A colleague asked me the other day: if a US company decides to offer its TV shows for free online, but limits the downloads to US internet users only (blocking out us poor sucker Aussies), are they doing anything illegal?

The question stemmed from Wall Street Journal reports that Disney plans to offer popular tv shows like Lost and Desperate Housewives for free online (see also Michael Geist on this)

I couldn’t think of anything that would make this illegal. Possibly stupid, given the reported levels of TV-show downloading in Australia, but not illegal. But then I thought, well, in recent times, people commenting on this blog, and more particularly on Weatherall’s Law have proven the old blog adage that the comments generated by a post are often more interesting than the post itself – and that commenters collectively are smarter than the blogger.

So help me out here guys. Is there anything illegal going on in that scenario?