Geoblocking: can my computer lie?

Much of what is not seen in this country or is waiting behind a payment wall is offered completely free abroad. For example, many TV channels make their program available online. The American streaming service also attracts Hulu with a huge series offer.

For users outside the US, however, there is a nasty surprise here: they are automatically blocked. The technique is called geo-blocking – and in many cases can be processed with a few simple tricks. As a rule, you only need a proxy server that disguises your own IP address and acts as if you are in the same country as the desired service. Circumventing such geo-locks has now become a separate branch of the network. With professional bypass services, non-technical users also have access to locked services. But are such tricks legal?

“I don’t know where the problem should be,” says Bjoern Krass, media expert and lecturer at the College of Popular Arts in Cansas, to us. “There is no law that prohibits me from logging in anywhere, for example through a server in the US. I think that in case of doubt, providers have a duty to better define their online offer. For example, Netflix says this is possible: they said the battle for bypass services – since then it has become almost impossible to access the American media library, for example from Germany or UK. “

That is the amount of data that Netflix, Dazn or Spotify consume

Whether or not circumventing geo-locks is actually legal ultimately depends on whether they are considered “effective technical protection measures” within the meaning of the law. Relevant statements on this subject have been missing so far. Legal effects may not initially lead to circumvention. Anyone who registers with a foreign service in this way therefore usually violates at least the service conditions of the relevant service. If the dizziness flies up, the blockade threatens in the worst case.

Anyone who does not want to play this cat and mouse game will find comfort in the fact that sooner or later a large series will end up with the major streaming providers. Nothing should stand in the way of the next marathon series.

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