Netflix Is Getting Serious About Illegal, Out-of-Country Viewing

/ Jan 5, 2015

Netflix is coming to Australia

It seems like Netflix (NFLX) hasn’t made its way around the world quite as fast as some people would like. Of course, people in countries where the service isn’t available — or offers a limited library due to licensing restrictions — have found ways around this nonetheless, thanks to virtual private networks.

VPNs, which let people hide their geographical locations online, let people in non-Netflix territory gain access to the video library of the streaming service available in, say, the US. Though Netflix continues to expand its services across the globe, not all content available on the service in one country is offered in other countries due to various licensing/distribution deals.

People who access Netflix US through VPNs are still paying for the streaming service, but are paying for content in a way that violates these agreements.

As a result, Netflix has been pressured by studios and content owners to crack down on the use of VPNs. The company is currently blocking users attempting to watch videos on Netflix through VPNs when they’re away from home (or were in a country other than the one they claimed to live in to subscribe in the first place).

Netflix hasn’t gone too far yet in blocking this kind of viewing mischief. According to TorrentFreak, not everyone accessing the service through VPNs will have trouble doing so for the time being. VPN provider TorGuard has been affected by the Netflix crackdown, though, and Netflix’s Android app has included a link to Google’s domain name system, which won’t let users pretend they’re in a different country when trying to access the service.

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  • It’s the “various licensing/distribution deals” that have to go. If people are actively prevented from paying for content they want, where do you think they will go? Why turn paying customers (of both NetFlix and the content providers) into enemies for life?

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