I had never heard of a VPN or Proxy server until I wanted to watch Louie, that’s the Louis CK show on FX, it streams on Netflix in the US but not here in Canada. A VPN basically hides where your computer is based and gives you a “proxy” IP address that is based in another country, which is perfectly legal and a great way to protect your computer’s information, another benefit is it gives you access to all of the great Netflix content that’s not available here. So I looked into getting a VPN and decided against it, basically only because I didn’t want to pay for a good one, and the cheap ones are a bit too eager to share your info with other companies.
Last week Netflix said they were going to start cracking down on the practice because it infringes on many of the licensing agreements they’ve negotiated.
Here is the statement from Netflix
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.
David Fullagar is Vice President of Content Delivery Architecture at Netflix.
A lot of folks thought this was an empty threat, I mean how can they crack down on people when they don’t even know where they are. Netflix users in Australia have learned differently however, as the company has started blocking people using VPN’s, according to some reports users are getting this message:
“You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again,”
So if you are a Canadian who’s been enjoying American Nexflix content and you get the eerie feeling that some one is behind you, it’s probably Netflix: they are coming for you!