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August 01 2008

Stingy Geek Reluctant to Spend Four Dollars to Download Dr. Horrible. "It's like, on the one hand I feel like I should support Joss’ efforts to produce such an awesome show... On the other hand, I could almost buy a footlong at Subway for four bucks."

The poor guy... maybe we should take up a collection to gift it to him. If sixty people each kicked in a dime that would do it.

Yea, but you can only eat the sandwich once....Dr H will be around longer...:)
Personally, I'm gonna wait for the DVD.
A sandwich probably won't break his heart though ;)
Depends which bread you go with.

Nice shout, those loons are definitely naked.
I'm a curmudgeon and don't want iTunes on my computer, so I too am waiting for the DVD. So I was happy to see it appear on Hulu, lest I feel the urgent need to see it again. I just hope the soundtrack isn't iTunes only as well.
swanjun: I appreciate not wanting to buy video on iTunes because it's all DRM'd up and you have to use iTunes/iPods/QT to watch it but... hopefully, the soundtrack will be DRM-free, as are a lot of songs on iTunes, so it might be worth installing iTunes to get the music, and then you can uninstall iTunes and still listen to the music with something else. This might not be the reason you don't want to use iTunes, but I thought I'd mention it anyway, in case anyone else is maybe interested.
MattK, That is if the music is DRM free. I certainly hope so, as I have a MP3 player that is not an ipod. I'll have to wait and hear from some early purchasers as to whether or not I can buy it.
I like Subway, but comparing Dr. Horrible to a sandwich just doesn't do it for me...
I dunno, fresh, good for you and the end makes you feel sad - I think it works ;).

I too have an MP3 player that's not an iPod but I also have an iPod that is an iPod and will still resent paying for DRMed content (if it is). I'll do it (as I will if/when Dr H sells internationally) cos it's Joss and cos I want to see this project succeed for bigger reasons and cos it's his first go-round but I hope in future they think about that side of it a bit more.
You guys get that the Naked Loon is like the Onion, right? Am I missing the part where someone explains why this article is being treated as serious news?

This reminds me of being back in junior high, where I always got the joke, and no one else did (but only when I TOLD the joke).
There is still the issue of iTunes store not really working for people everywhere, which so far seems like a way more complicated issue, that it was to Hulu to rewrite their code to allow international access to the video.
MattK, that is the reason I don't want to use it. If I could uninstall it afterwards and still play the file, that'd be a different story.
Dr. Horrible or Subway....That's a no brainer.
Now Quizo's, I might have to think about that.
But seriously, I know the author is kidding around, but have you seen some of the posts on the Dr. Horrible MySpace website.
A lot of people whined that they didn't get to see it free, and have to pay 3.99 to watch.
Personally I bought each separate ep twice and gave away gift subscriptions. As they said in Starship Troopers:
"I'm Doing My Part!"
Hope: Am I missing the part where someone explains why this article is being treated as serious news?

Well, it has opened up a discussion about the impact of DRM on the Dr. Horrible phenomenon, so while not being serious news it does bring up more serious topic. That's not why I posted it, of course. I posted it because I'm a compulsive idiot.
Am I missing the part where someone explains why this article is being treated as serious news?

I dunno, but I think i'm missing the part where we're actually treating it as serious news ;).

Jokey shout-outs get linked on here all the time. If a worthwhile thread results then great, if people just get a laugh out of it then that's worthwhile too.
In terms of subs, the winner here is actually a supermarket chain (Publix) that went into the sub business. But even then, I'd still buy Dr. Horrible over a delicious ham and meunster sub with mayo and spicy brown mustard.
Publix makes subs? Oh, I'm so there. Next time I'm... near a Publix. I miss you, Publix!
I'm waiting for the DVD (still haven't seen it!) because I want to watch it on my 65" HDTV instead of my 21" computer screen.
I bought it but it has served me well because I can watch it at my cubicle at work (I've got one of those alarm clock charger things from my ipod vid, its great.) I can listen to the songs and whenever there is a lull I just turn and watch it for a couple of minutes!

Subway, corporate as it may be, is totally my favorite sub shop btw.
Really really short on cash here.... but as soon as i finish this damn thesis(or get kicked out), and find a job, I will buy the itunes and the DVD... and probably the soundtrack.

Its 6 bucks canadian on itunes Canada, and I so could buy a spicy vege Vietnamese sub for 3.25, 10 minute walk from the appartment. Delicious.

[ edited by kurya on 2008-08-01 16:57 ]
I'm hoping it goes up on Amazon mp3 or something too. No ipod for me.
So Dave Matthews isn't really giving up pot?

Ok, so I'm new to this whole Hulu thing, but didn't somebody mention that it comes with ads? (I haven't had time to sit down and watch it over on Hulu yet, although I intend to)

Are these ads there and do the revenue generated from them come from per view or just an overall payment, and does the money for it go to Hulu or Joss?

