The MPAA's big pitch at educating users on the availability of legal content on the Internet has ended in controversy for users not living within the United States.
The site, WhereToWatch.com, was first launched in 2013 with minimal content, but received a major updated last year that made it quite a valuable resource for users seeking digital content online. It included a search engine that allowed users to search for the availability of a piece of content on services like iTunes, Netflix and Hulu.
The MPAA hoped that by educating users on the availability of legal content, these users would be less likely to seek pirated downloads and streams.
But a recent update of the site has apparently barred non U.S. visitors from visiting the site, which now only displays a warning message stating that the content on the site is "not available in your region".
It's a double-blow for overseas movie and TV lovers, already having to put up with fewer viewing options (or none at all, in some cases), and now being barred from accessing a valuable resource in finding the right (legal) content.
No reasons have been given for this latest change, perhaps it's due to the fact that most of the information on the website would only be valid for U.S. digital services. But perhaps the site also helped to highlight the ever widening gulf between what U.S. visitors have access to, and what visitors elsewhere have to put up with - a gulf of difference that highlights one of the major reasons behind piracy.
Ironically, the only way non U.S. visitors have to accessing the site is to use a VPN or smart DNS service, services that have come under increasing attack in recent times from Hollywood.