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Restrict Your Digital Content Geographically by Geoblocking

By ZA
Restrict Your Digital Content Geographically by Geoblocking

We, as in humans, are pushing 8 billion in world population and there are places on our planet that we have yet to explore. Yet, the development of the Internet makes it feel a lot smaller than it is. In reality, we miss how huge the world is. Sometimes, too big for your digital content. It makes sense that you would not want your videos, images or documents to make rounds all over this huge world. This is precisely why you want to use geoblocking.

Restricting access to digital assets based on location is the cornerstone of region-based digital rights management. Almost everyone with content to share over the internet uses geoblocking to some extent. You may be aware of the big names like YouTube and Netflix geoblocking their content, but that’s barely the tip of the iceberg. 

There are plenty of reasons you would want to geo restrict access to your digital assets. Let’s go through each of them. 

Why Geoblock?

If you’ve made it to this blog, chances are you’re interested in geo restricting access to your digital content online for a specific purpose. Allow me to venture a guess why (not that you have much of a choice, considering that I’m writing the blog). 

Copyrights & Licenses

Copyright and licensing Geoblocking

A major reason companies choose to geoblock their digital content is because of licensing and copyrights, where region-based digital rights management plays a significant role. Certain licensing agreements don’t allow you to distribute your digital content in some geographical locations, which can be cities, counties, states or entire countries. In this case, you want to geoblock your digital content to avoid breaching any licensing regulations and copyright laws.

Privacy Laws

Privacy laws geoblocking

Another reason companies and websites geoblock their digital assets is because of the data privacy laws, particularly the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). EU has very stringent data privacy laws that they are not shy about enforcing. Many companies find themselves fined by the EU for not complying with one or more of the data privacy clauses of GDPR. The GDPR specifically outlines the do’s and don’ts of data privacy but they are found to be rather confusing and contradictory, so most companies still prefer to not risk it. Therefore, they geoblock their content in EU countries to avoid any inadvertent transgressions and subsequent fines (although this approach has been controversial). If you have similar reservations, you will also want to geo restrict your content in the EU.

Target Market & Audience

VIDIZMO as a Platform

Some companies choose to restrict access to their digital assets to certain geographical locations because they represent the company’s target market/audience. This may not seem like such a big deal. What’s the harm in letting people access your content even if they’re not your target audience? They probably won’t be interested anyway, right?  

Well, even if they are not interested, they will only learn that after they’ve already accessed your content. When you’re purchasing a video streaming platform, like VIDIZMO, you’re paying for the delivery and the bandwidth as well, and catering to viewers that aren’t even your target means you’ll be wasting those valuable content delivery resources. Plus, irrelevant users may even cause a bandwidth crunch, preventing your target audience from accessing the content, which is counter-intuitive.

Internal Content Use

Target audience geoblocking

Finally, you won’t want to allow global access to your content because your digital assets are for internal use only. For example, if you use videos for internal training and onboarding, you will only want them to be accessed within your office(s). This makes sense especially if you operate globally with multiple offices around the world. Similarly, you don’t want your internal meetings and seminars to be accessed from everywhere. This technique is called geo fencing. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Content intended for internal use can only be accessed through credentials and passwords, right? So why geo fence it? You can never overdo it with security and geo restricting your internal content to within your company’s geography adds an added layer of security to your content.

So by this point, you must have identified which of these groups you fall in and why you want to use geoblockingthat is if you even need to. Of course, there are other niche uses of geoblocking as well, and not all online videos, images or documents have to be geoblocked.

Geoblocking & VIDIZMO

We’ve established that there are reasons that you don’t want certain digital assets to be globally accessible. You want to restrict access to your videos, images and documents based on geographical locations. Geoblocking is the way to do that. 

VIDIZMO, a Gartner recognized enterprise video management solution, comes with a native location restriction feature that you can use to geoblock not only videos, but also images, documents, surveys and quizzes. 

VIDIZMO geoblocks your digital media through a subnet of IP addresses. Every computer is recognized by its unique IP address which is assigned to the computer by the local Internet Service Provider (ISP), effectively tying your IP address to your physical location. 

You can block IP addresses that represent geographical locations to effectively deny those IP addresses access to your content. VIDIZMO comes with a comprehensive blacklist of IP addresses that represents global locations, but you can also add more to the list as private locations.

Geoblocking in VIDIZMO

This is especially helpful when you want to restrict the content to within your organization’s geography. You can select whether to exclude selected location from accessing your content by checking ‘Allow all, except’, or include select locations for content access, which is essentially geo fencing, by checking ‘Only allow’. For example, if you are sharing your videos publicly across the world but you want to avoid fines by the EU, you would want to exclude EU from accessing your content. On the other hand, if you’re sharing recordings of meetings between regional heads, you would only want to share them regional head offices. 

VIDIZMO even lets you deny access to portal Administrators and Managers when they try to access content from a geoblocked location. This seals any possible gap for breach of security for particularly sensitive content. 

Conclusion

There are many reasons you don't want to share certain digital content all over the world indiscriminately. As part of your digital rights management, you wouldn’t want to avoid copyright infringement and licensing breach.  

You would also want to avoid transgressions of certain countries’ specific privacy laws, most notably the EU’s GDPR. 

You would the content to be accessible only to your target market and audience to avoid unnecessary infrastructure burden and bandwidth crunch. 

Finally, your digital content is for internal use and you don’t want it to be accessible beyond your company’s geography. This is specifically a geo fencing use case. 

VIDIZMO comes with a native subnet of blacklisted IP addresses that you can use to effectively geoblock your digital media with a simple check of a box. You can also add more locations, co-ordinates and IP addresses to narrow down or expand your geoblock or geo fence perimeter. 

To learn more about VIDIZMO’s security policies and capabilities, contact us

Tags: content delivery network, video security and privacy, Digital rights management

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