Sunday, March 23, 2008

YouTube's Regional Censoring

Being the life-long sci-fi geek that I am, I searched on YouTube for the new Dr. Who Season 4 Trailer. I clicked on it and got the following message:

"This video is not available in your country."

Excuse me? This video is not available in my country? I'm sorry, I was under impression that YouTube content was only blocked in such countries as China, not supposedly free countries like the United States. Apparently information is only as free as the corporate giants want it to be.

All right, I hear you cry, it was bound to happen. But why? The BBC (who puts out Doctor Who) has their own site that streams video only to British IPs. Fine - any videos they wanted to restrict they could have posted there. Why did YouTube (whose parent company Google's laughable motto is "First, do no harm,") have to make their site anything but free to the world? But a bit of searching shows that the problem is more than the entertainment industry trying to make the internet as region blocked as a DVD player. Apparently, there are cases of people in Germany who get the "not available" message if trying to watch films about Nazis. So the issue is not only about copyright, it's about censorship as well. Thank you, YouTube, Google, and your corporate masters, who have once again caved in and made the internet a slighty shittier place to be.



Caroline said...

I got a YouTube invite to a party yesterday and it wouldn't let me look at that either!

String said...

That's quite interesting, had no idea it was happening.

Rayne said...

I had no idea they were doing this.
I lived in Germany for three years and they are very strict about the whole Nazi thing. They have that as suppressed as they possibly can, you are not allowed to own Nazi memorabilia, do the Nazi salute, etc. My neighbor explained to me that they are raised with that great shame on their shoulders. It was interesting to view it from the other side's perspective.
I'm still annoyed with You Tube, though. I'm beginning to feel like we've turned into Russia one day when I wasn't looking. The old Russia.

Knitting Painter Woman said...

I checked a few and they loaded... perhaps I wasn't looking at the exact same one you were. After seeing the Street Art (against the Iraq war), I wondered why there wasn't more in the US papers/streets. How much is censorship? Self-sensorship? and how much is fear.
Thought provoking.