YouTube,Geolocation & China



After reading this great post on the ONI blog, did a bit of testing myself. As Youtomb discovered There is a tag available through the YouTube API the indicates the country (or countries in some cases) to which YouTube will restrict access to the video. These videos are not (necessarily) blocked by the country itself, but by Youtube.

<media :restriction type=”country” relationship=”deny”>
TH
</media>

I’ve updated blockpage.com and started a new album for geolocation blockpages. In this case there is a pink line near the top which states “This video is not available in your country.”

As ONI and Youtomb note, there a variety of videos that have this tag. I’ve been able to confirm that the same behavior reported from Thailand occurs when flagged video as accessed from Germany and France. One of the videos about Thailand is marked:

“PL TH DE FR”,”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oU9iT3vEdWo”

I checked it from Thailand, Germany and France all experienced the same blocking behaviour. Here’s what I’ve found blocked so far based on the info in the ONI blog:

“TH”,”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1USDXkaJFM”
“TH”,”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4RX2cIDa4E”
“PL TH DE FR”,”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oU9iT3vEdWo”
“TH”,”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVbUx4TPkVs”
“TH”,”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70m1ncXQjXA”
“TH”,”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dFjO4ZJNDE”
“PF TF YT GP DE RE FR GF MQ PM PL”,”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt2Zsr9bwlE”
“CN”,”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Roy0BFaUtc”
“CN”,”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ffw4-OMmchY”
“CN”,”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzz9rZwFENA”
“CN”,”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1oBcPtH5aU”
“CN”,”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liwgfyc1Im4″
“CN”,”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeXZY4eVLlo”
“CN”,”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnIuu73X8es”
“CN”,”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmlDqPtHV-E”
“CN”,”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPg1yvj7thA”
“CN”,”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0D_oGgAGmI”
“CN”,”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53QwPeImmAA”
“CN”,”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XThGzqBYrh0″
“CN”,”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FnwTj0OuFE”
“CN”,”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdEULgZYxK8″

I’ve been unable to check out China because China is currently blocking all of Youtube. In short the 3 YouTube IP’s are blocked and “www.youtube.com” has been added as a “keyword”.

Although the detailed reference guide for the API does not contain information about the blocking tag, another section of the API has some information about the restrictions:

The restriction parameter identifies the IP address that should be used to filter videos that can only be played in specific countries. By default, the API filters out videos that cannot be played in the country from which you send API requests. This restriction is based on your client application’s IP address.

To request videos playable from a specific computer, include the restriction parameter in your request and set the parameter value to the IP address of the computer where the videos will be played – e.g. restriction=255.255.255.255.

To request videos that are playable in a specific country, include the restriction parameter in your request and set the parameter value to the ISO 3166 two-letter country code of the country where the videos will be played – e.g. restriction=DE.

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