Geoblocking: forbidden when shopping online, allowed on YouTube
Geoblocking hides certain videos in Europe on YouTube from you when you are in a certain country. Is that allowed? And how do you fight it?
We’ve recently discovered by chance that you can’t see some cool videos in the search results if you’re in your particular country, in our case Germany. If the IP was from somewhere else, it went smoothly.
The advanced level of this experience is that you have to be in a certain country (by IP) to see certain content at all. Again, this has been noticed because two music videos were simply no longer found in Germany – so the filter madness seems to be spreading. Here are the videos you can’t see with German IP:
In the EU there is a law that prohibits geographical discrimination in online shopping. So anyone who absolutely wants to buy their washing machine from Amazon in the Netherlands from Germany can do so. It is therefore forbidden for online shop providers to say: “We only deliver in this country, everything else is too complex and too expensive”. Interestingly, the law uses the term geoblocking, meaning that it explicitly states that it is not permissible for an online shop provider to refer to his online shop without first asking, which is geographically closer to the customer.
Interestingly enough, the aforementioned law excluded music and video games etc., i.e. basically everything digital. It is therefore permissible to filter content on YouTube by country, for example, as with the videos mentioned above. However, this is only noticeable because they have been available for years and are no longer available. We had some fun and tried out all available country IPs via VPN service. The result:
Available is the first video in (we didn’t test the other one as well):
USA, Australia, Brazil, Finland, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, South Africa and South Korea.
Not listed on YouTube is the video now in:
Germany, Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Czech Republic and Great Britain.
It is noticeable that the focus of geoblocking is on Europe. The devil knows why. Maybe it’s a legal situation and the European distributor doesn’t want it to be available on YouTube. Well, yes, but only in Finland. Whether this has to do with the copyright reform waved through by the EU is questionable, after all the video has been officially uploaded by the label.
This leads to the following situation: throughout Europe the video is no longer available on YouTube, it is simply no longer listed at all. It will only attract attention if you already knew it before. The solution to the dilemma: a VPN service. With it an IP gets in the USA and everything is as before. How this works we will tell you in a coming article.
You have to get around geoblocking.
No matter what the reason is: we find a lot of music simply by browsing on YouTube before we buy it then. That used to be the idea of music videos (MTV anyone?). Meanwhile more and more material from YouTube is disappearing due to geoblocking. This makes it more interesting because you can go on a voyage of discovery via VPN, but it’s rather disadvantageous for the bands if they can’t be found by the normal user. In addition, it can lead to the situation that videos are being saved directly as it may happen that YouTube deletes everything at some point – the times of an interesting Internet seem to be coming to an end.
We can only recommend you to get a VPN service and bypass the filter madness in order to have full access to all creative videos that have been uploaded so that they can be watched. This is especially important these days, because without a VPN you won’t get the videos listed at all, not even with an error message like “The video is not available in your country”. Instead, they are simply not displayed at all and remain completely under the radar for you.