You’re Not a Pirate if they Give You the Booty for Free by mattsteinglass
May 4, 2007, 9:37 am
Filed under: Economics, Media, Trade, United States, Vietnam

So, inspired by Daniel Drezner’s glowing recommendation of “Friday Night Lights” (and more importantly, his note that the first season’s episodes are available for free from, I decided to download, or at least queue up, an episode or two — to try and break my wife’s severe “Lost” habit, if nothing else. (Yeah, right — the wife’s habit. That’s the ticket.) Much to my dismay, however, when I try and load up the site, I’m informed that “the clip you selected is not available from your location”. Presumably, Vietnam is on a list of high-piracy countries to which NBC doesn’t allow its videos to be streamed.

So here’s my question: what on earth is the sense of restricting the export of your intellectual product to a given country due to piracy concerns when you are giving that product away for free??? Possibly a few phone calls to NBC might resolve this question, but since Hanoi is 12 time zones away from 30 Rock, calling can get kind of bleary-eyed; and besides, as Drezner knows, I’m lazy.


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