Talking geoblocking and copyright on ABC Gold Coast

ABC logoThe government’s discussion paper on online copyright infringement came out just over a month ago, the submissions period closed on Monday, and now the debate is really kicking off — including on the complicated legal issue of geoblocking.

Now I’ve already given my opinion on the political spin in the discussion paper itself. But the specific issue of geoblocking came up on ABC Gold Coast, and this morning I spoke with breakfast presenter Bern Young.

Legally it’s a grey area. By signing up for a Netflix account from Australia, for example, you may be breaking the terms and conditions of their service. But you’re still paying for the content, and money is passed on the the actual producers.

The only people missing out are the local Australian distributors who’ve inserted themselves between the content producers and the audience. What value are they adding, exactly? The whole point of the internet is to enable people to connect globally.

CHOICE sees it as a consumer issue. Doesn’t geoblocking, the restriction of content availability by location, restrict competition? They’ve just launched a TV campaign making that point. Even the government’s own inquiry into IT pricing recommended that geoblocking be outlawed.

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The audio is ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Talking many things on the Reckoner podcast

Reckoner podcast logo: click for original websiteOn Sunday I was a guest on the podcast Reckoner with hosts Peter Wells and James Croft, which has been badged Episode Three | Freedom Of Choice.

We spoke about the Australian Taxation Office’s clunky e-tax for Mac software; Choice encouraging people to bypass geo-blocking to get at the digital content they want; a chap called Mattrick moving from Microsoft to Zynga; Yves St Laurent CEO Paul Deneve joining Apple; Samsung buying Boxee; and Twitter client Falcon Pro for Android going free, but gaming Twitter’s user-token limits.

There’s links to all those things on the episode page. That’s three links to that page now, so you should click on one of them. Go on.

That said, here’s the audio right here, embedded in this page so it’ll also appear in my Conversation podcast feed.

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The audio is Copyright ©2013 Reckoner.