The Internet Knows No Borders

One of the underpinning tenants of the Internet is the concept of self-healing, world wide access.  It doesn't matter where you are in the world, as long as you're connected to the 'Net, you're connected to everything else.  The Internet knows no borders, political boundaries, or frontiers.  Once you are plugged in, the world is at your fingertips.  Unless you live in China.  Or the United States--what?

One of the things I find goofy about content producers is the idea of U.S. only content.  You can go to Hulu, MySpace Music, and Pandora to listen to free, ad supported movies, TV shows, and music, but only if you happen to be geographically located within great U.S. of A.  And why is that?  Is it because shows that end up on Hulu usually aren't seen until weeks or months later in international cities?  Is it because the ad targeting is geared towards an American audience, thus making ad campaigns pointless?

It's hard to say, really, but to me it speaks volumes about how the MPAA/RIAA don't understand the digital age.  They don't understand what it means to make a true transition and embrace the concept of how content wants to be free from the restrictive controls that they try to set.

In response to such backward thinking, several free products have appeared such as AlwaysVPN, a mechanism that allows users in foreign countries to fool these websites into thinking that that users are located on American soil.  It's interesting to note that this organization supports itself on ads as well, but I have a sneaking suspicion (if they're as smart as they seem) that ads presented would be relevant to the location that you're connecting from, taking advantage of revenue earning potential that content providers seem to be missing out on.

Even still, though, it is very apparent that while making sites like Hulu and MySpace Music available for 'free' consumption seems to be a step in the right direction, the content providers still have a lot to learn about how to cast the widest net possible for generating revenue.

So in the end, content producers, free your content, come up with a model that works well for you and your consumers, and please, let me know what ads you'll be showing me if I surf from Antarctica.

Posted on Nov 11
Written by Wayne Hartman