Netflix Under Pressure To Block VPNs

September 20, 2014
1 min read
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netflix1KIWIS WANTING TO access video streamed from US services such as Netflix may soon find themselves completely out of luck. They’ll also be able to blame a bunch of Aussies for their streaming woes.

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

 

Pat has been talking about tech on TV, radio and print for over 20 years, having served time as a TV tech guy and currently penning reviews for Witchdoctor. He loves nothing more than rolling his sleeves up and playing with shiny gadgets.

2 Comments

  1. For god’s sake, why do studio’s and TV networks persist in making it so HARD to legally watch content online. The far easier (and FREE) alternative to illegally download content is going to win every time if they can’t sort their s**t out. I would far prefer to PAY for high quality streaming content – and currently access Netflix via Unblock US – than the sub You Tube quality torrent versions. All they seem to do is put up road-blocks everywhere. As you say, this desire to hold on to archaic models of distribution are the reason they are losing money hand over fist.

  2. I tried to watch netflix but since i am outside the usa it would not let me. I ended up finding out I could use a vpn to access the content. The arcvpn service seems ok so far.

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