As an Aussie, I've been very upset, personally, that these issues with iTunes weren't sorted before the release of Dr H on July 15th. One of the biggest reasons for Piracy is because people outside the US cant download shows on iTunes, or stream it on the network's site, at least not without bouncing via a US address/proxy, and we don't like to feel like we're not important enough to get shows at the same time.

It's kind of insulting. I would have thought it would be part of showing the networks just how viable the option of TV made for the internet, to have it immediately for sale across the globe, you open up an immediate, direct, international market. Suddenly ratings don't need to be based on the US alone.

I was all gung ho about wanting to buy it on iTunes to support Joss and co, but to be honest, being treated as the small potatoes, not worth having ready for launch, and 2 weeks later no real updates on it, has really put me off even caring about buying it now (on iTunes). And I know I'm not the only one. There have been a few people voicing their concerns around the place about striking whilst the iron is hot.
Four bucks almost buys a footlong? Not in my country. Might get you just short of a six inches.

I'm waiting for the DVDs, personally. I'm a junkie for special features.
$4 and loading iTunes on your computer is a small price to pay for such awesomeness.

Plus, while you're at it you can get all the free content that's out there too - like podcasts.

- Tabz
one who will buy the tshirts, iTunes, DVD, soundtrack, broadway musical tickets, life-sized stuff replica of bad horse and anything else the Whedon brothers create.
Ivalaine, even though I understand where you're coming from, I believe you're missing the whole 'experimental' part of this thing, a lot of people are learning a lot from watching/doing this, I'm thinking 'How to do international distribution ?' is a large part of this learning process.
I dont think anyone would have suggested that the release of the show was delayed while all the kinks where worked out of the delivery channels, that's what experiments are there for.
Making the show available on Hulu is a good response to the non-functional international Itunes, you should try it out, next time things will work out better and the time after that ... perfection.
In the mean time enjoy the feeling that as long as Hollywood treats the internationals as second rate people, they miss out on a lot of money.
I'm not getting the Dr. Horrible vs. Subway argument exactly because you CAN'T get a footlong for less than $5. You can't walk into Subway, hand over $4 (technically, less than that because of tax) and say "give me an 8 inch sandwich" I conclude that because Subway isn't even an option, it leaves you with Dr. Horrible.
I really wish they had just sold it through the Dr. Horrible website instead of going through iTunes. I have an iPod, but the whole principle of someone telling me what I can and can't do with my own legally-purchased music bothers me.
I don't think Joss and co would have had the resources or the manpower to sell it through the iTunes Dr Horrible website.

[ edited by Simon on 2008-08-01 18:19 ]
Simon, I'm guessing you meant selling it from their own website, or am I wrong ?

ETA, And yes that's probably a limiting factor, pity though I do agree with RBM that other methods would be preferable.

[ edited by jpr on 2008-08-01 18:25 ]
Aye :). I was trying to number crunch how much it would have cost to set up a secure site to sell the Dr Horrible episode and the soundtrack and gave up. It would have been a lot of money which would have eaten into Joss' profit margin something shocking.
I don't know why so many people are down on iTunes. iTunes is awesome. But then again, I love everything Apple. They make superior products.
electricspacegirl throws down the gauntlet! Wahoo!
I'm too lame to get whether people are kidding or not understanding here, so I just want to say: Subway has a new campaign called "5 Dollar Footlong" so that's what the Stingy Geek is referring to.
That's certainly one point of view, ESG. I think people's complaint is that when a single company (especially one who has been on the brink of bankruptcy so many times) holds the keys to DRM-laced files that you paid for, you don't feel completely safe buying things from them. One of these kinds of stores just shut down the other day (Yahoo! Music?). They were kind enough to provide people with coupons for repurchasing the affected tunes through Rhapsody in this case, but you never really know...
I don't know what DRM means.
Perhaps those who have wanted to purchase through their regions' iTunes but have not been able to should be pushing iTunes to clear the path. The last time we had info on this, that was the word: Each region has its own set of rules and hoops to jump through. So maybe pushing a little harder on iTunes and a little less so on the creators might be more effective, and more productive.

Major international conglomerates have huge staffs of both technical people and legal people to navigate those hoops. I'd be surprised if there's even a dozen people with their nose in the Dr. Horrible/international issue.
Pigs flying in formation will be a common sight before I contact a company begging them to accept my money, just saying :)

[ edited by jpr on 2008-08-01 19:09 ]

ETA a clarification that it wasn't actually something jpr said that prompted my response (just so there's no miscommunication, heh).

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2008-08-01 19:13 ]
"The poor guy... maybe we should take up a collection to gift it to him. If sixty people each kicked in a dime that would do it."

Nah. I know his type. If we did that, he'd only weigh the possibility of two sandwiches against Dr. Horrible.
Pigs flying in formation will be a common sight ...

That'll never happen, they're too free spirited.

I don't know what DRM means.

