Menu
Geoblocking question unresolved after New Zealand lawsuit ends

Geoblocking question unresolved after New Zealand lawsuit ends

The case will not go to court, leaving unanswered whether skirting geoblocks is legal

The settlement of a lawsuit in New Zealand will leave unanswered the question of whether evading geoblocks to watch services such as Hulu is legal.

The settlement of a lawsuit in New Zealand will leave unanswered the question of whether evading geoblocks to watch services such as Hulu is legal.

A tool to watch regionally restricted video content will no longer be offered in New Zealand, ending a lawsuit that could have clarified the legality of such services in the country.

GlobalMode allowed people to watch video content that is restricted by IP address, or geoblocked. The service uses a DNS (Domain Name System) trick to make it appear its users are in the country where the content is authorized to play.

ByPass Network Services of New Zealand developed GlobalMode, and it was offered by several companies, including CallPlus, which runs the ISPs Slingshot, Orcon and Flip.

Major New Zealand media companies SKY, TVNZ, Lightbox and MediaWorks filed a lawsuit in April, arguing that skirting geoblocks violates the distribution rights of its media clients for the New Zealand market.

Companies contend there's little incentive to buy content from other providers if their customers already have access to it online.

On Wednesday, the parties announced a confidential settlement in which GlobalMode will no longer be offered in New Zealand as of Sept. 1. The lawsuit will be dropped, CallPlus said in a statement.

At least two other ISPs stopped offering GlobalMode after the law firm representing the media companies signaled its intention to file suit.

Copyright law in New Zealand doesn't specifically ban the use of VPNs or unblocking services to watch overseas content. But it's a complex area of law, and fighting a lawsuit could have resulted in a years-long, expensive legal battle.

ByPass Network Service officials couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Global Mode runs within an ISP's DNS infrastructure, which translates a domain name into an IP address that can be called into a browser. If someone in New Zealand navigates to Hulu.com, the DNS request is resolved so that it appears the person is in the U.S.

The process is seamless to end users, and they don't have to install any software. ByPass developed a network-level switch that lets ISPs use Global Mode at scale for all of their subscribers.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags callplusintellectual propertycopyrightCivil lawsuitslegalBypass Network Services

Featured

Slideshows

Reseller News launches inaugural Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News launches inaugural Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2015 and 2016 inductees - Darryl Swann, Dave Rosenberg, Gary Bigwood, Keith Watson, Mike Hill and Scott Green - to the inaugural Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed how the channel can collectively work together to benefit New Zealand, the Kiwi skills shortage and the future of the industry. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Reseller News launches inaugural Hall of Fame lunch
Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

​As the channel changes and industry voices deepen, the need for clarity and insight heightens. Market misconceptions talk of an “under pressure” distribution space, with competitors in that fateful “race for relevance” across New Zealand. Amidst the cliched assumptions however, distribution is once again showing its strength, as a force to be listened to, rather than questioned. Traditionally, the role was born out of a need for vendors and resellers to find one another, acting as a bridge between the testing lab and the marketplace. Yet despite new technologies and business approaches shaking the channel to its very core, distributors remain tied to the epicentre - providing the voice of reason amidst a seismic industry shift. In looking across both sides of the vendor and partner fences, the middle concept of the three-tier chain remains centrally placed to understand the metrics of two differing worlds, as the continual pulse checkers of the local channel. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable, in association with Dicker Data and rhipe, examined the pivotal role of distribution in understanding the health of the channel, educating from the epicentre as the market transforms at a rapid rate.

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel
Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar last night, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and resellers descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kickstart 2017. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017
Show Comments