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New Zealand ISP's Anti-Geoblocking Service Makes Waves

samzenpus posted about a month and a half ago | from the open-it-up dept.

Australia 153

angry tapir writes New Zealanders and Australians are often blocked from using cheap streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu and instead at the mercy of local content monopolies for popular shows such as Game of Thrones. However, a New Zealand ISP, Slingshot, has caused a stir by making a previously opt-in service called 'Global Mode' a default for its customers. The new service means that people in NZ don't need to bother with VPNs or setting up proxies if they want to sign up to Netflix — they can just visit the site. The service has also caused a stir in Australia where the high price for digital goods, such as movies from the iTunes store, is a constant source of irritation for consumers.

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Tits and swords (4, Informative)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a month and a half ago | (#47398741)

You're not missing anything if you don't see GoT. It's just tits and swords.

Re:Tits and swords (5, Funny)

fey000 (1374173) | about a month and a half ago | (#47398859)

You're not missing anything if you don't see GoT. It's just tits and swords.

Paraphrase: You're not missing anything interesting. It's just the most awesome thing in the world and the fourth most awesome thing in the world. All the time.

Re:Tits and swords (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47399047)

No, it's dumbed-down fantasy for the masses. Kind of like how shows like Eureka are dumbed-down Sci Fi for the masses.

Re: Tits and swords (1)

alen (225700) | about a month and a half ago | (#47399303)

The books were good

The hbo version is tits and swords. Demographically there are lots of twenty and early thirty something's now and most tv is made for them. Lots of sex, violence. Even the netflix original shows are made for that demographic

Re: Tits and swords (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a month and a half ago | (#47399797)

I thought it was a fairly faithful adaptation, but I admit I got bored some time in Season 2. The pacing in the book can be slow at times, but when transferred as-is to a visual medium it's amazingly tedious.

Re: Tits and swords (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47399897)

So what's your list of awesome things look like?

Re:Tits and swords (1)

Selur (2745445) | about a month and a half ago | (#47398943)

"It's just tits and swords."
Swords? Who needs swords, when they can have a dragon?
-> Tits&Dragons are better than Dungeon&Dragons ;)

Re:Tits and swords (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47399073)

Tits & Dungeons... the geek's introduction to BDSM

Oh, I'd say it\s much more than that. (3, Informative)

westlake (615356) | about a month and a half ago | (#47399439)

You're not missing anything if you don't see GoT. It's just tits and swords.

and the best writing, performance, and production values of any television series currently on air. List of awards and nominations received by Game of Thrones [wikipedia.org]

Re:Oh, I'd say it\s much more than that. (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a month and a half ago | (#47402181)

I lost my reverence for the television industry honoring itself long ago. Moreover the series is a training film for misogyny. The world would be a better place with it off the air, no matter how many awards it wins.

Re:Tits and swords (-1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | about a month and a half ago | (#47400097)

Tried to read the first book. Barely literate drivel. Pathetic. Thought the TV adaptation might be an improvement based on all of the glowing reviews. Watched a couple of episodes of the first season. Utter, utter shite. Oh it looks nice, but there is nothing beneath the gloss and sheen.

Re:Tits and swords (1)

Impish (669369) | about a month and a half ago | (#47400281)

Before the HBO serious came on I went back and re-read the books (well, the first three). Reading the first book again reminded me just how good it is. Great characters, quick paced action, sets up the politics quickly and interestingly.

Since you thought it was "Barely literate drivel." I'm wondering which books you were comparing it to. Since you slammed it pretty hard the least you could do is give some context, do you even read that genre? Give some examples of well written books that compare perhaps, that'd be helpful.

Now if you were going to slam the books four and five, be my guest.

Re:Tits and swords (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | about a month and a half ago | (#47401531)

Fair enough. It wouldn't be my regular genre but for actual good quality writing in the fantasy/science fiction genres I would recommend anything by Iain M. Banks and his His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. I don't compare books. I judge them on their own merits and Game of Thrones (the first few chapters of the First Book anyway) is not well written, not interesting or intelligent. It is lowest common denominator pot boiler dreck. Need I add 'IMHO'? If you dislike either of the authors I mentioned, feel free to make a spirited attack. It is no skin off my nose.