DRM means Digital Rights Management electricspacegirl and in this case "management" is just a nicer word for "control". They sell you the licence to play the music but (ostensibly to avoid piracy *cough* bullshit *cough* ;) they (in this case Apple) decide which software and devices you can play it on. Apart from crapping all over your "fair use" rights, in the olden days, when the sun was young, this was called "a monopoly" and was considered A Bad Thing™. Nowadays it's presumably been re-branded as "assisted customer loyalty" ;).
I got what you meant b!x, just couldn't resist, those that needs the international iTunes to work should probably follow your sound advice.
Sorry, had a work call there :). As Saje helped me say, when I buy something I don't want anyone telling me I can only watch it on device X or using software Y. Luckily, there are means to restore one's Fair Use once one has legally purchased their copy. No one will stop me from watching Dr. Horrible on my TV ;) Plus, no one ever gets anywhere with me by starting out with the assumption that I am a criminal.
DRM can also be used to assign 'expiration dates' on media. My local library will let you check out an audiobook by downloading it to your computer, but it'll stop playing at the end of the period and you have to renew it just like anything else.
To my mind, "Digital Rights Management" is a good description of DRM in about the same way that "life management" is a good description for "killing people".

Digital Restrictions Mechanism would be a more apt expansion, IMHO
I've totally forgotten what I was going to say. Thanks, Saje. (Yes, it's all your fault.)

Umm... oh, the Hulu thing. From his blog on Hulu, I would think that the commercials help pay Joss & co. with each viewing. And, it's a way for the internationals to contribute while the iTunes "thing" gets worked out.

I also like iTunes. It has its uses. Granted, I'm not into the music or podcasts, but I found it exceptionally helpful to watch episodes of things I love before DVD on the big screen. Here's the easy steps:

1) Get an iPod w/ video contol
2) Download fav ep (Dr. Horrible)
3) Move fav ep to iPod
4) Buy iPod connector to TV (~$30 to $40)
5) Watch Dr. Horrible on you TV with the iPod. No commercials, easy to use, and man, does it look great on the big screen while you're chilling out on your couch!

Like, ESG, I didn't know what DRM means, but I'm not tech-savvy enough to get upset about it I guess. It's available for FREE on Hulu (with tiny commercials that help pay Dr. H team), and if you're selfish and want it on your TV, it's totally doable. Don't get the problem here.

And, I also didn't get that this article was a joke. I found it dumb that the kid spent 10-12 hours working out an Excel sheet weighing the "pros" & "cons" of Dr. Horrible vs. Subway sandwich. I used to work at Subway, and it really isn't worth your $4 (or $5, or $12, whatever). That 10-12 hours, he could have been working for $8/hour, for ONE day and would have been able to get both the sandwich and Dr. Horrible, take his girl out to the movies, and have change leftover.

Like I said, I didn't get the joke.
Bloody me again, with my amazing memory munging abilities. I blame myself.

(i.e. haven't got a clue what you're on about korkster but i'll happily take the credit ;)

Previously i'dve suggested you take a more active interest in DRM but, to be honest, most people are dropping it anyway - non-DRM music became a fairly obvious gap in the market which a lot of people have filled. As well as being a moral issue it had the benefit (for those of us against it ;) of also being bloody inconvenient for a fair number of people. You can take our rights away one by one just like boiling a frog but as soon as it becomes a ball ache, we're gonna kick up a fuss. I like that, our apathy clearly has a limit and that limit is "minor annoyance". Yay us ;).
if you're selfish and want it on your TV, it's totally doable.

With the player mandated by Apple in the method mandated by Apple that requires you to pay Apple more money. Its not selfish, its demanding to use what I paid for in a way that I want, not the way that the faceless corporation X demands that I use it. If that's selfish? So what.
Yeah but dude, she threw a TV into the screen, yo ! They're totally rebels and on our side against The Man!


ETAsk: Or was it something else ? A chair ?

ETA: A hammer ! Course it was. YouTube provides. Irony unLost ;).

[ edited by Saje on 2008-08-01 20:30 ]
Philosophically and politically, there's no question that Apple's DRM violates the core copyright principle of fair use, and likely other traditional end-user rights and/or privileges as well.

(It's trickier when we get to things like time-shifting or making personal copies. My personal opinion is that of course it's too restrictive, but the other side could argue that the degree to which we had lots of wiggle room to make personal copies in the past wasn't because it was right, but because the technology didn't exist to restrict it. I don't buy it, but it's not an entirely illegitimate argument. Of course, the one real time we tested this was over videotape, and the industry lost -- so one could counter-argue that we'd settled it in favor of copying.)

Practically, however, I own a MacBook and an iPod and never have any need to play my purchased content on anything else.
Right. I don't want to pay hundreds of dollars for Apple products that I don't want just because they won't let me use anything else.
A stupid question what commercials do you get to see on Hulu, when I look there I see none, a difference between US and non-US ?
jpr, my suspicion is that international customers don't see any ads. Since most of Hulu is US-only, presumably no advertisers are PAYING for an international audience.
You don't have to be very tech-savvy at all to understand why DRM is bad. Files downloaded from iTunes can only be used on iPods, unless you're willing to go to the trouble to remove the DRM from each file. It does just what it says: manages (restricts) your rights as a consumer to use what you paid for.

