Other Countries Forced to Bypass USA Online ‘Geo-Locking’
26 December 2014
In a move release that did not totally surprise many, Sony unleashed the new action comedy, The Interview in the USA only to about 10% of the 4000 original cinemas and only in the USA and later online to the USA only (referred to as Geo-locking) The movie was released online first via Google Play, and on a dedicated site http://seetheinterview.com all taking credit cards, Sony then opened it up to YouTube Movies, and Xbox, tip toeing into the global release front for the diehard hackers, perhaps by accident. Dates of 22 Jan 2015 and earlier are still on the table in Australia, Europe and Asia dates continue to evolve.
Why The Delay Outside The USA – Money – Had they released the movie globally even online Outside the USA, then those countries that are still to get the movie would also be impacted further in theory. There is also the chance that movie-goers on hearing how bad the movie is might stay away as well. There are ways around the geo-locking but it requires some keen interest to do it, (Geo hacking if you will). In what many are saying is the biggest movie dog since Cujo, critics have not been kind to the movie, and rotten tomatoes movie review website has seen the score of the movie go down as more reviews come in. Currently gives it a 50% that is very low, but not as low as it could be in that reviews are pretty scarce, though interest in seeing it is a very high 96%. In a contest of bad movies over Christmas the competition for worst blockbuster is currently between the new Night at the Museum and the Interview.
Major Film Release’s vs Australia – Delays What Delays? –The movie industry refuses to talk about why movies are released as a rule so much later outside the USA, and often deny it all together. Logical reports indicate that the result of the delays in TV, DVD, and Movies being
Released so much later globally is piracy. A recent checking of moves by Nick Evershed of the Guardian Newspaper Australia analyzed 168 movies to illustrate the point. Different Types of Geo-Locking and How to Ignore Them (unless prohibited by law). There are different types of online geo locks that need different levels of bypassing to manage. Manu users use them anyhow to protect their anonymity / privacy if online. Originally by hackers now more people than ever are keen to protect their privacy. 1) USA Location– Some require the buyer to be coming from the USA (tested by verifying the IP address location) can be managed by using a VPN (a free or paid service that fakes the originating IP address on a PC or a Modem/router). 2) USA Funds– Some blocks, require the user to use funds that are USA based, managed by buying a USA debit visa card and topping it up with Australia funds, users are sometimes charged per transaction to use the card. 3) USA Address– Some cards and services if being posted for instance require the user to have a USA address. This can be provided by USA forwarding companies, or might be provided by the USA credit card company depending on which one you use. 4) PayPal Payment – Some online payment stores use PayPal and some of those do not require the buyer to do anything other than pay in US dollars, something PayPal does easily. Interestingly all the methods Sony used in the Interview online release act slightly differently, so it is worth checking which services require and
work with which method. Hacking- Ironically this means Sony is only leaving 3 ways for hackers to watch the Interview if outside the USA, 1) a geo hack, 2) pirated downloads, or 3) waiting an extra month to see the movie when and if released in Australia. The movie industry is slowly releasing that delays in releases are directly showing increases of piracy so hopefully we will see the way movies are released evolve very soon. The Movie Itself – One of the good things about having the lowest of expectations is you’re pleasantly surprised when the movie is better than you thought. No Oscar winner here, but a fun movie for the holidays with a good entertainment value for different gender and different age groups. Well worth a watch.