Re:Tits and swords (1)

Ravaldy (2621787) | about a month and a half ago | (#47400285)

Another extremely negative person in this world. Who give a F***. We love it and that's it. You can stick to your paper book, we enjoy being lazy and watching a great show and GoT offers exactly that.

Re:Tits and swords (2)

Sloppy (14984) | about a month and a half ago | (#47400683)

Tried to read the first book. Barely literate drivel.

Sometimes people need a little help. Often (but not always!) they'll half-suspect the problem, and will prefix their remark with "is it just me, or..."

You didn't do that, but I'm going to be a pal and pretend you did, and then answer the question for you:

Yes, it's just you.

Re:Tits and swords (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | about a month and a half ago | (#47401447)

Ha, ha. Can't stand to have your pet book/TV series criticized?

Re:Tits and swords (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47401123)

Like hell I'm not missing anything... I'm missing fits and swords!!

Re:Tits and swords (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47401231)

And sometimes dragons!

Re:Tits and swords (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47402055)

Game of Thrones is broadcast free-to-air, over-the-air in New Zealand.

The real issue is not GoT but that New Zealand is geolocked off from the prime streaming services on the one hand but on the other hand has been too small of a market to have any of those same interests bother addressing the lack of worthwhile local alternatives, a situation made worse by the satellite pay TV operator locking up the rights for much of the content that is available on streaming services elsewhere.

Re:Tits and swords (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a month and a half ago | (#47402151)

There's a Swedish website that lets you find things like GoT when they're not available in your country.

Re:Tits and swords (1)

bmo (77928) | about a month and a half ago | (#47402325)

>tits and swords.

Since when are these items bad?

--
BMO

Good deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47398749)

Could use this south of the border. But it won't last long. "Spoofing" will be made illegal

YESSS! (1)

mailuefterl (140499) | about a month and a half ago | (#47398755)

I wish, some providers did that here in Austria, where I live.
It's the same story in many ways.

Please do not use this facility (5, Funny)

mtthwbrnd (1608651) | about a month and a half ago | (#47398759)

it is the same as stealing money from old women at knifepoint.

Re:Please do not use this facility (5, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | about a month and a half ago | (#47398791)

it is the same as stealing money from old women at knifepoint.

You mean you are likely to be pepper sprayed then bludgeoned with a handbag?

Re:Please do not use this facility (1)

ghmh (73679) | about a month and a half ago | (#47399985)

What if you just download a copy of the old woman's money? Or even her whole handbag and it's contents...

Re:Please do not use this facility (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47400897)

For the money, then you would probably be better off stealing it as counterfitting is a serious crime. The handbag and its non-monetary contents however would just be a bootleg purse at worst, assuming the old woman isn't carrying around several kilos of heroin in there.

Re:Please do not use this facility (1)

Selur (2745445) | about a month and a half ago | (#47398963)

I knew it those Australians, at the other side of the globe, are robbing old ladies!!
(at least they are kind of old fashioned and still use knifes instead of guns :))

Re:Please do not use this facility (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47399359)

That's exactly why we sent em to Australia

Re:Please do not use this facility (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a month and a half ago | (#47399001)

it is the same as stealing money from old women at knifepoint.

What's wrong with that?

Re:Please do not use this facility (2)

91degrees (207121) | about a month and a half ago | (#47399295)

Lack of sport. There's no challenge, just like there's no challenge if you don't have to sort out your own proxy.

Re:Please do not use this facility (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47400067)

There's a Monty Python sketch in there somewhere

Or maybe it was Benny Hill?

Re:Please do not use this facility (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47400469)

Niether, see this news coverage (starting at 42 seconds)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Ygy7UDADXDg#t=42

Re:Please do not use this facility (2)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | about a month and a half ago | (#47400115)

Oh, I thought maybe it was the same as taking a dump in a policeman's helmet.