When Sony started putting stuff like this on their CDs, they got sued and lost.
Although that was partly because their CDs basically installed rootkits onto your PC and introduced security vulnerabilities (as well as violating various privacy laws, not working on all CD players and not actually being CDs according to international standards). Can Sony say "class action" ? They could afterwards ;).

jpr, my suspicion is that international customers don't see any ads.

Hmm, that's odd. When I first watched it (from the UK) after the reHuluing, there were adverts between episodes (dunno what for, I was just flicking through at work and stopped watching as soon as I knew it worked for me but they had little kids in them if that's any help ;). Now they're gone (as is the message at the start saying roughly "there're gonna be adverts in a bit, don't have a cow"). Twisty turny.
Twisty turny.

Timey wimey?
Even, dare I say it, wibbly wobbly.
Okay, all, maybe my ignorance and laziness doesn't have a place in this thread. But note that a lazy, ignorant, selfish person like me has found uses for iTunes. Until I no longer have uses for it, or they take back what I bought, I probably won't invest too much time fighting the DRM machine. I'll leave that to the real soldiers. :)

And, when I said selfish, both in this comment and in the one before, I was using it on me, not any of you.

And, while you all have very valid points, this issue doesn't personally affect me in any way, shape, or form. I have iTunes, and if I didn't, I wouldn't know how to get access to podcasts, TV shows, ect... for my personal pleasure. You misunderstood me, zeitgeist, but I'll let it slide. Saje, I also have no clue what you're on about. A chair? A hammer? WTF?
Illumination ! Maybe !

It's cool korkster, not everyone's interested. Like I say, so long as we have our "bread and circuses" most folks just pootle along without worrying (and I totally include myself in that BTW on probably 90% of all "issues", it's just that being a techy and maybe having more of an affinity for information than some, this one's important to me). So long as you're not totally disinterested in the world around you then you'll no doubt catch issues i'm unaware of and we'll balance each other out. Sorted ;).
jpr, my suspicion is that international customers don't see any ads. Since most of Hulu is US-only, presumably no advertisers are PAYING for an international audience.
theonetruebix | August 01, 20:42 CET

Bix, I did get ads the first time I played the full version, don't remember what were the content of the ads though.

Update: WSS™

Ugh, Z and Simon, will want to break my legs (or fingers) for this post... ESG, besides the issues regarding DRM, which I'm completely against. There's also the issue of file format. I do have iTunes in my home computer, but I don't use it, my sister does, cause it's very practical for her to send files from her IBook, to the home computer.

For instance, I don't own a I-Phone or an I-Pod, it bugs me when audio podcasts start to use only I-tunes feed (there´s a certain podcast that I sued to follow that did exactly that), stops using "normal" feeds, that provides mp3 files, start using only iTunes m4u format, which either forces me to convert the file to mp3 or like I did with that podcast in question, I just stopped listening to it.

I'm for all this new stuff Apple's releasing, I'm just not an Itunes supporter. But by introducing certain rules, that might actually induce monopoly is quite annoying. Take Sony for example, who's just as famous for these attempts. they did succeed with the Blu-ray format as the standard for High-Def format, but how many other formats they tried to introduce, and pretty much failed. The UMDs only still breathe, because there's still some life left with the PSPs, but that pretty much it.

Ivalaine I get your frustration, but the Itunes issues are not as simple to solve, especially in the time frame and low resources Joss and crew had available. At one standpoint, iTunes had a working and practical distribution retailing system, that be working well, especially with songs (and as pointed before there are DRM-less songs being sold), but it's only established in limited number of markets. Just like Hulu had problems of not allowing overseas viewers to watch the other content they have available to those same viewers. They were able to solve this fast, and even allow us now, to view them with ads, I guess because there's no direct financial transaction, between the them and the viewers, while the same does not apply to Apple.

But when you play with the local subsidiaries, how will it work. I did mention in one of my first Dr. Horrible post (which was back when Hulu was not available internationally) about equality of costs, which takes into the equation currency exchange and also taxes, how will this work out? These are definitely issues that are too complicated and wide to be solved in this timeframe.

[ edited by Numfar PTB on 2008-08-01 21:42 ]
No, I understood your use of selfish was (facetious and?) self-directed (I choose to bring it onto myself :)), I just take this very seriously. Is it really letting it slide if you mention that you're letting it slide? I think its an incredibly passive-aggressive way of not letting it go (see what I did there? totally joking again!).
Yes, zeitgeist, I see what you did there (hmmmm, the phrase sounds strangely familiar.) ;)

And a thanks, and a tip of the Hatlo hat goes to Jim in Buffalo, who has turned me on to the Naked Loon. I love the '10 Reasons Why
Seattle is Awesome and Should Never Ever Change' piece.
Wonder why that is, m'cookies actual ;).
That was a funny commercial, Saje. One day I'll figure out why I chuckle. Besides, you know, 1984 being my birth year.

zeitgeist, you kid, but this is starting to feel like your "funny" thread. I left the "let is slide" part in because I had written something else, changed my mind, and changed it again. Therefore, you get hybrid of my thoughts. More of a mutant, actually. It could be passive-agressive. I'm a bit fickle today.

