December 17, 2003 4:59 AM   Subscribe

Sorry. We at Showtime Online express our apologies; however, these pages are intended for access only from within the United States.
posted by titboy (16 comments total)
Who cares?

Here is Google Cache if you are really interested...

And you can navigate freely on the site from the cached page. So much for blockin the rest of the world.

If it was White House or American Congress, I'd be worried.
posted by hoskala at 5:11 AM on December 17, 2003

The show sounds interesting enough... just as an American.
posted by psychotic_venom at 5:16 AM on December 17, 2003

The Times does the same thing for its actual stories: blocking users who are outside the UK. I only found out when MeFites complained they couldn't see the link I posted.

From a small diary poll I did it seems to work quite effectively though. Hopefully the BBC will start blocking non-Britons soon, too: it's not very fair that UK tax money goes to foreign bandwidth. Plus it undermines the free market if some news sites are heavily subsized.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 5:24 AM on December 17, 2003

hahaha, they should remove the "worldwideweb" part from their URL.
posted by dabitch at 5:29 AM on December 17, 2003

Is Showtime only shown in the US?
posted by amberglow at 5:33 AM on December 17, 2003

If it was White House or American Congress, I'd be worried.

Don't give them ideas...
posted by tapeguy at 5:52 AM on December 17, 2003

I've come across it as well, and it does suck. But it's definitely not FPP-worthy anymore than asking what happened to boing boing or is.
posted by lazy-ville at 6:10 AM on December 17, 2003

so, how do you define FPP-worthiness?
posted by titboy at 6:22 AM on December 17, 2003

look here
posted by mkultra at 6:25 AM on December 17, 2003

Well, I thought this was an interesting post.

I'm surprised that US sites are doing it. I knew non-US sites were restricting this way: it makes more sense for them, given the large proportion of US readers on the web: a UK site can save much more bandwidth by filtering out foreign visitors.

So, I suspect as the web becomes more global, paradoxically we'll see more an more of this kind of restriction: it will be more cost-effective regarding bandwidth. Perhaps eventually the world-wide-web will evolve into something closer to a group of national webs.

So, a nice illustration of something we're likely to see more of.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 6:35 AM on December 17, 2003

i NEED the L WORD , NOW !
posted by sgt.serenity at 9:22 AM on December 17, 2003

Hopefully the BBC will start blocking non-Britons soon, too: it's not very fair that UK tax money goes to foreign bandwidth.

This is a terrible, and rather mean, idea. The incredible beauty of the net is that everyone gains from being able to access each others services -- when you start getting into "you can't see MY material" wars based on national boundaries, it impoverishes everyone.

In any event, a great many Britons (to say nothing of Commonwealth citizens) live abroad. Second, the Beeb is supported not by taxes but by the licence fee and varous revenue streams related to the syndication and worldwide distribution of material. I sincerely hope the Beeb never considers doing as you suggest. The BBC and BBC online are an amazing gift to the world, and the bandwidth costs are probably not very significant compared to the cost of producing the material in the first place. And anyway, you could use the same argument to justify shutting down the World Service as well. And while in fact the World Service has been scaled back in some areas, this is itself largely justified by the internet.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:33 AM on December 17, 2003

George Spiggott: Only last week, I shelled out £116 for a TV licence. Don't get me wrong - I support the funding model for the BBC. But I don't like subsidising foreigners. If they want to read the BBC web pages, they should purchase a subscription.
posted by salmacis at 1:11 AM on December 18, 2003

Showtime is only available in the US, so they obviously feel there's no real reason to make the content available out of the country. Seems reasonable enough to me, although I'm not convinced that it's worth the hassle of blocking out of country sites.
posted by piper28 at 10:50 AM on December 18, 2003

The reason for this is simple.

Yes, showtime is only available in the US. That's not the real reason to prevent their site being viewed by outsiders.

They have a huge piracy problem. That being Canada and the fact that well over 10% of all Canadians have a hacked DirecTV or DishNetwork receiver at home (I can find stats to back this up, but anyone living in Canada will agree, I hope). Also, 10% of all people in the US owning a DirecTV system have it hacked. This all adds up to about 8 million "pirate" eyeballs watching their programming for free, which normally costs about $10 a receiver per month.

They are trying to keep Canadians from viewing their site, as Canadians make up 3 million of those pirates.

To avoid their lame-ass attempts, find a public proxy server (read: Idiot running the AnalogX free proxy in default mode) in the US and view through it. Or try the anonymizer.

(Oh, and until last year, those 3 million Canadians weren't breaking the law, just to let you know).
posted by shepd at 11:01 AM on December 18, 2003

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