Have you ever thought about how outdated copyright rules or just business people thinking we still live in prehistoric times in general affect you?
Well, recently, a concrete example made me think about it, as the European Insitutions are discussing geoblocking. You know, that annoying message you get when you’re in Europe and you want a show that is shown on American TV for example?
If you don’t know what I mean watch this video.
Sorry, but this content is not available for your geographical location…. Well… I think that this being 2016 and most of us in the western world spending so much time of our lives on the internet, this is just unacceptable.
How does geoblocking affect me personally?
- ordering the new Kindle (I have to order it from US Amazon, not French Amazon) and generally buying online…
- watching Netflix (not the same offer when I am in Brussels or on a trip in Germany and France, or with family in Czech republic). And I am not even insisting on the fact that some series latest seasons – although already aired in the US – are not available here (yet)…
- watching movies, series and sometimes documents on Czech TV – as an expat, I am trying to stay in touch with the Czech realities. I read Czech newspapers online… so why can’t watch Czech tv online? I would not mind paying/registering if the content was available, so what is the problem ?!
No wonder that people prefer to pay for VPN or download pirated content !
Actually, the trouble with the companies going online is that often they don’t think about the lifestyle of many of their customers, who are now born into the online age, an age where borders have less meaning, because they travel a lot and often live and work abroad for long period of their lives. And this is particularly true of companies of such small countries and language communities as the one I come from (Czech Republic / Czech speakers).
And so I end up in an absurd situation – ordering my Czech books online from a Slovak online booskhop in Martin (Martinus.sk who by the way offer an amazing service and a great choice of books and e-books).
Advantages for me: they take my credit card, it’s in euros so no conversion fee AND they actually deliver anywhere in the world including “remote” Belgium… I would like to be a patriot in my book shopping (and believe me, I spend a FORTUNE on books every month), but they are making it just impossible. Kafka would laugh.