There’s been an interesting discussion on Reddit about Australian Popular Science and in particular why it links to articles on its sister American site which then turn out to be region-blocked from Australia. The basic issue: how can it call itself Australian Popular Science and then have content not available in Australia?
It turns out that this is happening deliberately – the local publishers block the US edition so they don’t have competition, which makes some broad sense. But they then go on to link to material on the US site – which makes no sense at all.
It’s not done neatly either, it’s locked down in a way which leads to frustration and annoyance amongst readers. This is almost a textbook case of how not to handle regional control if you want to keep your market satisfied.
The end result has been a plethora of suggestions on how to avoid the geographic restrictions. That in turn makes the whole reasoning behind the restrictions in the first place pointless. So yet again (Game of Thrones) we see geographic restrictions actually doing the publisher a disservice.
Interestingly the only way you can read any sense at all into this for the publisher is that all they care about is the hardcopy version where the links, obviously, do not present an issue. That in itself is bewildering in today’s climate.
At least the New Scientist only has a stupid pricing model.
The full Reddit discussion is here.