Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Great Idea Embargo

Some have wondered why you can't view full episodes of the Daily Show online outside the US. I suppose this is likely related to DVD region codes and why I can't access BBC television via internet in the states: silly restrictions on the trade of culture across borders.

Most states maintain cultural quotas, which limit how much film, television and other media moves into the country. This creates scattered worldwide release dates and enormous import markup for media.

Perhaps most perniciously, it keeps everyone around the world culturally isolated.

It's as if everyone decided, "Well, we'll buy/sell their clothing, but we don't want to actually listen to anything they have to say."

If we trade anything throughout the world, shouldn't we start with ideas?