Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says blocking region-switching proxy services is ‘the maturation of Internet TV’

Patrick O'Rourke

March 19, 2016 10:14am

It looks like Netflix has no plans to reverse its controversial decision to begin blocking region-switching proxy services that specialize in allowing subscribers to access content from different Netflix regions.

During a recent roundtable discussion MobileSyrup attended at Netflix’s head office in Los Gatos, California, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings finally commented on the company’s controversial move to begin blocking the use of proxy VPN/DNS services.

“We have the obligation to respect the content rights that we buy; it’s just a simple fairness thing. Someone else has paid for the rights in Germany, so we should respect that, just as we would expect the same in return,” said Hastings.

Since Netflix’s 2011 release in Canada, Canadians, as well as people from other regions of the world, have been using proxy DNS/VPN services to access additional Netflix libraries, most notably the wealth of content available in the U.S. It’s worth noting, however, that this is a direct violation of Netflix’s terms of service.

“The basic thing is if we license a movie here [the U.S.], and then another network licenses it in Germany, then we don’t don’t have the rights to display it in Germany. That’s why we have to enforce those VPN rules, just like Amazon Prime Instant Video and others do as well,” said Hastings. “Think of it as the maturation of Internet TV”

As the tools to region-switch have become easier to use, increasing numbers of people around the world are bypassing Netflix’s region-based content management system, accessing television shows and movies they otherwise wouldn’t be able to. Interested in watching Netflix U.K.-only content like Peaky Blinders? Simply sign up for a service like Unblock-Us and proxy your way to Netflix’s U.K. library.

When asked about the specific technology Netflix is using to detect VPN/DNS use, Hasting’s remained uncharacteristically cryptic.

“It’s third-party stuff that other people have developed as far as I understand, it’s like recognizing IP addresses,” said Hastings. It’s believed that completely blocking the use of VPN/DNS services is impossible for Netflix, since service providers only need to switch to a new IP address or DNS range to bypass the lock.

With Netflix’s global expansion to 130 new regions in early January, the streaming platform began cracking down on the region-switching proxy services it seemed to once willfully ignore. After all, if proxy users are paying Netflix’s $9.99 monthly subscription fee, as long as rights holders aren’t pressuring Netflix to stop their use, it makes sense the company hasn’t done anything until now. Netflix’s recent global expansion likely woke many international rights holders to the growing issue, forcing the company’s hand in the matter.

“This is the internet age, where content blends through boundaries,” said Hastings while talking about Netflix’s recent efforts to simultaneously launch its original content in various regions around the world. “What we hope to do in time, is be as popular in Thailand, Germany and Poland, as we are in the U.S., and to be producing content in every nation of the world, and to be sharing that content around the world,”

Hastings says that he envisions a Netflix without geographic content restrictions, but that achieving this goal will take time and a significant amount of work. He cites the streaming platform’s original content, which includes the recent launch of Daredevil 2, as an example how he hopes digital rights agreements will be formed with third-parties moving forward.

Netflix-4 copyWM
“If it’s a third party like Sony selling content, we’ll win in one nation, and get outbid in another, sort of like sports [broadcasting] rights. So what we’re doing to get around that is both increasing our bids – for example, How to Get Away With Murder we get globally from ABC – and also we’re focused on producing global series like Narcos, The Crown, and the Get Down,” said Hastings, discussing Netflix’s recent efforts to launch more content globally.

“It’s a temporary issue. We know what everybody wants, which is the same catalogue around the world. We’re frustrated that we’re not there, but we will get there, and before everybody else.”

  • jfreshdizzle

    As soon as Netflix started blocking my proxy I uninstalled and started using Kodi. I couldn’t be happier.

    • St. Misery

      Every time I use kodi I am thankful I still have Netflix. I shouldn’t knock something that’s free, but Jesus, what a horrible experience.

    • gommer strike

      Kodi is horrible. Not user-friendly, tricky to setup(that’s right guys. It’s not a one-click experience), and you have to scroll through multiple sources before you get one which is consistent.

    • Adderbox76

      I have mine set up to be a pretty clean one-click experience. But man oh man did it take some frustrating work to get it there.

    • gommer strike

      Yup exactly what I’ve been saying. Ignore the trolls who say “OHHH so easssy to setup blah blah”.

      I’ve long moved onto Plex, a far superior experience.

    • Adderbox76

      Oh, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE it now that I have it set up. It’s a gorgeous piece of kit and dead simple to use. I’m just not under any illusions that it was in any way easy to get it there. It was hours of work and a lot of trial and error.

