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IP-based locale enforcement = sucks


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#1 irreversible   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1405

Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:43 PM

I'm on the road at the moment. I'm still working remotely and half of my life is still located virtually in another country, but I'm physically moving around all over the place.

 

Due to some unwelcome circumstances I've found myself in a position where I need to purchase things from both my country of origin and from the country I'm currently in. What I've found is that certain sites make it highly difficult to accomplish this without wanting to seriously injure someone. Two examples are Beatport and Google Play, which cannot be viewed from another location without resorting to IP spoofing, proxies or VPN tunneling. For either of these sites changing language (English) or country (already set to my country of origin) has absolutely no effect.

 

I don't want to use these services to ship goods from overseas to my current location, but rather to purchase goods within the same region. I also want to do price comparisons.

 

Why is this made so difficult? Amazon and eBay have their .de, .com, .co.uk and other sites, and it works wonderfully. I can spoof thedailyshow.com using X-Forward-For from within my browser, but I can't perform perfectly legal tasks in Google or Beatport without resorting to shady alternatives, which - if you want quality and security - you have to pay extra for. I get the locale paradigm and why it's necessary. What I don't get is why it's implemented in the most annoying and juvenile way that directly impacts security*. It literally feels like it's making the world a smaller place.

 

This is not only silly - this is just plain stupid.

 

 

 

* In Steam I also don't get why titles that are known to not be available in my region for rights reasons even bother to show up there every now and then.

 


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#2 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 22736

Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:57 PM

>> Why is this made so difficult?

Taxes, tariffs, and other international, national, and local regulations.

Amazon and ebay have likely needed to jump through many legal hoops and I'm guessing even with that they have restrictions. Consider that they cannot sell various classes of items within certain nations or shipping to those nations under international trade sanctions.

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#3 irreversible   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1405

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:14 PM

Frob - I'm talking about viewing and purchasing from and to within a region, whatever that may be, either locally or remotely. You can't enforce a company to not allow someone to do that. The only reason I can think of (which Beatport does very effectively) is price hiding.



#4 Sik_the_hedgehog   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1833

Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:35 PM

If they made it easy to change the region like that then they wouldn't have separate regions in the first place.


Don't pay much attention to "the hedgehog" in my nick, it's just because "Sik" was already taken =/ By the way, Sik is pronounced like seek, not like sick.

#5 irreversible   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1405

Posted 21 February 2013 - 03:05 AM

If they made it easy to change the region like that then they wouldn't have separate regions in the first place.

 

I'm talking about not having to be physically present in a region to be able to purchase goods in that region.

 

You can determine a region by shipping, not the IP address.



#6 Sik_the_hedgehog   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1833

Posted 21 February 2013 - 03:59 AM

But legally the transaction still happens from where you are physically, it doesn't matter where the store is (at least as far as I know).


Don't pay much attention to "the hedgehog" in my nick, it's just because "Sik" was already taken =/ By the way, Sik is pronounced like seek, not like sick.

#7 irreversible   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1405

Posted 21 February 2013 - 04:11 AM

What does my physical location or even the location of my bank account have to do with the transaction itself as long as the goods remain in the predetermined region? The internet was invented to do away with this kind of locality. Present shopping mentality, on the other hand, enforces it.

 

Think of it this way - if I were in the EU and wanted to buy my cousin Jill, who's in the States a PS3 to surprise her, I couldn't just do it - I would have to have someone in the US do the purchase and transfer them the money. As a side note - international (and probably certain national) P2P transfers to a foreign bank aren't always cheap.



#8 irreversible   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1405

Posted 21 February 2013 - 04:15 AM

In any case - my whole point is that IP-based regionality is stupid, because it can be spoofed/faked. It's not even that hard to do. What makes it ridiculous is the fact that there is no simple and legal alternative and that, were my IP address to be located erraneously, I'd be stuck in the wrong region.



#9 samoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5034

Posted 21 February 2013 - 06:11 AM

In any case - my whole point is that IP-based regionality is stupid, because it can be spoofed/faked. It's not even that hard to do. What makes it ridiculous is the fact that there is no simple and legal alternative and that, were my IP address to be located erraneously, I'd be stuck in the wrong region.

Well, the assumption is that, like every user, you are the dumbest possible user. So, not only do you not know how to spoof an IP, but you are also too stupid to know which country you're in. You probably don't know what language you speak either. Luckily they know, so it's good if they decide for you.

 

Classic example of grief caused by too much smartness and localization. Both excessive smartness and localization are griveous things. Combine one evil thing with another, and you get a desastrous result.



#10 Sik_the_hedgehog   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1833

Posted 21 February 2013 - 02:20 PM

In any case - my whole point is that IP-based regionality is stupid, because it can be spoofed/faked.

Probably good enough to comply with local laws, though.


Don't pay much attention to "the hedgehog" in my nick, it's just because "Sik" was already taken =/ By the way, Sik is pronounced like seek, not like sick.




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