The Beginning of Online Distribution of Videos
Management of Regional Distribution by way of
IP Geolocation

The past few years have seen rapid development of distributing videos online. Now one is able to watch movies, television dramas, and various other contents at video portal sites. Some research indicates that not television broadcasting but internet is experiencing growth in viewers(
Video contents on the internet are also subject to the privilege of copyrights. Redistribution or distribution outside of the region that holds distribution rights is prohibited. In order to stop the redistribution of video content, various technology and hardware have been developed. Even so, for regions that have restrictions on distribution it is still a difficult challenge with the "borderless" internet.

Television broadcasts have televising rights that determine the area in which content can be broadcasted. Japanese broadcasts can therefore not be seen abroad and foreign programs cannot be freely viewed in Japan. Films are also subject to the same licensing rights and the regions in which they are screened are also determined. How can broadcasting be managed on the internet which is connected to the world? In this regard, IP Geolocation operates in a way to collect IP address location information.
Video distribution was developed from abroad and entered Japan. Therefore, we will focus on the history of regional distribution of video content abroad.

1.The Beginning of IP Geolocation

America was the pioneer in regional distribution of web contents. IP Geolocation got its first chance in the spotlight in 1999, when a court-session was held in regards to a French anti-racism group and Yahoo!.
Because auction sites connected with Nazi memorabilia are illegal in France, it was decided that that access from France to the same English sites must be restricted. Yahoo! rebutted by saying that they did not have the technology to differentiate French users on the internet. The IP Geolocation provider, InfoSplit (purchased by Quova in 2004) inspected that statement. At that time they were able to prove through IP Geolocation technology that they could differentiate as much as 90% of French users, thus causing Yahoo! to lose the case.

For IP Geolocation technology, which was known to possess geographical information on the internet, it became exclusively used for online fraud prevention, management of digital copyrights, and regional distribution for advertisements and contents.

2.The Motive to Apply IP Geolocation to Video Distribution

Region limits for video distribution is said to have started with global sports events such as the Olympics and the World Cup. The 2000 Sydney Paralympics were the first internet televising rights to be acquired by the American media.
Until the Sydney Olympics the IOC (International Olympic Committee) generally prohibited net broadcasting but held trial net broadcasts in 2002 at the Salt Lake Olympics. The following 2004 Athens Olympics were available to be streamed from various sites.
During this time IP Geolocation technology was used to put limits on regional distribution.
The 2006 Turin Olympics were broadcasted on the internet and the following Beijing Olympics were distributed even more extensively. Also, American MLB live broadcasts became available since Fall of 2002 thanks to IP Geolocation.
For a major league broadcast, many millions of USD are paid in televising rights. In order for internet broadcasts on to not infringe upon television broadcasting contracts, video region distribution must be strictly controlled. For example, a live NY Yankees broadcast would not be viewable online in Manhattan. With such minute region limits, user location information is necessary for IP Geolocation to apply strict limits. Internet broadcasting has reaped many unexpected rewards for the IOC and MLB. Following them, the Soccer World Cup, Tour de France, and other global sports that require rigorous control over their broadcasting regions successively joined in. This technology made it possible for films, dramas, and domestic sports events able to be broadcasted on the internet with their regional distribution limits.

3.The Next Step: Service and Quality Upgrades?

Video distribution technology has now become widespread. The next step for video distribution is meeting expectations for improving in services and quality. Online video sites in America used to provide live broadcasts of sports for a fee, but as viewers increased they were able to gather more advertising sponsors and currently offer their services for free(
Furthermore, Google stopped charging for distribution and now offers a free service. Also, internet broadcasts from here on will most likely develop new capabilities, like choosing which camera position you like, and more. In 2007, distribution of high-definition content began and companies like Akamai and Limelight Networks are beginning high quality services. Hitherto, poor video quality was tolerated with digital copyrights, but after high-definition video distribution was introduced, management is showing a tendency of becoming more rigorous. In November of 2007, France put into practice a law that suspends ISP connection to individuals who download illegal contents. Along with this development of high level functions with online video distribution and with the strict management of digital copyrights, IP Geolocation's ability to manage regional distribution and copyright management makes it essential for this day and age.

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