Just found this on Hard News about a brief attempt to bypass regional TV controls in NZ:
Fyx, the retail ISP launched last week by Maxnet with a new pricing model and -- this is what got everyone chattering -- a "global mode" whose purpose, although the company was wary of saying as much, was to let customers defeat region-blocking on offshore video-on-demand services.
In effect, it opened up a world of film and television. Customers would be able to use (and where applicable, pay money for) Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and other services. A growing number of more sophisticated New Zealand users have already been buying such an unblocking service from third-party VPN services, attracted by the range of programming and friendly subscription pricing. But selling the service already baked into an ISP subscription seemed to represent a major step-change.
This bit in particular relates to the previous stuff article:
Even if local broadcasters didn't formally object, it can't be over-emphasised how much this kind of service could break the existing film and TV distribution system. Consumer piracy has already forced New Zealand broadcasters towards "day-and-date" screenings -- Game of Thrones, the internet's most file-shared show, screens here only a couple of weeks after it does in the US. (Pity the poor British, who are only just getting the last series of True Blood.)
But in the zeitgeisty world of internet TV fandom, two weeks is a hell of a long time to look away from spoilers.
Yes, I'm addicted to US and UK sludge, but the reason I want it now, not next month or next year, is that the people I talk to about it aren't watching with me in NZ. I want to be able to talk online about it - with you guys here, on twitter, on livejournal etc, and it's a constant balancing act of who has had access to what.
And I thought this article in the Atlantic was good too:
From a lowly McDonald's burger to a $3,500 Louis Vuitton bag, we're in a time when it seems every piece of crap I don't want can be found in every corner of the earth, all the time. And yet a life-enriching film I truly am excited for, that requires no shipping, no retail store, that could arrive effortlessly on my computer, is currently imprisoned on that "little island off the coast of France," as Frank Zappa referred to it.
ETA: And the comments reminded me about the recent Oatmeal comic that sums it up so well: