As the Internet makes the world grow ever smaller, the issue of region locking content becomes increasingly annoying. But what is region locking, why does it exist and how is it implemented?
In the purest sense of the term, region locking is literally that – locking content to a set region through either hardware or software restrictions, so as to ensure content cannot be shared across different regions. There are a number of reasons for this currently, though historically this was often due to the different broadcast technologies being employed in various parts of the world. These days though, there isn’t really a technical reason behind this annoying practice of locking content away behind geographically bound doors.
(That said, sometimes region locking can be slightly useful, say in the case of price discrimination, where essentially some areas with weaker exchange rates can get offered the same content at a slightly better price. So good if you are in the cheaper region, but a bit unfair if not.)
As he says, thanks to the localised content distribution system we currently have in place, the concept of region locking is not going anywhere soon.