Not Australian, but I support this! (5, Insightful)

XnavxeMiyyep (782119) | about a month and a half ago | (#47398769)

The Internet should be global.

Re:Not Australian, but I support this! (5, Insightful)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a month and a half ago | (#47398899)

It is. What the problem is is Hollywood and their media licensing rules. They're the ones that decided that streaming to an additional country costs more. Netflix didn't decide that all on their own for no reason.

Re:Not Australian, but I support this! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47399031)

Hollywood and their media licensing rules.

See this is where we went wrong, allowing Hollywood to dictate anything beyond what happens in their films (let's face it, they shouldn't be allowed that, either).

Re:Not Australian, but I support this! (1, Flamebait)

hsmith (818216) | about a month and a half ago | (#47399087)

Aussies have voted themselves high taxes on all goods. If they are tired of paying the high taxes on them, well golly do something about it.

Re:Not Australian, but I support this! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47399185)

Aussies have voted themselves high taxes on all goods. If they are tired of paying the high taxes on them, well golly do something about it.

Care to name those specific taxes, Mr Expert?

The price differential is due to supply and demand, specifically the lack of supply/competition. The local stores have a monopoly on distribution through import agreements with manufacturers which lets them charge what the fuck they want, the retail prices contain a 100-200% mark-up over the actual wholesale cost, including tax, and it is pure profit.

Re:Not Australian, but I support this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47400509)

What do you mean? All movies are free for me.

Re:Not Australian, but I support this! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47399297)

you do realise that taxes alone (10% is hardly high by the way) in no way explain a 40% increase in online prices

NASTY (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47398783)

NASTY IT IS

Great! (3, Interesting)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a month and a half ago | (#47398797)

But how well will this work when IPv6 becomes ubiquitous?

Re:Great! (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about a month and a half ago | (#47399487)

You can still perform NAT over IPv6, or set up a more intelligent proxy if your data stream carries information that could unmask the remote endpoint. There will be no difference.

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47400597)

Oh look, it's Mr Heat Modulates Transistors! Why don't you find me that textbook with your theory in it?

Will local rights holders sue? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a month and a half ago | (#47398799)

Will local rights holders sue?

What about stuff that you need to get SKY TV for?

What about stuff that has import taxes?

Re:Will local rights holders sue? (5, Informative)

Sique (173459) | about a month and a half ago | (#47398883)

Geo-locking content has been declared illegal in New Zealand, thus the rights holders don't have any stand to sue.

Re:Will local rights holders sue? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about a month and a half ago | (#47399099)

What's betting rights holders go nuclear and mandate NZ IP block blacklisting or they'll pull their content from the streaming services?

Re:Will local rights holders sue? (4, Insightful)

Sique (173459) | about a month and a half ago | (#47399133)

When the geo-locking was declared illegal in connection with DVDs, nothing happened. Thus it will be the same again with the streaming services.

Re:Will local rights holders sue? (5, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a month and a half ago | (#47399645)

Then it will be back to bittorrent. It's best for all to tear down the walls.

Re:Will local rights holders sue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47400077)

Or the USA declaring that new zealand gets put on that naughty copyright 301 watch list..

Re:Will local rights holders sue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47401807)

What's betting rights holders go nuclear and mandate NZ IP block blacklisting or they'll pull their content from the streaming services?

New Zealand is also nuclear free http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand%27s_nuclear-free_zone

Re:Will local rights holders sue? (2)

InvalidError (771317) | about a month and a half ago | (#47399323)

Geoblocking and all the unnecessary middlemen that try to use it to secure their artificial geographic monopolies need to die if they refuse to compete globally.

To be fair to local online vendors though, there would need to be an international standard for sales taxes such as one harmonized rate per country so international vendors would at least not need to deal with the countless regional variants within countries when charging foreign taxes. Another possibility would be to let financial institutions charge domestic taxes on the taxable part of electronic purchases since they are well-versed in the tax codes of whatever regions they do business in so vendors would not need to worry about managing international taxes at all.