I get that you're passionate about it, and one day I may follow in your footsteps. Just remember: never joke about pulled pork.
Apparently I have learned my lesson. Or yours. I've definitely learned somebody's lesson ;).
Well, that was a fun commercial. I'd never seen that. Tnx, Saje. (ETA: wait, is the fact that it's a hammer at all significant? Was Cpt. Hammer, corporate tool, sponsored by Apple which also sells Dr. Horrible exclusively? Conspiracy theorists: begin speculating!)

Also: DRM sucks. As does iTunes. But I do love my iPod (I just never, ever, use iTunes to load music onto it. Instead, I use poddox, which is a lot better imho :)).

(And finally, an a completely and utterly unrelated note: whee, water on mars!)

[ edited by GVH on 2008-08-02 01:08 ]
I play downloaded files on TV through my 3 year old Dell laptop using the s-video out.

I've gone through 3 desktop/towers in the last 10 years (5 in 20). I always keep files on a secondary drive. When my previous computer bit the dust (as in wouldn't boot) I had a library of DRM files I had purchased on the secondary drive. I got an enclosure for it made it an external usb drive.

I believe I should be able to take that drive, plug it into any computer, and play my music and video files. They're not even copies of files, but the originals. I should be able to take it to work and play my music on my work computer. I should be able to take it across the hall and play files on my partner's computer.

But I can't conveniently do that with the DRM files. I may have said this before, but it's like buying a six pack of beer, storing it in a cooler and the cooler carding me everytime I want to get a beer out of it. I've already bought the damn beer. It's mine.
Yeah, my evolution on that front went from a Dell SC420 server hooked up to the tv to using TVersity to stream across the network (check it out, its free and awesome!) to our PS3 and/or DirecTV HR20-100 to the current situation where all of the digital video files live on a Synology DS-207+ NAS that runs MediaTomb and streams stuff across the network. Not quite as neat in some ways as TVersity which will transcode the stream on the fly to a format the connecting DLNA/UpNP-compliant media host will understand, but plenty awesome anyway.
I had iTunes once for about ten minutes. I have absolutely no problem paying for something I want, but I have a huge problem with having to use a proprietary download software to pay for files in a proprietary format, and an even bigger problem with DRM. If I buy a copy of a video or audio program, I don't really care if it's delivered via CD, DVD, gamma rays, or flippin' 8-track tape, I should be able to transfer that to whatever the heck kind of media I want to play it on, as long as it's for me and not the entire neighborhood.
I downloaded iTunes just for this. And haven't touched it since. It's little icon sits on my desktop, all lonely and sad. But it never occured to me for a second I could get a Subway sub instead.

[ edited by NYPinTA on 2008-08-02 04:25 ]
No, I can honestly say Subway wasn't the first thing I thought of, either (now, an order of Singapore Mei Fun or something, maybe...)
Someone upthread asked about the ads on Hulu. They seem to have gone now but the ones that I saw (from Australia) when Dr Horrible first came back up were public service announcements from the Ad Council.

The Ad Council describes itself on its website as
a private, non-profit organization that marshals volunteer talent from the advertising and communications industries, the facilities of the media, and the resources of the business and non-profit communities to deliver critical messages to the American public.

The clips were short and appeared at the act breaks in the full version. The only one I remember clearly was about cyberbullying prevention and seemed very fitting. It had a young girl standing on stage during a school assembly and making horrible comments about another girl before smiling sweetly and receiving applause. The tag line was "if you wouldn't say it in person why say it online" and I've now located it here under the link to 'talent show.

I googled the organisation at the time as I was confused by Simon's comment that Dr Horrible was being sponsored by the US government and discovered that the cyperbullying prevention clip is sponsored by the National Crime Prevention Council and the US Department of Justice.

The other ad was, I think, for something environmental - possibly Earthshare.

[ edited by purplehazel on 2008-08-02 05:44 ]
zeitgeist: One of these kinds of stores just shut down the other day (Yahoo! Music?).

What? What?!? Darn it, I need to read my email oftener, my Yahoo! Music subscription goes until next spring. Or went. :(
purplehaze, my commercials were for Honda.
Thanks for the info, I actually hope to see some ads there soon since that would be one further step towards making this venture profitable and more likely to be repeated.

If they got nothing else they could always just do the corporate synergy thing and put a Dark Horse Buffy S8 ad and/or the Fox Dollhouse trailer on there.

Or just the last scene from the Buffy 'Talent show', now that would be a public service announcement we could all get behind, 'Beware, acting can sometimes be painful'.

[ edited by jpr on 2008-08-02 08:05 ]
Jpr said

I dont think anyone would have suggested that the release of the show was delayed while all the kinks where worked out of the delivery channels, that's what experiments are there for.

This is exactly the attitude i mean, unfortunately (and that's not an attack on you at all Jpr) There is a general concensus, that as long as the US and Canada can get it, then the rest are almost an after thought.
No, that wasn't the consensus. The consensus was that it used infrastructure that was built by US entertainment conglomerates, so its understandable that some things got screwed up and it took or is taking (in the case of Hulu and then iTunes) time to work it out. Not everyone in the US could get to it using Hulu at first either. Also there are different requirements for localized iTunes and in a perfect world it would've all been worked out straight away and beforehand. We do not live in that perfect world, I'm afraid, so it makes complete sense to me that the easiest thing to arrange was the iTunes and Hulu setup for the country that it was produced in. This is not something Joss and co. had done before.

I do completely understand where you are coming from, I mean I've been known to acquire British TV when Auntie Beeb would say its not for me until they see fit to stamp it onto some R1 DVDs and send it on the slow boat across the pond. I think we've all wanted products or information to come to us more quickly that hasn't materialized. I think some patience is called for, especially since they've made it available to watch online again and one might assume the delays were part of the reason for doing so.
Thank you, zeitgeist. I don't understand this idea that everything the U.S. produces has to be available for the whole world to see. I've never heard anyone say "This whole Dr. Who thing is just another example of Britain's attitude toward Americans."
zeitgeist, by "concensus" they mean "the opinion of some friends and I".
I don't understand this idea that everything the U.S. produces has to be available for the whole world to see.

Well it doesn't anymore than everything the Beeb produces does but Dr Horrible was meant to be global so that's a moot point. The one about it just being an oversight and not reflecting Joss/Jed/Zack/Maurissa's feelings towards the Rest of the World is totally bereft of moot though. Just posting it reduces the world's average mootness.

(personally I think there was just a teeny bit of naiveté about the technology - maybe JJZM just assumed that since the internet is a global phenomenon and YouTube etc. are available all over the place then their stuff automatically would be too ?)
This seems to be descending quite rapidly into a US vs THEM debate. But please try to remember we're all here for the same reason. (Free beer!?)

The creators of Dr H have specifically stated that they wanted this to be available for all people to see and enjoy. On the World Wide Web. It took them by complete surprise that it could not be, and Hulu took speedy action to rectify that. iTunes has not.

As an Aussie, I kinda feel like I turned up for a movie, I had wads of cash in my hand, and there were empty seats in the cinema. But they were only letting in people dressed in Captain-Hammer-Corporate-Tool costumes, and I was dressed as Dr Horrible.

Perhaps people in the States could cast their minds back to how they felt when Grad Day Pt 2 was showing in Canada, but taken off air in the States. You may just have a little more empathy for international viewers.

We just wanna pay our money to see the film. And buy some popcorn. (And did someone mention beer?)
missb, there isn't anyone here not having empathy for international viewers. There are people here taking issue with certain international viewers in here claiming -- or, at the very least, insinuating -- that this is all because Joss et al didn't care enough about the issue.
Well, perhaps I'm misinterpreting the person up thread who said

I don't understand this idea that everything the U.S. produces has to be available for the whole world to see.

To me, a statement like that reeks of entitlement, and a dash of colonialism. (And we all know how bad THAT smells. Cheese bad. I may just hold back Aussie 'Big Brother' from you in retribution, no wait, please take it, I beg you!)

The point of Dr H was to cut out the studios and use new forms of media to effectively distribute a product. What's become evident is that there is a definite need for the kind of technology where the cast and crew get their due and viewers have equitable access to material after paying or donating. (Or perhaps the Whedons would prefer us to sacrifice goats and/or sheep?)

All I'm saying is that I'd sure pay megabucks for a separate internet channel or site broadcasting nothing but JossTV, with maybe one or two special projects like Dr H added per year. We could have the whole back catalog, new online comics, animated Buffy and other projects too.

Well, a gal can dream...
Well, perhaps I'm misinterpreting the person up thread who said

"I don't understand this idea that everything the U.S. produces has to be available for the whole world to see."

To me, a statement like that reeks of entitlement, and a dash of colonialism.

I would say that it reeks of entitlement because that is what you are reading into it. Especially considering what they said right after that:

I've never heard anyone say "This whole Dr. Who thing is just another example of Britain's attitude toward Americans."
missb, I'm not saying that I think everything made in in the U.S. should only be enjoyed by U.S. citizens. I'm just saying that it's a bit unfair to expect everything made here to be shared on a global scale.

I used Dr. Who as an example of how different it is when the roles are switched. No one accuses other countries of acting entitled when they don't release things globally.

That said, I didn't realize that the creators of Dr. Horrible had said that it would be available for everyone to watch, so I apologize for not having my facts straight. Still, I don't think the fact that it didn't quite work out that way at first is any reflection of Americans' attitude toward other countries.
Exporting 'Ned and Stacy', however, just might be ...
Frankly, I wish to heck whoever thought up with such concepts as "regions" in DVDs had been immediately taken out and shot. There's tons of stuff not readily available in Region 1 that I'd love to have (not that it's stopped me from getting a good chunk of those, you understand, but it was way more damn trouble than it should have been, as opposed to just, y'know, going down to the local Wally World and buying a copy there that would work in my player...)
Well, maybe not shot... but I agree. Why split the world into regions when you have a chance not to? Are we that infatuated with seperating ourselves into little groups that it was essentional that DVDs be made for specific parts of the globe?
It was originally because of the "window" between theatrical distribution and DVD and also the way song/music rights are negotiated according to geographical area. Some films are already out on DVD in the US before they even reach the cinema over here (and elsewhere) so region coding was to prevent grey imports *glances at DVD shelf* ... That went well ;).

