Sunday, December 30, 2007

no, fuck YOU, iTunes!

I went on MSN this morning, to one of me e-friends (in America) wanting to find an album by the Kinks which wasn't available on the US iTunes. So I bought it (all £4.74's worth of it) as it WAS available on the UK iTunes, as a gift. Ofcourse, it didn't work. He sent me a track too, which wouldn't work, even though it was available on UK iTunes, it wasn't bought from it so wouldn't let me download it.

Why, in this international world, when things are in demand from all quarters as soon as they are mentioned: films, computer games, music, tv shows, so we have to wait for an age for their official local release?

Ok before you start, I know on games there are localization issues, with DVDs there can be NTSC/PAL issues which need to be resolved, etc, but I don't see why this delay between US and UK releases, or even Japan and UK releases is so par for the course. It shouldn't be like this dammit! I want something, say... CSI or Heroes, and I have to wait months and months to see it (unless I happen to come across it online someplace) where is the sense in that? Just frigging let me watch it! stick some UK ads on that shiz and let my eyeballs caress those pixels already.

If there was none of this delay between shows, people might still download them, but they would be far more likely to just use the path of least resistance, which SHOULD be the official release on the official website.

But anyway, going back to the iTunes thing. Shouldn't there be new licenses that are created for online content? If something is uploaded, it should be available to all the internets, not just the 'local' internet. Trying to cordon off certain areas of the internet is never going to work, people ALWAYS find a way around these things. proxy servers, downloading, youtube! I think the internet should maybe be its own realm, somehow.

Yeah, not sure how much sense this makes, but I think we can all agree iTunes is lame for being so 'no! I shan't download that!!'


shadx said...


WildbillthePirate said...

The bigger issue is: Why is ITunes NOT honouring the international fair-use rules? For example, I you had purchased the CD in London, downloaded it into your box & sent it to me, it would work! Same as if I sent it to you! You bought it, you have the right to do ANYTHING you want with it, including sending a copy to a friend without hassles!

Methinks that ITunes (and the rest of the market) has decided that you only have the rights you can defend and they will continue to deny you your fair-use of any item you purchase from them!

Dan said...

It does suck indeed that they can't sort these problems out... The reason they can't release internationally is because different companies own the distribution rights in different countries ( even if in many cases, it's just 'x' Records UK and 'x' Records US - they operate separately ).

TV shows are particularly difficult because they air so much earlier in the US, that the DVD/download is available before the series is half done on TV in the UK.

Anonymous said...

Amazon's already offering everything in MP3 in US and I believe if iTunes doesn't go the same way, they'll eventually lose a lot of customers.

JJC1138 said...

I've blogged about this stuff before a couple of times. Completely agree with everything you said. I think the media companies are slowly realising that they can't really get away with huge delays any more, since we, the impatient consumers, can just go over their heads and get their stuff for free from the Internets instead. Episodes of season 3 of Lost were shown over here only a week or two after they were shown in the US -- for that exact reason, I should think.

Anyways, on the iTunes thing: there's probably at least one way of working around your problem. I've not used the iTunes gifting thing before, but presumably it gives you a code that you use to redeem the album? If so, you should be able to get the code off your friend and then redeem it using your account and download the songs yourself. Then you can burn the songs to a CD, and re-rip that CD using iTunes or anything else, and send your friend the ripped files. That would involve a small quality hit (recompressing audio that was already compressed), but probably not anything to worry about.

Brandt said...

Yeah, it sucks, but it's not just a matter of getting it there on time but a matter of regional copyright laws and a lot of other bureaucratic nonsense.

Plus, localization of things like videogames is a huge process. There are a lot of Japanese cultural ideals, issues, icons brought into Japanese games that would make absolutely no sense to UK or US gamers. So, that's why there's such a large gap in time between game release dates.


Jason W said...

I agree completely but what can we do about it? Seriously, I want to be heard[1].

At least here (Australia) the networks are starting to catch on with getting content available soon after it airs in the US. Ten "streamed live from the US" and Seven "fast tracked" many of the hits during the ratings period this year. It was great.

Thanks for another rant post Bryony. I love them so much. It's a toss up between yourself and Tina Fey[2] for the sexist geeky girl I've fallen for. Damn you all.

[1] I think Channel BT may actually let the networks know I watch their stuff more than watching it locally here. We don't have a Neilson box and I don't know anyone who does.

[2] I watched all the 30 Rock episodes that aired in the US over the last week and I love the show so much. I wish it was getting better ratings in the US. Anyway, this is well off topic...