Re:Will local rights holders sue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47399779)

Easier than that. Credit card services could decide or have it decided for them that if a company does, or brokers, digital download or mail order business in more than one country and accepts credit cards, then that company will have to 1) be responsible for charging all taxes and duties, 2) grant equal service to customers in any civilized country.

For example, ebay's globing shipping programme has everything covered already. All they would need to do is to make it mandatory for all listings.

Re: Will local rights holders sue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47400223)

If eBay makes its global shipping program mandatory, then I'll stop using eBay. Right now I don't buy from vendors that use it. That program costs purchasers a lot more than just having the item shipped and dealing directly with any customs that might be due. Large ebay vendors get a cut, the single shipping company they use gets a cut, eBay gets a cut. The buyer ends up paying exorbitant "customs processing fees". Really a bit of a racket.

Re:Will local rights holders sue? (2)

westlake (615356) | about a month and a half ago | (#47399669)

Geo-locking content has been declared illegal in New Zealand

New Zealand isn't a country.

It is a Hollywood back lot complete with tour guides. Film and TV Theme Tours [tourism.net.nz]

With a population of 4 million, New Zealand's value as a media market is less than 1/4 that of metropolitan New York City.

Re:Will local rights holders sue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47400573)

Not only New Zealand. I've recently learned to my astonishment that Belgium doesn't exist [zapatopi.net] ! Which is weird, given that the EU headquarters is supposed to be located there ...

Re:Will local rights holders sue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47402099)

You do realize at that is a satire site? Well you do now!

Re:Will local rights holders sue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47402023)

Thats all right, in the push for "Free Trade" under the guise of the TPP New Zealand will soon get squashed like a bug.
The TPP gives corporates "Free Trade", but removes all rights from the consumer.

Re:Will local rights holders sue? (1)

PPH (736903) | about a month and a half ago | (#47400143)

local rights holders

IOW, suckers.

Back when it cost real money to distribute product in smaller markets, they might have had a viable business model. But today, that is no longer the case. The marginal cost to distribute a digital product in NZ is zero. And the cost to distribute a physical good is what it takes to throw it in a UPS/FedEx box and load it on an airplane.

Whoever paid good money to secure exclusive rights to provide a zero value service is an idiot. Actually, NZ elected officials are the idiots. Because they are spending your tax dollars to prop up failed business models while these 'rights holders' are laughing all the way to the bank.

TSA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47398811)

And I have found a way how to power up devices using pure cocaine instead of battery!

Re:TSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47398869)

Oh. Wrong article. Ive been up for 3 days straight SORRY!

Re:TSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47399069)

No! Bad AC! The cocaine is supposed to go in your battery, not your nostrils!

Needed to stop anyway (5, Informative)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about a month and a half ago | (#47398821)

Geo-blocking is a practice that needs to stop anyway, because it makes no sense. Take Steam as an example.

Up until two or three years ago, there were a good number of people who used proxies to buy content not from their region on Steam - this was particularly important for Germans (who are served the "low violence" version of games by default) and Australians/New Zealanders (who were far overcharged compared to the US/UK and could use a proxy to buy stuff from the US Steam store cheaper than they could in Aus/NZ). There was one problem with this system, though. Most publishers sold games on Steam's Russian store for far cheaper than they did on the US or UK stores - a friend of mine bought a 4-pack of copies of Dead Island (back when that was a new-ish game and the 4-pack was going for upwards of $60 on the US store) from Russia for like $20.

Then, Valve started cracking down on cross-region purchases, making it so that you could still add games from other regions but could not actually play them until your IP was detected as being in one of those regions. The problem was that it was applied so that more expensive regions had fewer restrictions - US-bought games can be played anywhere, as can AUS/NZ ones, but games purchased from Russia or a few other regions can't be played outside of those specific regions. This means that if you're from the US and go on vacation in Russia, you can play Counter-Strike GO while in Russia, but if you're Russian and go on vacation to the US you can't play CS:GO while in the US.