(why they still bother now given how many DVD players are either specifically sold as multi-region or can easily be "hacked" with a few simple key-presses I have no idea - it might be for the aforementioned rights negotiations in that the studios have to at least appear to be trying to prevent grey imports in order for international incidental music rights contracts to remain valid. IANAL though ;)
I think most of us more or less agree on this: it stinks that it wasn't available immediately to all, but that was the intent and they are doing their best. Its not colonialism (honestly that doesn't even make sense in this context, though I understand what you were going for) or isolationism or elitism, its just the facts of corporate nonsense. The movie studios thought up the Region coding thing and its fading away a bit as they got convinced that simultaneous release globally helps keep piracy down (shocking!), but its not dead yet, unfortunately. There are some great region free DVD players out there, however and I expect we'll see the same of Blu_ray (which has fewer regions to begin with and "catalog" titles tend to come out region free. New releases are getting region coding if the release date in different regions varies, but as they become "catalog" titles they seem to be likely to go region free as well, which is not ideal, but better than the previous way of doing things.). Whats my point? Lets all have delicious, foamy free beer!
I don't know if this has been linked before, but here is an article on Wired titled "Hollywood Has Finally Figured Out How to Make Web Video Pay." It was posted on July 21, goes on for four pages, makes statements like "Nobody knows how the business is supposed to work — what kind of stories to tell, whether to tell them in 90 seconds or 20 minutes, whether to build a destination site or distribute episodes across the Net, how to generate revenue, how to do it all on a shoestring..." and not once does it mention Dr. Horrible, which exploded onto the internet just days earlier.
Down with corporations! Up with free beer!!

Region coding and network restrictions are just ridiculous when I can hop onto Amazon and have an entire season of a show delivered to my house, watch it, have it shown for free on TV 6 months later and then have an opportunity to buy a R4 copy a year later for double the price I originally paid for it.

Re- the above article, one of the negotiation points of the WGA strike was web profits. Here we are trying to help Joss make one, and there's thousands of us who aren't able to do so, yet. Irony!
Free beer? HA! Shirley you jest (I'd settle for reasonable...)
The concensus, I was talking about, was not referring to Dr. H in general (but thanks for trying to make me seem something i'm not, and making assumptions as to what my words mean) but the studios. It's not only them though. It's the people who sell video games too.

My point was, one of the biggest reasons for pirating is because international viewers are not happy with waiting months to be up to date with the US. It wouldn't be a problem if websites and forums were also limited to being US only, but we see things discussed all over the WWW about things that wont be out for months. I'm not saying that Joss and co didn't necessarily care enough, but it can certainly come across that way.

Can someone answer me this then? Was the only reason Dr. H NEEDED to be released by this date because of Comic Con? Because there was no pressure from the studios to have it ready, so what other harm could be done by waiting a few weeks or a couple of months to eliminate this problem? (Well I suppose if Joss was desperate to start claiming his money back, that would be acceptable)

This is not an US vs everyone else thing. I just wish that instead of Studios selling their shows to other networks in other countries, that they could instead develop into international networks themselves. It would be a massive step in eliminating tv show piracy. Why would most people need to download the eps, when they could then simply stream them from the website.

By waiting until international iTunes was sorted, Joss would've moved the world of tv in that direction, started the ball rolling.
I could use that free beer myself. Is there a VirtuTap somewhere on this page? And if not, why not?
I also own a non-iPod mp3 player. I get around it by burning a CD of music from iTunes, then downloading the songs back onto my computer from the burned CD, which converts them to generic mp3 which I can then load onto my Sansa.
Free beer? Free Beer! I heard about the free beer from the other threads. (The walls are very thin here). Decided to come along and check it out. Can I download the free beer from iTunes? Anybody? Anybody?
timeerkat, yup, I've done the same (or similar) with a bunch of other stuff (thus the "way more damn trouble than it should have been"...)
Free Beer... iPod Touch or iPhone with OS 2.0 and free iPint program.

In the interests of debate (something I seriously suck at), this whole DRM discussion, could DRM be compared to "In the early 90's you bought a CD of a music album and you go home to play it, yet your car and home stereo only have tape decks. You own the music on the CD, yet you do not have the correct equipment to play the CD."?

Is this a bad example or doesn't Sony get royalty fees anymore everytime you purchase a CD or CD player (even the one in your computer)?

Now the Blu-Ray Disc Association, a collection of many companies (Including Sony, Apple, Samsung, etc.) is paid royalty fees for every Blu-Ray Disc associated produced item. I think tho, those who are part of the Association can say they have put money towards the development of the technology so they don't have to pay.

