This video is not available in your country

Posted Saturday, May 3, 2008, 12:37 PM

YouTube recently added a new feature to their uploading options, where you can choose to restrict viewership of a particular video to people in a particular country, presumably your own country. I assume this was done to protect certain copyrights, such as anything official coming from the BBC might want to limit their viewers to those who actually pay their enforced compulsory license fee, i.e. UK residents, and not to those who do not, i.e. everyone else in the entire world.

Except they are limiting their potential audience. It's not like that encourages more people to pay this stupid fee, the foreign audiences aren't even eligible. And it's not like 90% of these shows are actually going to be broadcast in their country at any point. Even if they were, watching a tiny clip on YouTube isn't going to make them lose any money; indeed, it will probably sell more DVDs! That's exactly why I have bought the QI DVDs - I saw the show first on YouTube, and since they never play the show outside the UK, they've made money off me. Isn't that a good thing for them?

It's fucked up. I recently subscribed to an online-only YouTube channel from the US, and it's quite a funny show indeed. But their latest clip has been given a location restriction, so now I can't watch it. Why? It's not meant as a moneyspinner for them, it's just a silly little bit of entertainment they're putting out there for free. Why deny any international viewing?

This is the age of the Internet. The Communication Age. It's the first era where the breaking down of cultural and geographical barriers is actively occurring worldwide, which is a fantastically wonderful and potentially peace-inducing thing. And yet there are still xenophobic morons restricting and censoring entertainment from certain people, and for no logical reason. Even "money" can't be argued as an acceptable reason, because this actually causes them to lose potential earnings.

Fucking idiots.

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