YouTube blocks UK... then China blocks YouTube: diplomatic mess

China and YouTubeFor those who have been entirely unaware of the freedom movement in China, let me tell you now - it's a tricky one. China has once again blocked access to YouTube, due to videos emerging of soldiers attacking Tibetan nationals.

China and YouTube

For those who have been entirely unaware of the freedom movement in China, let me tell you now - it's a tricky one. China has once again blocked access to YouTube, due to videos emerging of soldiers attacking Tibetan nationals.

This is part of a long history of China blocking and repressing anti-government or politically unacceptable material.

The Chinese government has been widely quoted as "not afraid of the Internet" by Reuters; if anything quite the opposite. They are confident in their ways of blocking sites and blogs which fail to support or endorse the government's ways.

YouTube and Google have both confirmed the site is blocked in the country and are working towards enabling it again.

United Kingdom and YouTube

Closer to home (for me anyway), YouTube has given up trying and thrown in the towel by blocking music videos in the United Kingdom.

The Performing Rights Society, which deals with the legislation policy with UK music and collectors of royalties for artists, failed to reach an agreement with YouTube over licensing agreements.

The tit-for-tat argument stems from the society asking for money in the new extended licence whereas YouTube would end up losing out on money, whilst increasing page-views on the site. As described by Patrick Walker, director of video partnerships, rightly points out:

"[The deal] is like asking a consumer to buy an unmarked CD without knowing which musicians are on it."

This has led to "premium" videos of artists, such as those connected to the Performing Rights Society, to be blocked to anyone from the United Kingdom, yet still accessible via other international IP addresses... except China, as previously mentioned.

Is YouTube a diplomatic force to be reckoned with? Where is the line between private companies and governments? Why do I keep asking unanswerable questions at the end of my posts recently? Hmm...

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