      Part of that comes from the fact that I set up similar devices for my mother to watch her Portuguese television channels. And approaching it from the “What is simple for a 62 year old Portuguese woman” direction forced me to create the most streamlined system possible. So as a result, thanks to practice, in a few minutes time, I can make a system that is so easy that even my mom can use it.

      But getting there….hoo boy….getting there was a lot of trying different things and seeing if they work, discarding them and trying something new, etc… etc…

    • CK

      That’s the fun part for some people. We just need to figure out how to get the one click people to pay us to install it.

    • Unorthodox

      Plex rules. Very easy to setup libraries. And the playback is unified across platforms.

    • gommer strike

      Totally, Plex is awesome. And it remembers where you left off, especially handy when hopping between different platforms!

    • Johnny_B_Goode

      For sure , poor quality is an understatement, with kodi.

    • Andrew English

      I actually use KODI and IPGuys (IPTV).

    • gommer strike

      I can’t say the same. Try watching anything popular like Game of Thrones and you end up trying multiple sources before you finally get one which you have to wait 10 minutes to buffer before watching.

      Other content look like they’re enormously compressed with tinny sound. It’s the wild west and nowhere near where it needs to be. It hasn’t be figured out and not everyone is encoding their content at the same rate of quality, nor is the streaming speeds/quality consistent.

      It’s free, and you get what you pay for.

    • Distract2

      you probably have a terrible Kodi setup. The device is also important. Try a RP2 or RP3 with the latest Openelec next time.

    • Askelon

      Frustrating that people equate kodi with video streaming. Kodi is just a media center program. Not the streaming services people bundle with it for a so called “fully loaded” Kodi. Doesn’t really matter to me what you watch using Kodi, it just frustrates me to see that people equate the Kodi media center as a whole with these “fully loaded” Kodi custom versions.

    • Do Do

      I don’t think you fully understand the capabilities of Kodi, or I’m not understanding your complaint. Kodi far more than Netflix. Yes you have to jump through a few hoops to get it’s full potential but it’s not that big a deal. There’s literally nothing I haven’t been able to find on Kodi. What more can I ask?

    • Laer

      I think you are the one not fully understanding Do Do. Kodi is simply a media server, nothing more. 3rd party software extends it’s functionality to be able to find and stream content illegally.

      Askelon was pointing this out and talking about places where you can download Kodi preconfigured with 3rd party extensions.

      I fully agree on the point that these preconfigured versions of Kodi hurt the program and Kodi themselves have spoken out against this.

      I use Kodi on top of Openelec, it takes my dumb TV and turns it into an amazing machine without all the BS. For me Kodi acts basically as a Media Renderer and nothing else. For that it is very very good.

    • George

      True. I use Kodi, along with my Netflix subscription and HomeRun TV tuner and rips of my DVD collection. It’s slightly slower than my Xfinity DVR in some scenarios, but I can keep recordings of the things I watch that I might want to re-watch. Plus Kodi is a great Internet Radio on an old tablet.

    • Lakh Jhajj

      What sources do u add to Kodi ?

    • Rev0lver

      I still find torrents to be the superior option for the most part. The only torrent in recent memory that I couldn’t find were the episodes of Dr. Phil that covered Making a Murderer.

      I found them on Kodi after a bit of searching.

    • I get what you’re saying, but people make the same argument about file-sharing and Torrent sites. Everyone knows what you’re really using the platform for.

    • KillerofGods

      Not really… there are plenty of legitimate uses for torrenting. People do put stuff on the internet for free y’know? There are also uncracked mmo game clients you can share for free since you need a subscription to play said game anyways.

      Streaming from your computer to your device is another completely legitimate use…

    • Do Do

      I switched to Kodi/xbmc a long time ago, about a year after I dumped Canadian Netflix. Frankly, I don’t understand what the appeal of Netflix is without using a vpn. I found it to be a complete waste of time with a canadian IP. I think I found 5% of the movies I was looking for. With Kodi, I find all. So, if they don’t want my money, I won’t argue.

      Not that Kodi is causing Netflix to lose money. I wouldn’t be giving them my money anyway if I couldn’t get the content I wanted. The whole reason I went to Kodi was due to lack of content for Canadians. So now, they’re going to lose even more customers. LOL, Retards.

    • mola2alex

      I guess if you like some of the original content and don’t like stealing stuff, you might get Netflix.

    • James

      I do my fair share of pirating of movies when they’re not on Netflix, so this isn’t a judgement – what you’re doing is actually pirating, if you weren’t aware.

