Ideas

Australia, you have a choice

No, I'm not talking about politics. This is much, much more important... I'm talking about 30 Rock & Mad Men. murraygalbraith_tinafey

I've been a Netflix subscriber for a few months now, using a paid US account I setup after teaching myself about 10 minutes worth of DNS nerdiness.

Everything you've heard is absolutely, 100% true... It's even better than you imagined.

Movies. TV shows. Documentaries. HBO (Not all, but enough... with more coming) 7 seasons of The West Wing!! The Art of Flight. Exclusive stuff like Kevin Spacey in House of Cards Portlandia. Put a bird on it!

And don't even get me started on Hulu Plus.

The point is, these are all available to me and my family whenever we want, for 8 bucks a month, simply because I spent a few minutes teaching my modem how to put on a crap American accent.

fake

Why am I telling you all this...It must be illegal, right!? LOCK HIM UP!

And if not, surely once Netflix find out they will cancel your service for circumventing their international guidelines?

Firstly, according to consumer watchdog Choice;

"It is legal to use a virtual private network (VPN) to protect your online transactions from hackers, and there’s little definitive evidence as to whether other uses of a VPN breach copyright law"

So it's not illegal. And if you choose to see it as grey, fine... But I would prefer to learn how to fight fire with technological fire and be a happily paying customer than pirating the shows I want to watch any day of the week. There is nothing grey about online piracy - it's flat out illegal and it means everyone loses, especially content creators, musicians and artists.

And secondly, if Netflix somehow figured out how to track one of my many, many email addresses to one another and kill my 8 dollar subscription, I would either re-join as someone else, or just be grateful they gave me an excuse to go outside and exercise for the first time in weeks.

The simple reason I am writing this post is to remind you of your rights as a digital citizen.

know-your-rights

You have a right to all the information.

You have a right to ask questions.

You have a right to participate in as much, or as little of something as you like... Just because you are not 'eligible' to win a t-shirt from Coca-Cola in a European Facebook promotion doesn't mean you're not free to remix their logo and learn how to print one for yourself.

Internet access is like money. It won't give you style, taste or happiness, just more options.

Geo fences have been put in place to ensure certain organisations retain their monopolistic power over 'distant' countries like Australia and New Zealand, subsequently getting stupid rich from their stupid subscribers.

This is not your only choice.

You can learn what I know by just asking a few simple questions, like "why is a basic pay TV package ~$50 per month and include a ton of stuff I don't even want, when Netflix is all you can eat for $8 per month!?" or "does it really cost ~$42 to move my favourite shows between America and Australia?"

OF COURSE NOT. 

So with that in mind, I hope you will share this image with your social circle, whether Australian or otherwise. Use a hashtag, if you think it will help - let's start with #YAYinternet

And whatever you do, don't stop looking until you find an answer.

murraygalbraith_choice

Thanks to Matt for pushing me to write this.

If you have any questions or hate mail, I'd love to hear from you.