I have wondered in the past, why unlike online radio, online TV is not available to everyone, everywhere; and it is much more difficult to watch some good shows online.
Apparenly, some TV productions are available completely legally online, but viewing is usually limited to U.S.-based users.
The creators or the ingenious "IT Crowd" have taken a completely different attitude. First of all, the show was legally available for watching on the Channel 4 site; it understands that the globalisation of tv production and the availability of TV shows outside their original production rights are a fact - and its way to deal with it is to create better content, that would make us want to buy their DVD (I know I want it). Wikipedia describes the DVD extras:
Also included on the DVD are subtitles in leet. The leet subtitles, for the
first episode, are not a direct translation of the show and include many
references to geek culture that were not included in the original episode. The
second episode has the subtitles ROT13 encoded, episode three has
all the words in the subtitles sorted in alphabetical order, episode four has
the text base64
encoded and the last two episodes are direct leet translations.
possible to run the decrypted VOB files for episode four from the DVD through a
subtitle OCR program
such as SubRip which will produce a text file containing the base64 data. After
removing the extra line feeds and time indexes, the resulting file can be
processed by a base64 decoder and it will produce the 15.3KB plain text of the
subtitles (using Unix
linefeeds). The base64 encoding does contain one error: line 423 and 424 are
duplicates and one must be removed for proper decoding (the text is
also included a short film written and
directed by Linehan called Hello Friend, which starred
Ayoade in a silent role, and also had an appearance from Little
Britain's David Walliams.
But finally, even non-UK users can enjoy the first season legally, through FileClowd
Other legal downloads of TV shows there are rather Internet produced TV shows (read: independent television, an interesting concept in itself).