      Secondly, it’s not Netflix’s choice where the content goes, it’s up to the rightsholder. If it was up to them, they wouldn’t be blocking VPNs, but VPNs wouldn’t be necessary because they would just allow everyone to access the whole database.

    • mola2alex

      Maybe you should try Plex, better than Kodi IMO. As someone who used XBMC on the original XBOX, I do appreciate the Kodi heritage but Plex just does it better, streams to more devices, has chrome cast support and on and on.

  • MR D

    Popcorntime says hello

    • gommer strike

      Which is easily tracked back to you. Oh you’re gonna say “never had a problem” but just you wait.

    • Dave Grant

      Not if you use a VPN outside Canada which keeps no access logs. Go through 2 or 3 vpns if you want extra privacy.

    • gommer strike

      And each time to you run a VPN on top of another VPN, guess what happens?

      Your bandwidth suffers(the VPN’ed bandwidth, of course). Have fun buffering Game of Thrones for 10 – 20 minutes before you can watch 2 minutes of it at a time.

    • Dave Grant

      Going through multiple VPNs the LATENCY will add linearly, but the bandwidth will be approximately equal to the slowest VPN in the chain. If you use relatively decent VPNs that aren’t on the opposite side of the globe from one another, you should be able to keep up with no buffering. Not saying that from experience or anything… 😛

    • Distract2

      Hello Ned Flanders ! Your ignorance about Kodi and the law is simply hilarious.

    • gommer strike

      Tell me more that I don’t know about Kodi, Hansol.

      It’s obvious to anyone that Kodi itself isn’t illegal in the slightest. They aren’t doing anything wrong. But the sources however? That’s a different story.

      Go to someone else who hasn’t setup Kodi, used it to stream Game of Thrones and witnessed for himself how choppy it is.

      I’ve long moved onto Plex. Name a title that you think I can’t get on Plex. Name anything – TV show, movie, reality show junk, your choice. I’ve got it.

    • MR D

      I am pushing 50. Been a pirate since I was 12 or so.
      Never even got a letter.
      I will continue to wait.

    • gommer strike

      Because in the grander scheme of things, you’re probably just a small fry. I too have been a pirate since early teens starting in the late 80’s. But what I pirated was nothing compared to people I knew.

      These are the guys who would be downloading, at full speed 24/7 365 all day everyday. Anything you can think of – games, movies, TV shows, PC software(but not Mac), you want it, they got it. Oh, and porn, almost forgot. When high-speed internet hit the scene, it only multiplied and on an enormous scale, their storage requirements.

      They were served with multiple notices by their ISP’s and were forced to move from ISP to ISP, year upon year. Their storage arrays were too heavy for one person to pick up, and trying to remember just how much storage they had, was an exercise in futility.

      But even they were non-factors. They were merely the leechers. What about the couriers who would rent Playstation/Dreamcast games rip them, and upload them?

      Maybe you were even higher up the food chain in the wondrous world of the pirate scene. I don’t know. But I do know that after I’ve gotten older – my reasons for pirating have basically disappeared. It was a fun thing to do in my teens to late 20’s.

  • Shoey5

    ‘the maturation of Internet TV’ – Couldn’t be more opposite!!!!

    • haesslich

      Maturation = “becoming just like terrestrial TV” = “being charged for things you don’t want nor being able to get what you do want”

    • Yeah, he could kiss my skinny rear with that dumb quote.

  • hoo dat

    Just checked and they still can’t detect my open VPN run through Black in the UK, US and other countries. My wife uses PIA and she’s blocked. I guess it’s worth paying a bit extra.

    • Tom Adams

      Torguard dedicated vpn is the solution. Shared vpns will all end up getting blocked

    • hoo dat

      I’ve got 8 months left with Black and I currently see no reason to switch, they’ve provided me with great service where others just couldn’t cope. If it comes down to a change Torguard (proxy) is on the top of my list to try.

    • KillerofGods

      AIRvpn is an excellent service but that server that I use is blocked by netflix which is highly annoying due to the fact I live in the US.

      If Netflix had any brains at all they could just require the person having a bank account in the country they say they are from so people could actually watch netflix and remain anonymous while doing other things on the internet.

  • Tom Adams

    And with this we can finally welcome video content owners to the start of their own napster era. It was bound to happen eventually. Apple did them a huge favour in getting people used to paying for content with music but unfortunately they didn’t leatn from the music industries lesson that if you make it easy to get what you want people will pay and if you don’t they will pirate. Apple is ready to save the day again but the content owners are still Leary and I feel like Netflix is so mature already that they will end up winning in the end over apple

    • What are you talking about? The “Napster” era was the result of the RIAA trying to sell CD’s to people who don’t have CD Players. There was no way to buy digital copies for use on iPod’s and the dozens of garbage mp3 players of the time.