It's a ridiculous double-standard, and a counter to geo-blocking would remove a lot of it.

Re:Needed to stop anyway (5, Informative)

kav2k (1545689) | about a month and a half ago | (#47398917)

A couple of points.

First, those restrictions have recently been kicked up a notch in ridiculousness. Some publishers now disallow gift copies in those "cheaper" regions - presumably, to stop such cross-region trading, but you can't even gift the game to someone within the region.

Second, it's important to remember that region restrictions are entirely up to the publisher. As far as I can tell, Steam more or less mandates cheaper prices for Russian region, but adding restrictions is entirely publisher's decision. For instance, no digital copy of a Valve game was ever subject to those restrictions (retail is another matter though). Most indies don't opt for regional versions.

Re:Needed to stop anyway (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a month and a half ago | (#47398923)

You know that other currencies are worth other amounts of money in USD on the exchange, right? Because it doesn't seem like you know that. Russia would be the exception but it costs a lot of money to even just change the purchase into another currency. Then it costs a lot to pay taxes properly in that country (in the rare case that they choose to do that). Then they have to pay for phone and e-mail support staff for that country. There are costs to maintaining a presence in another country and it's reflected in the price. Russia is just so cheap because that's what Russians are willing to pay for the game since everyone there is broke.

Re:Needed to stop anyway (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47399091)

There is no "presence" in other countries in most cases. It's certainly not a requirement. Most of the "indie" games on steam have no "presence" in say Australia, and yet the price in Australia is not [US Price] * ($AU/$US) in AUD or just [US Price] in USD.

It has nothing to do with "costs to maintaining and presence in another country". It is solely due to "that's what Xians are willing to pay for the game", which unsurprisingly pisses people off since most people don't like being charged more than someone else for no reason other than the seller thinks they are dumb enough to pay more.

Australian rating (1)

tepples (727027) | about a month and a half ago | (#47399997)

Most of the "indie" games on steam have no "presence" in say Australia

I thought the publisher (or the self-publishing developer) needed to at leats pay for a rating from the Australian Classification Board before a video game could be sold in Australia.

Re:Australian rating (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about a month and a half ago | (#47400349)

Sure, if they wanted to sell it "in Australia". But since they don't and instead just have it available on things like gog.com outside of Australia, they don't have to worry about that.

Re:Australian rating (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about a month and a half ago | (#47400627)

You mean, if they want to sell it in a market that has a meaningful presence - then they have to deal with local classification boards.

Self-publishing is always an option, but rarely works if you're a complete and total upstart independent.

Re:Needed to stop anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47398977)

It's because companies pay a lot of money to license a product or service to hold a monopoly in a specific region of the world. If they allowed a service like Netflix to service the entire planet, the local broadcasters would have no incentive to pay the high licensing fees.

Re:Needed to stop anyway (1)

Warbothong (905464) | about a month and a half ago | (#47399065)

Most publishers sold games on Steam's Russian store for far cheaper than they did on the US or UK stores - a friend of mine bought a 4-pack of copies of Dead Island (back when that was a new-ish game and the 4-pack was going for upwards of $60 on the US store) from Russia for like $20.

Then, Valve started cracking down on cross-region purchases, making it so that you could still add games from other regions but could not actually play them until your IP was detected as being in one of those regions. The problem was that it was applied so that more expensive regions had fewer restrictions - US-bought games can be played anywhere, as can AUS/NZ ones, but games purchased from Russia or a few other regions can't be played outside of those specific regions. This means that if you're from the US and go on vacation in Russia, you can play Counter-Strike GO while in Russia, but if you're Russian and go on vacation to the US you can't play CS:GO while in the US.

It's a ridiculous double-standard, and a counter to geo-blocking would remove a lot of it.

