When everyone’s favorite face of geek culture, Wil Wheaton, ventures to Comic-Con, no topic is off limits to the masterful mind behind Eureka’s most fan-favorite pseudo-villain – including online piracy.
Shortly following the Eureka panel at Comic-Con, we spoke with Wheaton about his feelings towards online piracy, content availability and what the entertainment industry is going to do about it. As expected, Wheaton revealed his honest feelings about online piracy – including the fact that the entertainment industry is to blame for it in the first place.
Of course, since we spoke to Wheaton following the Eurkea panel, the always wonderful Colin Ferguson joins the conversation mid-way through and adds some of his thoughts about the issue.
Below are some excerpts of what Wheaton had to say. If you’d like to see the entirety of Wheaton’s statement, make sure to check out the video below.
Wil Wheaton: As soon as the entertainment industry provides an alternative to bit-torrent – or an alternative to piracy – that makes it easy for honest people to get access to the program, then the piracy dries up.
Gabe Newell [CEO of Valve] says that pirates provide better customer service. How many times have you paid for a DRM license for something and the server goes down, or you travel across the border? I rented some episodes on Amazon of Doctor Who: when I went to Canada – I paid for them in America; I live in America – they say “you can’t watch it anymore because you’re not in America anymore.” That made me angry because I was being honest; I was an honest person. If I had stolen it, I would be watching it.
I love that Syfy puts episodes of Eureka online for people to watch; I love that TNT puts episodes of Leverage online for people to watch.
Eureka star Colin Ferguson
WW: There are two classes of people in the world: there are people who will never pay for anything, no matter what – you’re never going to get them.
Colin Ferguson: [jokingly] Yeah, that’s me.
Then there’s people that will pay for something – and want to. You just have to make it easy for them – and reasonable.
I think that, very slowly, we are dragging the entertainment industry up – they’re about up to 1997 now – and they’re slow.
Colin Ferguson: They are slow. They mean well.
WW: They do mean well. We just have to bring them to the future, where we live, and show them how awesome it is.
CF: But it is frustrating that you’re not allowed to watch the stuff that you want to watch.
WW: It’s crazy!
To see entirety of what Wil Wheaton has to say about online piracy, or hear Colin Ferguson story about how their Eureka co-star Neil Grayston was unable to use an iTunes gift card Syfy gave them (because of content restrictions), check out the video below:
Online piracy and content availability is one of the most discussed topics within the entertainment industry. With Bit Torrent and other video sharing sites becoming a popular avenue for those seeking to watch their favorite program when and how they want to watch it, the entertainment industry is still struggling to adjust.
While certain companies have openly embraced the notion of content availability for their viewers, others have done nothing but drag their feet the entire way – complaining of piracy and the stolen content.
As a proponent of content availability on the Internet, it’s hard to disagree with anything Wheaton says. In fact, I’d even go as far as saying that it’d be hard for anyone that’s firmly against online availability (those people do still exist – and work in the entertainment industry) to not admit that what Wheaton says is absolutely true and makes perfect sense.
For more interviews and panel recaps from Comic-Con, check out Screen Rant’s official Comic-Con 2011 page.
Eureka airs Mondays @8pm on Syfy
Follow Anthony on Twitter @anthonyocasio