How are Hulu, Amazon, iTunes and others actively stopping me to give them money

Today, for the who knows what time these few weeks alone, Hulu lost a sale from me. I know they don’t sell things but operate on ad-revenue basis, but my point stands.

No, thanks, this would be waste of my time

So, only US. Given that I’m living in Serbia, chances of Hulu appearing here are worse than 0. Thus Hulu will never work for me. The blurb on this dialog is rather telling - they will have to cross quite a bit of legal hurdles to get this working here. Given the size of Serbia internet audience and the part of it willing to pay for stuff online, I can safely say that legal costs to make this happen would probably outweigh a year worth of revenue.

Same thing certainly applies to sites like iTunes and Amazon MP3 Downloads. The only way I’m able to buy anything on the iTunes is using gift cards brought by friends from their US vacation (or bought off eBay). Amazon uses Geo IP filtering and card billing address checks to prevent people buying MP3s of their store, if they are not in the US.

I seriously wonder when will content producers figure out how much money they are losing this way. I have valid debit cards I can buy stuff from various web sites in the world. If my money is acceptable when I’m buying electronic goods on the UK Amazon, it’s should be perfectly acceptable to buy music.

The way things are now, Hulu, iTunes and Amazon are actively working to prevent me to give them money. I don’t think that can be more stupid then it is.

I’m fully aware that stores would be happy to have me and collect their cut of my buys, that they are forced to do this thing. So I’m puzzled by the continuing insistence of the content rights holders to prevent me to buy Galactica or Heroes on iTunes/Hulu. Instead, I wait for EasyTV crew to publish the gorgeus looking HD capture of the latest episode and torrent it down. I adored Battlestar Galactica and would buy entire seasons, if only I was let to.

In the age of global economy, I see no reason to prevent people from any country in the world to buy things in any other country. When I look at my purchases over the last few years, I spent quite a bit of money on places like PragProg where I bought several products and asked my company to buy some stuff of them too. None of those sales would be possible if they acted in the same way like music/TV/cinema industry worked. Actually, if they did work like that I would probably torrent down their stuff too, because I needed those screencasts.

Food for thought.