It makes perfect sense, since the market for these games is massively skewed. Many customers are only interested in particular titles; they want GTA V and don't regard "Gangster Sim III" as a viable alternative. Since the publishers have a monopoly over their titles, they can set the prices to whatever the market will bear, regardless of how much it costs them to produce each unit (which, FYI, is $0 since the game's already finished and released).

If the market were allowed to decide, ie. if it was legal for anyone to sell copies of already-finished games, rather than just the publishers, then the prices would crash right down to near-zero.

Keep that in mind next time some copyright troll is denouncing "pirates" for being "anti-capitalist", when in fact it's copyright which is responsible for this anti-competitive crap.

Re:Needed to stop anyway (1)

Arker (91948) | about a month and a half ago | (#47399307)

Unfortunately this is exactly what you should expect with the likes of Steam. DRM is DRM is DRM, no matter how you sugar coat it.

Re:Needed to stop anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47399449)

Why would you play counter strike when you go on vacation?

Re:Needed to stop anyway (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about a month and a half ago | (#47400581)

Why wouldn't he?

Re:Needed to stop anyway (1)

taustin (171655) | about a month and a half ago | (#47400319)

I know I'll get modded down for this. but I find it hard to sympathize with someone who goes on vacation on another continent and wants to play computer games in their hotel.

Sever allergy to sunshine must be more common than I thought.

Re:Needed to stop anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47401485)

What about someone who moves to a different country for half a year for work?
Am I allowed to play my games on weekends? Or do I have to re-buy all of them?

Re:Needed to stop anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47401567)

"Sever allergy" Ouch, that must be painful.

Re:Needed to stop anyway (1)

Ardyvee (2447206) | about a month and a half ago | (#47400599)

I heard a nice argument supporting region locking on steam. While I personally would love that there just wasn't a difference in price, the argument was actually reasonable.

It goes like this: some areas in the world get a cheaper price because these are areas where there may be lower income for the population (it makes no sense to charge 50€ for a game in a region where minimum wage is something like 100€, for example). To give you an example, it would make no sense to try to sell games in Venezuela under the same price as everywhere else because the market would be too small. If you lower the prices in that country, you can (potentially) have more costumer (even if they pay you less) instead of them being forced to buy it from outside the country or just plain pirate it.

IIRC, the same happens with the region Russia is located in. At least, that was the argument I read.

Re:Needed to stop anyway (1)

ewibble (1655195) | about a month and a half ago | (#47402373)

Its an argument to make money yes, but I feel it is unfair, It arises from a monopoly position, a monopoly will charge as much as the market can bare, and that is exactly what you are describing. With healthy competition this can never happen. An I item costs a certain amount to produce, so if you start selling it for any higher than cost + reasonable return, then someone else will be quite happy to supply it for cheaper.

Yes I understand that the vast majority of the cost developing IP, and the marginal cost is around 0. So you need to allow people to recoup their money and make a reasonable profit. But in granting someone monopoly rights you also have to ensure those rights are not abused, since competition is no longer there to ensure people do not take advantage.

It is the same if they could look at your wage/bank balance and say well you are rich I will charge you more, just not as accurate, but if they could I assure you they would.

Re:Needed to stop anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47401263)

The real double-standard here is that companies pull this stunt all the time. They love to shop overseas for employees where they can get labour cheaper. However, as a mere peon, you are not allowed to get product cheaper.

They lobby hard to get what they want, and to prevent you from using the same means. Don't stand for it.

Don't they feel special.. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47398857)

It's not a Geo-block designed to prevent Australians and New Zealanders from accessing the content, it's a whitelist designed to allow only US residents. The pricing in various other countries also varies greatly.

There is no valid argument as to why New Zealanders are paying much more for the same content as others in the world. We shouldnÃ(TM)t tolerate it.

The reason they have to pay more is that the producers think they can extract more money that way. One way to counteract that is to stop buying their wares.

Re:Don't they feel special.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47398997)

The reason they have to pay more is that the producers think they can extract more money that way. One way to counteract that is to stop buying their wares.

They're right - after all when your choice of entertainment is watch a film or shag a sheep a sizable minority of Newsdealers pick the film.

