Dr Manhattan from Watchmen

Who will watch the Watchmen?

The MPAA is continuing to blame Canada for its piracy woes. This despite the fact that Hollywood had a pretty boffo year with movie ticket sales on par with last year’s.

It’s not Canada’s fault, it’s a combination of a diversifying entertainment spend, and Hollywood’s failure to fully embrace technology.

Prior to the introduction of the Television, movies were one of a handful of ways people consumed entertainment (live performances and radio being the other two). Now we have television, radio, satelite radio, video games, and the internet. Frankly our time is precious and incredibly fragmented. You want my attention, you’d damn well better have something worth my time. Pluto Nash just ain’t gonna cut it anymore.

At the same time Hollywood is behind the curve when it comes to all sorts of stuff. As a Canadian I can’t see Hulu.com. This doesn’t stop me of course, just forces me to be sneaky about it and use a proxy. As a Canadian I don’t have access to the Zune Marketplace. This means that even though I really loved my Zune, I sold it. As a Canadian I don’t have full access to the iTunes store, the Xbox store, or a host of other online distribution places.

I know there are distribution reasons for this, I worked for Canada’s largest movie distributor for a time. I can’t however believe that there’s no solution for this yet.  What’s more, I don’t care.  There’s a perfectly acceptable alternative.

I GLADLY pay iTunes for music, and I’ve rented about a dozen movies from iTunes since the service opened in Canada, and I’d rent more, but I can’t.

Day and date releases

Okay, I’m never going to buy Hancock.  Heck, I have a PASSING interest in it right now because there are commercials blitzing TV.  I go to iTunes, and it’s available…for $19.99.  I’m not going to buy it, but I’d rent it for $5.00.  So what do I do?  Nothing, and in a few weeks I’ll forget about it, and never see it.  That’s $5.00 of my money that Hollywood will never see.

There are countless other things like this, ranging from the fact that I can’t LOOK at HBO’s website in Canada, to the fact that shows like Dexter (which I would pay for a season pass for) aren’t available on iTunes, Xbox, or anywhere else in Canada.