In the last couple of weeks there has been a lot of controversy over the Streamy Awards. There are several key issues at stake that will no doubt be fiercely debated over the next year. We will have plenty of time to discuss these issues which revolve around the very purpose of the Streamys, the role of the web series community and the influence large studios and companies such as Tubefilter exert over them.
However one issue would appear quite simple. A so called "geoblocked" show is only shown regionally until the "geoblock" is removed. This is akin to a nation state controlling the internet within their borders except it is a corporate marketing decision made to maximize the profits for the company that owns the show. Now there is no harm in profits. It is the very life blood of growth for an industry. And without profits we will have few web series to enjoy.
However here we are talking about an award show for web series on the World Wide Web. Or, are we? The notion of giving such an award to a show that is deliberately restricted to a regional market simply flies in the face of the spirit and intent of the World Wide Web which is to share information around the globe.
It was therefore a surprise when today the Streamy Awards organizers released a statement making shows that are only available to viewers on a regional basis eligible for the Streamy Awards. This means that shows that have not been fully present on the World Wide Web can win an award before the have met the very basic spirit and intent of the World Wide Web.
Why would the Streamys make such a decision. It might be too simple to say that it was to placate the desires of companies such as Sony and CBS that use ice age concepts to market their products. We totally understand the need to make certain marketing decisions but that does not mean they should be rewarded. The World Wide Web means something. It means information is available around the World.
No one is saying that a show that was at one time geoblocked should never be eligible for an award. What we are saying is that they should only become eligible after such techniques to restrict the free flow of information on the internet have been removed.
See related discussion on Anchor Cove: http://forum.anchorcove.net/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2558&start=110#p18170
See related discussion on Newteevee: http://newteevee.com/2010/01/15/streamy-awards-keep-geoblocked-shows-in-the-game/
See related discussion on Streamy.org: http://www.streamys.org/2010/01/15/streamys-eligibilty-geoblocking/