In a move that I can only suspect is designed to show Pandora’s willingness to abide by copyright law, the Internet radio company has said that as of today, May 3rd, it will start blocking access to its service for listeners outside the US. While Pandora is currently fighting a ruling by the CRB that would make copyright fees within the states impossibly expensive, today’s move comes because there is no global licensing organization that allows it to stream music abroad legally. Pandora previously relied on registered zip codes to track out-of-country users, but the company says it will now determine location based on IP address.
There is some confusion over whether Canada and the UK are exempt from this streaming cessation. Michael Arrington over at TechCrunch said he spoke with CTO Tom Conrad, who said he’s hoping to have deals in place with the UK and Canada soon. On the other hand, an email we received from a representative at Pandora specifically said, “we are going to start blocking access to our service for listeners outside of the US, UK, or Canada.” Hmm.
Meantime, The Register suggests that non-US users should still be able to take advantage of proxy services to route access to Pandora through US IP addresses. Of course, that’s no doubt illegal, and also a pain in the arse.
On the US front, Pandora does have a reprieve from the CRB ruling (that would put it out of business) until July 15th. By that time we’re all hoping that a new bill introduced in Congress called the Internet Radio Equality Act will have passed. Want to support the bill? Sign the SaveNetRadio petition.