You know for the sake of debate...
Shoves iMac, iPhone, iPods, and research for purchase of AppleTV under my bed, and there is no need to search for a Mac Mini in my glovebox. :) innocently
Doesn't Phillips have the trademark/rights for CD?
They own the standard so that anyone that wants to create CDs for commercial use should strictly pay them a licence fee in order to use the 'CD' logo anywhere on the packaging. Sony's attempts to prevent copying broke the standard and meant that what they were selling couldn't carry the 'CD' logo (but IIRC did) and so they were, ironically enough, guilty of trademark infringement (it's especially ironic because they, along with Philips, were the first ratifiers of the official standard).

"In the early 90's you bought a CD of a music album and you go home to play it, yet your car and home stereo only have tape decks. You own the music on the CD, yet you do not have the correct equipment to play the CD."?

That's a good example in one sense Wilhelm. Back then you were within your rights to tape a copy of your CD to play in the car. As long as you're not playing both at the same time or lending copies to others then that's deemed "fair use". DRM is an attempt to (among other things) take that away.

But it's a bad example in the sense that it's more like "You do have a CD player in your car but it's not the 'correct' brand and so doesn't play the disk because someone has specifically arranged it in that way".
could DRM be compared to

Well, no. The problem with DRM isn't just that it's a technological hurdle to making use of content you've purchased as you see fit -- breaking DRM is against the law.

It was, or became, standard procedure and culturally accepted practice to tape a cd -- or, hell, forget cd: tape a record -- in order to play it in your car where you only had a tape deck. And there wasn't any technology on the cd (or, hell, the vinyl) to prevent you from doing so.

Now, under the new regime the industry has managed to railroad through the Federal government over the last couple of decades, they've instituted technological laws against personal copying (the software code and/or the hardware itself) that are backed up by actual laws (the codes passed by lawmakers).
Yeah, that's a very important point. DRM has a "big brother" to help it beat up the little guys (i.e. us) and it's called the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). What this says is that it's against the law to try to break copy-protection systems regardless of what you then do with the copies. So under US law you can't even break DRM just in order to restore your "fair use" rights.

The irony of the whole thing is, copyright and its exemptions were originally intended to encourage the free dissemination of information by making it possible for people to make a living from their own work. Now it's being used as a weapon by big business against that same free dissemination.

(if you're not in the US - as i'm not - then it's more complicated because the EU came up with a very similar "template" law, the EU Copyright Directive, that each member country then has to implement itself but the broad gist is the same in most places, it's just that some member countries have explicitly allowed "fair use" exemptions and some haven't. Here in the UK it's still an ongoing debate though the recent Gowers Report on Intellectual Property law made some encouraging noises about restoring fair use rights - just down to the government to make it law *doesn't hold breath* ;)
ivalaine - just responding to what your words seemed to say. Not trying to put words in your mouth but at some point we do have to make basic assumptions about what you mean by interpreting your word choice. No offense intended, certainly. The thing that it seems you're missing here is that Joss and co. didn't realize these issues were going to happen as they hadn't done this before. Would they have waited if they knew? They may not have had to as they could've started that ball rolling sooner. Since they expected it all to work and work quickly, they didn't realize they needed to ask what they thought were silly questions like "will this work outside the US right away". The way they were thinking about this project, that was an assumption; the way the old media companies think about this, the assumption runs along a different tack. And, yeah, I made the same point about simultaneous release in multiple regions decreasing piracy.
"Can someone answer me this then? Was the only reason Dr. H NEEDED to be released by this date because of Comic Con? Because there was no pressure from the studios to have it ready, so what other harm could be done by waiting a few weeks or a couple of months to eliminate this problem? (Well I suppose if Joss was desperate to start claiming his money back, that would be acceptable)"

I can't answer that question based on actual, well, knowlege, but I can take a couple guesses. All of these might be totally off base of course.

1. The further from the actual strike the release date was, the less chance anyone would remember enough to care about the connection.
2. It is hard to have something shiny and new and not show it to anyone while waiting for every last detail to be thought of and ironed out, especially when you have been promising fans new stuff for a while and have no idea what some of those details are until they happen.
3. It is probably necessary to see how popular it is before you can know how to produce the DVD, which you need to have out in time for Christmas.
4. All four writers have TV shows starting up which are going to take a lot of their time and might make it impossible to sit around trying to fix things that go wrong when it is launched...because things will go wrong when it is launched no matter how long they wait.

Just my own immediate thoughts on the possible reasons.

Please note: Salt in grains as well as boulders is suggested to be taken with this post.
The comment wasn't aimed at you Zeitgeist, but i figured naming the person could be seen as flaming, and whilst their comment was not, despite being completely demeaning and having no content beyond to insult me, I figured it was best not to name names.
As newcj pointed, we can mostly theorize, but the four points listed make sense.
After all it's a new model, it would be really hard to have everything ironed out. Yes, there were several bumps along the way, but buy doing things and having things happening during the process, definitely was a interesting test to the "model".
Itunes is evil and needs to be staked at the first opportunity - damn it where is Buffy when you need her.

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