Maxmind is changing access to free GeoLite2 databases

Heads up:
Maxmind has announced significant changes to the way their free GeoLite2 databases are accessed. The changes take effect on 30 Dec. 2019.

Here’s the link to the Maxmind announcement:
https://blog.maxmind.com/2019/12/18/significant-changes-to-accessing-and-using-geolite2-databases/

I believe this will impact some users of Matomo.

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Hi,

Many thanks for sharing this, I wouldn’t have seen it otherwise. It’s crazy that they share this during christmas holidays with only a weeks notice.

So what does this mean:

  • One can’t simply download the free GeoIP databases anymore, instead one has to register an account
  • The file is still free of charge
  • But they also use this change to sneakily change the license of the database from the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike to their own end-user license agreement
  • Even crazier: This end-user license agreement is not even available yet, but they are estimating they will publish it on December 23.
  • Same for the Login access. Accounts can also only be generated after December 23
  • And the worst of all: They reason that they need to collect the user data of all of their users to comply to privacy laws (especially the new Californian one).

What does this mean for Matomo:

  • The normal GeoIP setup will stop working for new users in a week. For existing Matomo users it will continue to work, but will get out of data.
  • What they don’t mention: They can’t relicense the existing files, so we can continue to distribute the last database before the change (even though it will become out of date and distributing it might be a challenge)
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To make sure nothing gets lost when the download page goes down I saved all files to archive.org.

All files are created by MaxMind and distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

archive.org URL MD5 Hash Last-Modified Header
GeoLite2-City.tar.gz 7ba2c58b4e0eac6c08c6399aebdae26c Tue, 24 Dec 2019 17:46:00 GMT
GeoLite2-Country.tar.gz dc6224c648350d90f344a0c5c3ca5474 Tue, 24 Dec 2019 17:40:42 GMT
GeoLite2-ASN.tar.gz f3c9c5775fd226db6e8098675ff65861 Tue, 24 Dec 2019 14:16:58 GMT
GeoLite2-City-CSV.zip 89e5bf01a970b5668d74cf29a242d546 Tue, 24 Dec 2019 17:45:52 GMT
GeoLite2-Country-CSV.zip f50b518341de54fe48c5e34f13e24e99 Tue, 24 Dec 2019 17:40:41 GMT
GeoLite2-ASN-CSV.zip 463ccd73c104c52547fa50a84fc2f86e Tue, 24 Dec 2019 14:16:58 GMT

Archive of info-page (Screenshot)

According to the MaxMind web site, the last freely downloadable GeoLite2 databases will be updated sometime on Dec 25.

This means that, if they actually intend to implement their stupid-as-far-as-we-are-concerned changes, the databases should continue to be downloadable from the MaxMind web site until Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019.

I fail to completely understand how these proposed changes will implement the “don’t sell my personal information” California law. Certainly, it’s useful for MaxMind to know who is using their “free” databases, but how does that get filtered down to the paranoid end users of web sites?

See here for more about this:

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As they are now probably the last ones, I have updated the links above to the ones released on Dec 24.

I just accessed the MaxMind site. 27 Dec 2019 @ 18:00 GMT. They have already stopped the free download. You now have to sign up for a MaxMind account!!!

So much for their promise to implement this stupid idea on 30 Dec.

I didn’t notice that when updating the links as the direct links to the files like https://geolite.maxmind.com/download/geoip/database/GeoLite2-ASN-CSV.zip still work.

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