I don’t actually watch television myself, but sometimes when I’m abroad I help out with downloading programs from svt play, the swedish television play on demand service. Not that im a media snob or anything, I’m just too busy reading Manga or Warhammer novels to have time with television.
SVT play is a bit funny, because aparently you cant see certain programs abroad because of some sort of license restrictions. this is especially amusing for some programs that have zero interest for other people than swedes traveling abroad.
Anyway, circumventing this region protection, regardless of whatever unclear purpose it serves, is not hard. You need a shell account on a box in sweden, probably your cupboard server, and get-flash-videos.
get-flash-videos in turn depends on rtmpdump. rtmpdump is a reverse engineered implementation of rtmp, an Adobe atrocity unto the web.
Ok, so maybe this article is more about how stupid i feel swedish state owned public service television is. they produce lots of inane gameshows that comercial tv are equally inept at providing. Then they hide the crap from the world with ip based region lockouts. The only rational reason i can think of is embarassment at other nations viewing our meaningless state provided Soma.
So, having gotten that out of my system, is there anything morally wrong with downloading a SVT play programme and watching it abroad?
Recently it was decided that you must pay the television license fee even if you have no television set. You only need an internet capable device, since SVT play is available on internet. that effectively makes the license fee a tax, because every swede has access to a television or a smart phone or a computer.
If you pay the fee because you have an internet capable device, you should be able to use the service on the internet, which isn’t really bound by geographical borders, whatever our fearless leaders seem to think. therefore it should be morally acceptable to download region restricted material abroad.
The only moral consideration in this case ought to be to yourself; find some more useful way to burn braincycles with while abroad.
Oh, and the technical solution described here is mostly suitable for low bandwidth situations where streaming isn’t reasonable. If the available bandwidth is sufficient a http proxy or a vpn solution might be workable. You can still use your cupboard server for this.