Generally I’m a fan of intellectual property rights. I’m a writer how could I not be? But sometimes they’re just great big annoyances. Last week James Whitbrook wrote on Toybox about the general annoyance of shows crossing the pond from US to the UK. It’s a pretty good piece but it also made me think about how much worse it is for Finland. At least in the UK they generally know those series will be available there. Not so much in Finland.
We’re a tiny market and despite the fact that fandom is relatively large here, it’s still not 100% of the people unless we’re talking about something like Game of Thrones. So unless a series is on Netflix (or HBO. For some reason most HBO shows seem to make their way down here), it’s highly unlikely that I’ll see it. You can of course get many of the same paid channels which will get the lag time down to a couple of days but even they don’t get all of the same shows.
This insult turns to injury with books. It takes a freaking long time for anything physical to ship all the way here so even when I preorder a book, it’ll take at least two weeks from the release date for it to arrive. Often more so. And since I prefer electronic formats it often takes me a long while to get to the Hot New Thing. The latest one being Kameron Hurley’s Mirror Empire. I’m genuinely excited about it but I spend somewhere around 12-14 hours on a computer every day squinting at text or code so when I’m not on the computer the biggest thing on my mind isn’t picking up a book that contains text. So I put it off and put it off, hoping that the audiobook will come soon. Which it may or may not. I also may or may not lug the physical book around while I’m procratinating the reading.
And if I’m perfectly honest I know I have been spoiled. I have enough disposable income and language skills that I can have things like smart phones on which I can buy and listen to the numerous audiobooks, not to mention Kindles (because they still won’t sell the Nook to me), iPads and other gizmos. I have internet at my fingertips wherever I am in my home country (this has thus far not proven to be the case abroad). I can know what happened on SHIELD or Sleepy Hollow last night US time within a couple of hours of a new episode airing even if I can’t actually watch them. But I can’t experience the stories the people around me are talking about. And that just really, really sucks sometimes.
Because I don’t want to just whine, have a random cute puppy: