For the past week-and-half or so I have been avidly following the play at Wimbledon. Thanks to DVR I am able to come home each night and watch all the day’s matches, speeding through the blowouts and skipping the inane rain-delay commentary. It’s great.
The thing is, yesterday I left NYC and my DVR and headed up to visit some good friends up in Vermont. They run the fantastic On The Rise Bakery and Cafe in Richmond (stop in if you’re in the neighborhood!). It’s wonderful up here. Green and peaceful.
Adding to the serenity, my bakery friends, while very up-to-date in all areas, do not have cable TV, let alone a DVR. Since I am going to be up here through the weekend it looked like I was going to have to miss the last two rounds of the tournament I’d been following so closely.
But wait, you say, didn’t you read somewhere that you could watch the tournament online? Yup, you did. The thing is, the legal feed provided by Wimbledon costs something like $25 and only runs on a Windows machine.
So, here I am in blissful Vermont. Everything is perfect, but it would be amazing if I could just catch a glimpse of the lady’s semifinals. But I have a Mac and don’t really want to spend $25 to indulge my craving. Instead, I type “watch wimbledon online” into google and in less than a minute I am watching a slightly choppy and far from hi-res stream of Venus Williams putting away poor, sad Dementiava in a second set tie-breaker. For free. On my Mac. Technically, I was probably breaking the law, or at very least abetting someone else in breaking the law, but who have I harmed?
What’s my point? Well, first, I love the internet for allowing me to watch the what I wanted, when I wanted, where I wanted. Was it a perfect experience? Nope. Would I have been willing to pay a small fee for a better version. You bet. $25 is a bit steep, though…
Why are the big media providers not serving me with all of these things when some hacker/pirates in god-knows-where are able to do it no problem? Somehow, the whole mess of copyright and DRM and all that crap has led to a completely crippled service.
No wonder the pirates are winning. Everyone is being made into a pirate just to get what they want in a reasonable fashion.
Just to watch a tennis match I had to break the law. Is the problem me or the law?