Geoblocking sucks!

While skipping through a few older posts, I found this post containing a video that was no longer hosted on the video platform where I originally got it from.

A broken reference on a music blog might not seem like a big deal, but this particular case is one that I find very annoying. I am talking about the video “Stylo” from the Gorillaz.

Normally, when I am looking for a video, I go to YouTube, like most people do. For me, YouTube (and other video portals) have become the true successor to MTV since they stopped concentrating on music. YouTube is usually a great source for music video from all different genres, and I often use YouTube videos as references.

However, a while ago, YouTube introduced a technology called geoblocking . Essentially, what it means is that you can or cannot view certain videos depending on the country you are accessing that video from.

Geoblocking is relatively easy to circumvent, but when I referenced that video, I didn’t want to give my readers the hassle of having to figure that out. So I looked for a different source – and finally found one on Dailymotion. This worked for a while, but apparently it was an unauthorized video upload and they removed it.

Of course, anybody wanting to see the video will certainly find it, but this shows a serious problem of video portals: You can’t use them as an archive.
You can never know if any video will be taken down for legal or business reasons. And just because something is released in one country does not mean it will ever be accessible in any other country.

I can see the business logic behind this kind of decision, since from a marketing standpoint, you might want to have full control over what is realeased when in which country.
Nevertheless, from a cultural point of view, I am strongly against this kind of technology.

Music is an important part of our culture, and the internet should be used to enable access to it, not restrict it.

Anyway, the video is still cool, so here it is again. I hope it stays there.

About marvis (209 Articles)
Marvis is the founder of Sweet Headache. He lives in Cologne (Germany) and has been a music nerd for a long, long time.

2 Comments on Geoblocking sucks!

  1. I definitely agree with this. It’s funny that you chose Gorillaz as an example, as I am wondering right now wether I’ll be able to watch the new video that’s due to be released tomorrow without problems.

    The technique is very counterproductive, and I must say I don’t get it at all. YouTube used to be a great source for checking out interesting artists and bands, and not being able to watch their videos just annoys me and makes me turn to something else.

  2. Interessantes Problem, das Du ansprichst. Ja, man kann generell Speicherräume von Privaten (hier: YouTube) nicht als Archiv verwenden. Weil es dieses Problem schon sehr lange gibt, hat sich die Gesellschaft in Deutschland 1913 dazu entschlossen, sämtliche seither in Printform publizierte Kultur von einer Institution mit derzeitigem Namen Deutsche Nationalbibliothek in einem Exemplar dauerhaft aufbewahren zu lassen. Der Sammelauftrag ist inzwischen ausgedehnt auf E-Books und Netzpublikationen. Kinofilme werden im Deutschen Filmarchiv (Teil des Bundesarchivs) aufbewahrt. Soweit alles klar. Interessant wird es bei Tonträgern. Alle in Deutschland erscheinenden Tonträger werden nämlich vom Deutschen Musikarchiv in Berlin gesammelt. Da darf man sehr gespannt sein, was passiert, wenn sich die physisch bekannten Tonträger, durch die ja bisher ein abgeschlossenes Werk definiert wird, auflösen. Wird es der Gesellschaft in Zukunft auch noch wichtig sein, Musik aufzubewahren, wenn sie atomisiert publiziert wird? Noch nie in öffentlichem Auftrag gesammelt wurden dagegen Musikvideos. Es besteht offensichtlich ein (wenn auch vielleicht unausgesprochener) gesellschaftlicher Konsens, dass sie nicht dauerhaft aufbewahrenswert sind. Und wenn man das dann den Privaten überlässt, handeln die natürlich so, wie es ihnen passt.
    Das zeigt mal wieder, dass man wirklich wichtige grundsätzliche Dinge nicht oder zumindest nicht völlig der Privatwirtschaft überlassen sollte.

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