Re:Don't they feel special.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47399029)

damn autocorrect that's "New Zealanders"

Re:Don't they feel special.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47400603)

No, you're wrong. You've meant "Newsdealers".

Re:Don't they feel special.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47399371)

There is no valid argument as to why New Zealanders are paying much more for the same content as others in the world.

Not totally true - there is varying levels of taxation per country. And of course there might be additional costs with complying with certain country specific rules (different ratings, having to provide dual language support in places like Quebec) and so on. But if it is literally the same movie or game or whatever, then of course only tax would vary.

Re:Don't they feel special.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47399571)

If I buy something online why should I pay more if I live in NZ?
If I fly over to the US, buy the game, and fly back, it should be the same if I buy it online from steam or netflix or whatever.

Re:Don't they feel special.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47399957)

Actually, you get a bargain from Steam or Netflix. The NZ markup is much less than your travel costs.

There is a fixed cost per country (1)

tepples (727027) | about a month and a half ago | (#47400087)

There are fewer gamers in New Zealand than the United States, but I don't imagine that the NZ OFLC [wikipedia.org] charges proportionally less than the US ESRB to get a game classified for objectionable content. This means it costs more per person to get a game approved for sale in a smaller country.

Re:Don't they feel special.. (4, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | about a month and a half ago | (#47400057)

there is varying levels of taxation per country.

Which should be handled the same way a DVD purchase by a NZ resident visiting the USA is. The transaction occurred on US soil, subject to US taxes. If you carry that product into another tax jurisdiction, it's not the problem of the manufacturer or vendor.

complying with certain country specific rules (different ratings, having to provide dual language support in places like Quebec)

Again, its the responsibility (and choice) of the customer. If someone from Quebec purchases material in the USA without a French audio track, its their choice. Not the US vendor's problem.

UK next please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47398861)

We don't get overcharged anywhere near as much, but we do get a paltry fraction of the choice US citizens get for the same money.

South Africa (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47398979)

South Africa needs this from an ISP.

We get raped on fee's, and other charges that *literally* don't exist anywhere else.

Obviously a mistake (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about a month and a half ago | (#47399337)

It will be changed real soon now and some low level guy will be let go.

Re:Obviously a mistake (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a month and a half ago | (#47402165)

At least it works now. I tried using Global Mode when it was optional but it never worked. I just watched some Family Guy on Hulu to test it and it works fine.

Re:Obviously a mistake (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about a month and a half ago | (#47402519)

It will be changed real soon now and some low level guy will be let go.

Hollywood is not in NZ and NZ doesn't get paid royalties on all those movies filmed in NZ, so they could give a rat's ass about forcing their own ISPs to jump through Hollywood hoops. Quite the opposite, in fact. Region locked downloads are illegal in NZ, so this change isn't just intentional, it's mandatory. (For some interpretation of mandatory compliance with the law.)

Globalization (3, Insightful)

HaaPoo (696098) | about a month and a half ago | (#47400041)

It is very interesting that globalization is welcomed when reducing cost to produce and increasing the profit, but when it is issue of globalization on purchase price companies resist and try to stop it.

Re:Globalization (1)

snowsnoot (3389789) | about a month and a half ago | (#47400271)

Touche. Consider the flip side though of having your income 'equalized' by globalization, outsourcing/global competition etc. Maybe it makes sense to have the whole world on a converged currency / value system rather than today's economic borders that preserve the status quo. I can't see it happening without some serious turmoil though. Rich countries have the most to lose while the 'great equalization' takes place.

Re:Globalization (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47401549)

Poor countries of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your....

Damnit, New Zealand! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47402825)

Why is New Zealand so perfect?! They have geothermal power, natural gas just shoots out of the ground, bits of it look like Lord of the Rings, and pretty much all the other bits are otherwise absolutely beautiful. Then there's zorbing. And now their ISPs apparently do things to give their customers quality service, rather than robbing them at every single possible turn! That's just not fair!

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