Netflix clamp down on VPN subscribers

2016-01-15_2047

Netflix, which recently reached 190 countries, has vowed to cut off subscribers who are using its service via a VPN to by-pass geo-blocking.

A post on its site says various content licenses restrict it from offering the same content in each territory, although this remains its aim long term. Original Netflix titles are available in all territories.

If all of our content were globally available, there wouldn’t be a reason for members to use proxies or “unblockers” to fool our systems into thinking they’re in a different country than they’re actually in. We are making progress in licensing content across the world and, as of last week, now offer the Netflix service in 190 countries, but we have a ways to go before we can offer people the same films and TV series everywhere.

Over time, we anticipate being able to do so. For now, given the historic practice of licensing content by geographic territories, the TV shows and movies we offer differ, to varying degrees, by territory. In the meantime, we will continue to respect and enforce content licensing by geographic location.

Some members use proxies or “unblockers” to access titles available outside their territory. To address this, we employ the same or similar measures other firms do. This technology continues to evolve and we are evolving with it. That means in coming weeks, those using proxies and unblockers will only be able to access the service in the country where they currently are. We are confident this change won’t impact members not using proxies.

We look forward to offering all of our content everywhere and to consumers being able to enjoy all of Netflix without using a proxy. That’s the goal we will keep pushing towards.

But not everyone is convinced it will work.

Dr. Ramon Lobato from Swinburne University of Technology told SBS News, “It is impossible to block all kinds of proxy and VPN access.

“Netflix’s likely response will be to block certain IP addresses, targeting those frequently used by VPNs and proxies.”

He said the aim of this crackdown would likely be deterrence, as blocking some IP addresses would not block all VPNs.

“It doesn’t stop geo-dodging completely, because VPN and proxy providers can respond by changing their IP address ranges.

“Essentially, this will be another game of whack-a-mole, where the aim is deterrence rather than total crack-down,” Dr Lobato said.

However, it may make it more difficult for Netflix customers to dodge the geo-blocking.

The move may also see Netflix lose subscribers and Piracy increase.

Many proxy and VPN providers have customers that only buy their services for the unblocking abilities they provide, so there is a serious commercial interest for these companies to also spend time outwitting Netflix.

Titles via Territory
USA: 5760
Canada: 3606
Argentina: 3579
Brazil: 3558
Mexico: 3550
Colombia: 3526
UK: 2990
Ireland: 2984
Switzerland: 2185
Denmark: 2146
Norway: 2119
Sweden: 2118
Finland: 2093
Australia: 2092
New Zealand: 2043
Belgium: 2037
Luxembourg: 1971
Netherlands: 1900
France: 1882
Germany: 1813
Austria: 1778
Japan: 1776
Spain: 1291
Italy: 1187
Poland: 783
Portugal: 767
India: 751
Russia: 734
South Korea: 664

Source: TorrentFreak,  FlixSearch

13 Comments:

  1. I thought the new Degrassi was going to be a Netflix original series, but I heard we won’t be getting it when the US does. It might be naive, but I wonder why Netflix can’t just offer the same service around the world. What’s the harm if Americans can watch our Aussie shows, or we can watch more foreign language films?

    • The harm is, collectively, millions of dollars. Production costs are recouped through licensing deals with various territories, along with investment in further projects and royalties paid to creatives.

      • If I pay my $10 for the month to Netflix, set my Netflix zone to Canada through getflix and watch full house then whoever owns full house will get their $$$. This is no different to if I travel to Montreal and automatically get access to full house because I am now in Canada or someone who lives in Canada accessing full house. It shouldn’t matter.

      • So for instance when a US network / studio makes a tv show for a US audience the don’t make enough money for the US audience the show is aimed at? So the rest of the world has to pay the price with crappy regional licensing system so that the US audience can continued to be satisfied with content. Or alternatively the US tv shows actually do make money off their US audience but these big tv execs want to get richer so they still charge high regional licensing fees to make even more money?

  2. Hulu tried this in 2014, yet i still can, and always have been able to access their site.

    I doubt Netflix seriously thinks this is going to work. I suspect its more to do with appearing to be doing something, to appease the rights holders.

    I like millions of others globally have been Netflix “region hoppers” for years, and it would be a shame and disappointing to have my Netflix content limited to the Australian service.

  3. Outdated business models will be undone by technology. Hypothetically, anyone can buy a Netflix package with 3 connections and they can be used to receive 3 programs simultaneously, but where do they go? To 3 TV’s or 3 outgoing internet connections? Netflix doesn’t know! Let’s call it UberVideo.

    Netflix can breathe easy, it won’t happen here, we’re stuck with a 3rd world Internet service.

  4. Netflix will people using VPNs to access the US. Some will sign up to local offerings. They will lose some 10s or 100s of thousands. But they deal in millions of subscribers.

    Sony and other global media companies have been pushing Netflix on this for a several years and they have resisted. It is a game of whack-a-mole but it one all online distributors have to play these days and they block most of them. You can’t get all o them but VPNs need brands and advertising to attract paying customers you can make it much harder to just google one and hand over your credit card number.

    The internet makes copyright regions silly. But there are a lot of billion dollar media companies making money from them, and a few large producers so it will be hard to fix. Even though it doesn’t serve consumers or the majority of artists.

  5. It will be interesting to see how many subs Netflix will lose over this. Sounds like a lot all of the world do this, a U.K. guy said he does this but won’t be changing to uk Netflix since not enough content

  6. Their original programming may be global but their other offerings are not. So they can’t really say they are global in content until each region offers the same content and that will be difficult to achieve with the current outdated model.

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