Copyright and Geoblocking: The Consequences of Eliminating Geoblocking

Posted by Social Science Research Network

Copyright and Geoblocking: The Consequences of Eliminating Geoblocking

By Marketa Trimble (University of Nevada)

Geoblocking has become a common companion of copyrighted content on the internet; even streaming services can make streamed copyrighted content available or unavailable according to the location of their users. There are various reasons for geographical restrictions on access to content; copyright issues are not the only reasons, but territorial limitations associated with copyright are significant – and sometimes the primary – reasons for implementing geoblocking. This article reviews the current relationship between copyright and geoblocking, particularly the role attributed to geoblocking in copyright law and law of personal jurisdiction in the United States and the European Union; it considers whether geoblocking is an inevitable part of the future of copyrighted content on the internet, particularly in light of recent attempts in the European Union to eliminate geoblocking for copyrighted content; and suggests some possible consequences that might result from eliminating geoblocking within the European Union or on a global or large territorial scale.

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