begin Again was good, a friend recently told me: a feel-good romance about attractive musician-types trying to catch a break – right up my alley. It was not available on Netflix.

    Neither was that other film I'd been meaning to see: Whiplash, the Oscar-winning tale of a virtuoso jazz drummer and his gnarly teacher.

    Okay, so how about The Castle? Or that other Australian classic, the original Mad Max?

    Nope, nope. Nor is either available on Stan or Presto.

    Services like iTunes or EzyFlix have these and many more titles available in varying quality for a one-off fee of about $4.99 to rent or $14.99 to buy – about $2 more a pop than our friends in the US are charged.

    But for many Australians, it's all still a bit too hard, or not good enough, or both.

    I quizzed some friends and acquaintances on the various digital content platforms available in Australia, and the answers invariably stank of disappointment.

    Many had tried one or more of the new streaming services, only to cancel their subscriptions.

    The primary gripe was content: not enough, or not the kind of stuff they were into (see above).

    Sure, subscribing to all three services would expand the catalogue – but aside from the multiple subscription fees, this would likely still need to be supplemented with the odd iTunes purchase, particularly when it comes to new releases or classics.

    (New releases, by the way, can cost up to $24.99 on iTunes – a price one friend described as "extortionate" – while Netflix Australia has only two Woody Allen films, for example, in its catalogue.)

    Trawling through each service to find a particular title was also universally considered a pain.

    Some complained of poor picture quality, or buffering issues (i.e. delay or freezing), insisting it was not their internet connection at fault.

    Then there is the high price of data in Australia. Streaming and downloading movies chews up bandwidth (unless your ISP offers it quota free), and that comes at a cost above the price of a streaming subscription, rental or download.

    And for those with less-than-brilliant internet connections, such as in parts of rural or regional Australia, streaming can be altogether impracticable.

    Invariably, the easiest place to get that magical all-you-can eat buffet of affordable film and TV content is not through any legitimate channel.

    There is no one service that does for video content what Spotify has done for music – not in Australia, not yet.

    The quickest, easiest way to find and watch the above-mentioned titles – in high-definition, no less – is to hit the download button after a quick search on The Pirate Bay.

    As one friend put it: "Even if price were out of the equation, the pirates still offer a superior service."

    Let's be clear; I'm not endorsing piracy.

    But after months of fierce public debate, from discussion papers to parliamentary inquiries, the frequently cited reasons behind Australians' love affair with piracy remain largely unaddressed.

    In a recent submission to a parliamentary inquiry, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission urged clarification on the legality of parallel importation of content in Australia – something many Australians do through tools like virtual private networks (VPNs), which allow them to access content in overseas markets.

    "Geo-dodging" into the US Netflix catalogue (miles bigger than the Australian one) or into the US iTunes store (significantly cheaper than the Australian one) is not only legitimate, ACCC chairman Rod Sims argues, but will boost competition, in turn driving down local prices and improving availability of content for Australian consumers.

    This did not rate a mention in the site-blocking bill in question, which passed through federal parliament this week.

    Instead, copyright owners can now apply through the courts to have websites deemed to be servicing the pirate economy – such as The Pirate Bay or KickAss Torrents – blocked in Australia.

    Some experts are worried about "collateral damage", where legitimate websites are inadvertently taken out in the process.

    It will also cost industry money, which may impact consumers, all the while being ineffective at thwarting many well-heeled pirates (there are easily-Googled ways to circumvent internet filters).

    Meanwhile, despite rights holders paying lip service to the push towards worldwide release dates, there are still significant delays in many titles coming to Australia.

    Copyright owners are fiercely protecting an archaic model of territorial distribution rights which has long been a primary revenue source.

    This legislation marks a successful step for them in that fight; but I wonder, how much more money could be made by just giving people what they want?