I am running into this more frequently -- the "this video is unavailable in your country" message.
(It was this one -- I continue to suffer from an unslakeable need for high lonesome Americana. Here's a version of the song people in Estonia can stream.)
I understand most people get by on torrents, that there's no reason to feel guilty as the content producers will get monetized anyway, and that there is probably even a simple workaround to watch the video in question, not that I really need a third version of "True Blue".
I’m not even sure if the trend of geographical IP restrictions is a trend.
It still seems like a nose-thumbing at Estonia by big companies -- "your people are not rich enough and do not speak good enough English to be suckers for our advertisers. Go listen to a CD or something."
In my mind, I'd like Estonia to be a port city among countries. A country where anything can be bought and sold, where speech is refreshingly free. A free content zone or FCZ. But for some reason these geographic IP restrictions persist. I'm sure the chances of getting the Jayhawks back together and playing a free concert in Tallinn are marginally greater than changing the model of how business is done!
Assuming that this issue is a hassle that is worth overcoming, a related question I had is whether embassies are immune to geographical IP restrictions (and if there’s a loophole in it for me). The US embassy is US soil, isn't it? (At least I think for most legal definitions.)
If they have some kind of ultrasecure satellite setup, that's one thing. I would think, though, they would have a local ISP, just as they have local security companies provide security. If we could get a special dispensation for the embassies, maybe others could ride along.
That's more for curiosity's sake. I'd hate to see a scheme where only US passport holders get to access US content.
Cut to the utopian part of the post.
Though it's against my belief in less government, maybe there should be a state agency dedicated to lobbying for and obtaining rights (there's only 1.4 million of us) and advertising Estonia as a place that is the ideal -- watch/listen to anything ever made, while in Estonia. Instead of the current set-up, where Estonia is a second-class EU country when it comes to getting movie rights and such, promote Estonia in a pilot project, try to get all the majors on board.
Something new -- not a FTZ, not a tax haven, but.. a free content zone. (Naturally no free lunches, there would be a small flat surcharge to every ISP client, or some tourist dollars could help fund it).
"Visit Estonia and get a free subscription to the world's biggest digital library and online movie database for as long as you are in the country. Laptop not included."
Shoot it down, use it, steal it.