UKNova.com and eeworldwide.com both seem to have been shut down by the BBC & MPAA, according to a BBC report. This really irks me to no end. This was my wife’s lifeline to entertainment back home – there’s very few US shows worth watching here. This is annoying on many levels.
1) The entire sites were shut down rather than only taking off whatever BBC-specific material they didn’t want distributed. There was still ITV and Granada programming on UKnova.com worth getting.
2) The claim of “lost revenue” on EastEnders is laughable, in that there has never been a service that shows continuous, up to date EE in the US. Dish Network *now* offers EastEnders as a pay per view service, but we’ve left Dish because of many other problems (service was bad, overpriced, and overall just buggy and slow). From what I understand it’s still not *up to date* as in you’re seeing things the same day or day after they’re broadcast in the UK – not even the same week if I remember correctly (but I might be wrong here).
TRIO showed EE for awhile – but it was *years* old (94-95 years were played in 99 and 2000). When they got to the end of the 95 shows they had, they replayed ’94 shows again. Then wondered why no one watched it. BBC America also *never* gave the show a proper air slot – wedged in between changing rooms on a Saturday afternoon, then they have the gall to state that ‘people switched off’. Yeah – because it interrupted the flow of everything else around it. It was never given prime time status like it is in the UK – an omnibus on a Sunday evening would have been fine. Consistency is key tho – IIRC they used to switch the dates/times every couple months, throwing off viewers.
I desperately want to purchase UK programming at a reasonable cost – let me pay a licensing fee and give me ‘net access to programming. Shouldn’t be too hard to do. “Lost revenue” due to piracy? I’d hazard a guess and say less than 5% of UK programming is even *available* overseas anyway, so how much can actually be lost with soaps like emmerdale, corrie, EE and others being ‘pirated’? Once an episode is shown, it’s rarely (if ever) shown again. Where’s the economic harm? Fostering a passionate loyal global community for *zero* cost (bittorrent users spread the load themselves)? All they’re doing is pissing off a very large userbase of people who will have a bad taste in their mouth when it comes to shelling out more money for BBC/UK programming in the future.
This was handled extremely poorly, especially for a company that has claimed they’d be opening their archives for all to use.
UPDATE: I got taken in by an April Fool’s hoax. Well, partially. UKNova.com is not down, but eeworldwide.com is. While I think the infringement claims against eeworldwide.com is probably stronger – it only distributed EE episodes, and apparently directly from the site, not from torrents – it is still nonetheless going to hurt hundreds or thousands of EE fans worldwide. The eeworldwide.com site distributes the files in RealMedia format, making it a very small download for people – many of whom would probably not be able to download 200meg files due to bandwidth issues.
All in all, I got taken in bad – it was late Friday and I started panicking a bit! Glad to see uknova is *not* down after all…
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