Video without borders

Date:2 August 2013 Tags:,

Q: I’ve recently got into British soccer, but I can rarely catch the games on TV, and British sports websites’ live streams don’t work. Is there any way I can access them?

A: Yes, by convincing them that you’re in Britain. Before you start, you should realise that you’re heading into murky legal waters. That’s because doing this skirts video-streaming sites’ region blocking, a practice they employ to protect copyrights. If you thwart region blocking by making your computer appear to be in a different geographical area than it really is, you also thwart copyright law. You should, however, be safe in terms of hacking and America’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act, says Derek Bambauer, a professor of Internet law and intellectual property. But, he concedes, “We don’t yet fully know the rules – we can guess from existing law, but it’s an uncertain exercise”.

The first step to this uncertain process is downloading either a browser extension to reroute your Internet traffic or a VPN client. The simplest-method is a browser extension such as Hola (hola. org), a peer-to-peer network through which your browsing travels, opening up region-blocked sites.

A VPN gives you more choices, such as where you want your Internet traffic to look like it’s coming from. VPN programs encrypt your browsing, and once you’re linked to another computer via VPN, your outgoing traffic will appear to come from that computer’s IP address. Some sites block access through VPNs, but in general, using a VPN client such as StrongVPN or WiTopia lets you instruct your computer to show up as if it were in the UK, and then you can watch as much football as you please. And, of course, as much as bandwith allows.

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