A number of methods currently exist or are being developed to determine where Internet users are located geographically when they access a particular webpage. Yet regardless of the precautions taken by website operators to limit the locations from which they allow access, it is likely that users will find ways to gain access to restricted content. Should the evasion of geolocation constitute circumvention of access controls so that § 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") applies? Because location data can properly be considered personally identifiable information ("PII"), this Note argues that § 1201 should not apply absent a warning that such data is being collected by the website operator. One interpretation of the anticircumvention rules requires no violation of the rights granted to the copyright holder by 17 U.S.C. § 106. A better interpretation, however, would require some violation of those rights and would also allow the evasion of geolocation when streaming online content. This Note seeks to explore the existing legal framework within the technological context and to propose solutions which balance the needs of users against those of the website operators and copyright holders.
Geographically Restricted Streaming Content and Evasion of Geolocation: The Applicability of the Copyright Anticircumvention Rules,
Mich. Telecomm. & Tech. L. Rev.
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mttlr/vol19/iss2/5