An Australian industry group representing the studios is lobbying Netflix to block VPN services.
These services change a user’s IP address to fool geo-locked streaming services into thinking the user is in the United States.
While NZ figures are not available, an estimated 200,000 Aussies are accessing the Netflix with a VPN. If Netflix caves in to lobbying to block Australian users, it’ll also block other countries, including NZ.
Those determined to get their Netflix fix could switch to a new VPN service, but this is at best a short-term fix. If Netflix and others get serious about blocking VPN users, it could soon be all but impossible to watch Netflix outside the US.
Should the lobbying be successful, it’ll most likely go down in history as one of the more brain-dead decisions of recent times.
In the wake of Snowden’s NSA revelations, Americans have become more privacy conscious. Many surf anonymously using VPNs. Now they’ll have to give up their privacy should they want to use Netflix.
It’s worse for wannabe Netflix users outside the US. Assuming a workaround isn’t found, many will resort to piracy, instead of paying for the content. The industry loses money and a bunch of otherwise innocent people risk becoming criminals.
This sort of stupidity hasn’t been around since prohibition back in the 1920s.
Imposing region locks is at best a band-aid over an inefficient content distribution model that is in need of an overhaul. If up-to-date content was cheap and easy to get, there would be far less piracy. Thank goodness for local streaming services such as Easyflix, Quickflix and Lightbox. PAT PILCHER