On The Internet, Nobody Knows You’re Not In America

A large number of web services are geographically restricted, such as Hulu, Pandora and Spotify. The reasons are usually to do with content licensing restrictions, or because US visitors (or visitors from other advanced economies) are of a higher value from a monetization perspective. A web application can only guess at the location of a visitor based on an IP address and other information, such as browser language and regional settings.IP addresses are mapped to countries (and in some instances, further to states and cities) using large commercial datasets such as GeoIP from Maxmind, which is a ‘best guess’ database based on data it has collected (how, I would rather not know). The system is accurate enough to enable services to block on a country level, but often fail at a more local level.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/05/AR2009100500411.html

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