Doctor Horrible has Horrible Bandwidth Problems

Posted on Jul 15, 2008

I will start by saying, Doctor Horrible is great. It’s a story about an evil genius, Doctor Horrible, and his arch-nemesis, Captain Hammer (what a great name). Written by the amazing Joss Whedon and starring NPH who plays the Doctor and Nathan Fillion as Captain Hammer. The writing is typical Whedon: witty, sarcastic, and instantly enjoyable. I really see this project becoming a huge phenomenon.

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However, those of you who’d like to catch it online will probably have little luck unless you’re an iTunes customer and willing to pony up. Looks like someone behind the project wants to make sure you can only watch it “under the sheets at night when no one is around.” They are streaming each show for a limited time off their VERY limited servers. The international launch came this morning and within a few hours the site has been unavailable. Without any mirrors or any other Internet love, the streaming scheme is proving to be less than savoury. Expect that the next two episodes will be completely unavailable the moment they’re released.

The official b-line from the crew is to buy it from iTunes of course. That or wait until the servers come back up. This is of course, unlikely to happen any time soon and people want it NOW. They really missed the mark on this one IMO. Only North American customers of iTunes are able to see it if they’re willing to pay — of course this means one must be either a Windows or Mac user with iTunes installed. How corporate.

I really hope they show some love for their fans. If you’re going to do an Internet project, do it right. The Internet isn’t about managing scarcity and controlling content. Stick to TV if that’s what you’re going for. It’s really disappointing to see these media companies trying to be progressive but fail miserably because of their ultra-conservative and narrow-minded views. Stop being so exclusionary and let the fans have at it already.

Being a loyal Whedon fan, it’s seeing things like this that really tempt to put me off.

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