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MPAA Launches WheretoWatch.org, Completely Misses the Point

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MPAA WheretoWatch.orgI’m a little late to the party on this one, but apparently in May the MPAA launched a new website called WheretoWatch.org, designed — according to the story at Multichannel News — to “let Web surfers know where to find and access legal content for viewing online.”

Sounds awesome, right? Sort of like a more comprehensive version of something like Can I Stream.It? or GoWatchIt, designed to to allow you to plug in the name of a film or TV show and instantly see where you can access it online legally. Except that it isn’t that at all. In fact, click on WheretoWatch.org and the first thing you see is a host of links to those and similar sites, with no additional search tools, no enhanced functionality — nothing above and beyond what those existing sites are offering, except for links to pretty much every other streaming video service known to man, broken down into categories like “Where to watch TV/Movies,” “Where to watch Movies only,” and “Where to watch TV only.”

Lame Out Loud.

The Multichannel News piece continues:

“Audiences want seamless access to film and TV shows,” said MPAA chairman Chris Dodd. “Our industry has listened, and we are now delivering more choices than ever before. There have never been more ways to access movies and television legitimately online, and those platforms continue to grow and develop thanks in large part to a copyright system that encourages innovation, risk and growth. The companies I represent are committed to continuing to create and develop the best ways for audiences to enjoy the entertainment they love.”

Again, that sounds neat. The problem is, WheretoWatch.org is anything but seamless. The MPAA had an opportunity here to offer a service that goes far beyond the capabilities of the services it aggregates, offering a truly comprehensive way to find pretty much anything you’re looking for, and let you know definitively whether or not it’s available to stream, without the account requirements of Can I Stream.It?, without the gaping catalog holes of GoWatchIt. It could have gone one step further and let you know that, no, you can’t stream Pacific Rim legally just yet, but it’ll be available on Netflix by (fill in the date here).

Instead, in typical arrogant fashion, the MPAA merely slapped together a website with a few icons that, for all intents and purpose, says, “Hey, did you know you can stream movies and TV legally on the interwesbs? All the cool kids are doing it.”

I understand the need to fight piracy. I’m quite anti-piracy myself (unless, that is, Big Bang Theory fails to record for whatever reason and I can find no viable legal way to stream it to my TV). But if the MPAA genuinely wants to fight piracy, it needs to innovate. And WheretoWatch.org is the exact opposite of innovative in every way imaginable.

Via: [Multichannel News]

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One Comment

  1. Just a point of clarification. Can I Stream.It? does not require an account to search or go to a result. You only need an account to set reminders (an account consists of just your email and a password).

    Can I Stream.It?