      The “Napster” era of movies was the evolution of BitTorrent, by which the ISP’s had to stop marketing “unlimited internet” because the pirates were literately saturating upstream and downstream links, making it no longer possible to oversell internet bandwidth like they had been doing. This is why Cable companies still have such contempt for internet subscribers, often limiting their upstream to levels that aren’t suitable for streaming. (eg below 8MBPS) because they would have to replace entire neighborhoods worth of cable nodes. DSL is the better tech for streaming because you’re not sharing the last mile. But even there, the Phone companies balked at changing fiber transceivers to get more bandwidth out to suburban nodes.

      Now what is causing the current evolution in internet usage is “livestreaming” where people watch other people do/listen/watch/play stuff. This is where we are heading with movie piracy, people operating their own private online theaters where they stream their own blueray/dvd’s to their 8 friends who live in different corners of the world. The RIAA is rather livid at this because people are essentially operating radio stations and paying no royalties, while the MPAA occasionally gets people kicked for streaming movies. Both of these reasons are why Youtube hangouts isn’t taking off.

      But unlike music which tends to have a consistant value over time. Film and video games become much less valuable over time. You can charge 70$ for a game or film new, but only on day 1. After about a week, the pirate copies leak out and people who would never pay to play or watch these have their copies already. This is why Netflix never has first run content other their their own produced content, old content is cheap.

      When films start showing up on Netflix, globally on day 2, we will see the end to film piracy. Since this is never going to happen, the Film and TV industry is better off with the status quo and Netflix trying to negotiate for global rights instead of with the rights holders in a hodge-podge fashion. I’m absolutely sure Netflix would be succesful in licenscing all the Japanese, Korean and Chinese dramas and paying people to subtitle it for the english market sooner than the English market will stop acting like balkanized countries.

  • Ipse

    One simple response to their inability to negotiate global distribution rights : vote with your wallet.
    I’ll stop my subscription when my grandfathered plan expires in a month.

    • Anonymous501

      I guess the question is, how much more are people willing to pay netflix so they can bid more for the rights. If they’re getting outbid in other regions, do we want them to outbid that bid, and watch that increased cost impact the price of subscription? The “inability” as you call it is an unwillingness to exceed certain spending limits on content. I don’t think the answer is always outspend the other guy. That would drastically increase prices.

    • Ipse

      Tell you what : personally I’d pay 20$ for more content and still be better off than with cable.
      So they have options they could offer, but bow to MPIAA – instead of using the enormous user base to negotiate.

    • KillerofGods

      Or they could just require a form of payment from the country they say they are residing in… aka a bank account. Steam has this same problem but they have dealt with it effectively.

    • mola2alex

      So give them less money to bid on content with. Sounds smart. We actually really need a company to do well here so that the old model of geo locked content ends and hopefully the price stays low since Netflix doesn’t need to maintain the old high price model for content.

    • Ipse

      You read the replies selectively. I forgive you :p

    • mola2alex

      Um, not really. I don’t see any other comment by you in that thread that retracts your initial comment about discontinuing service. The point is Netflix is forced into this old model but are doing a pretty good job at disrupting it with original content. So I will gladly pay to further that disruption VPN or not. I think the original content is actually better than a lot of the Geo locked content anyway.

    • Ipse

      Yes, really. See right below:

      Ipse Anonymous501 • 2 days ago

      Tell you what : personally I’d pay 20$ for more content and still be better off than with cable.

      So they have options they could offer, but bow to MPIAA – instead of using the enormous user base to negotiate.

    • mola2alex

      Read that but I am not sure what you’re willing to pay for all the content in your ideal world has anything to do with you cancelling your subscription now. You are cancelling it because the content is not available in your region. Sure, it’s good to know that you would pay more but it’s irrelevant to the blocking issue.

      To your initial comment, if you keep your dollars ‘voting with your wallet’ as you say with the company who is trying to break the model, then they will be more likely to succeed in getting you what you want. Netflix is likely not winning some content deals because of the very fact they weren’t doing anything about geo hacks. I don’t think this move is to just piss off users, it is likely a content play.

  • Can’t Fix Stupid

    What funny is all the Netflix original shows are all about “screw rules and authority” yet they are all about rules and authority when it’s their money. Same hypocrisy with Rogers and Vice.

    • mola2alex

      How is content related to their business? So if the original content was about horror and murder, the company is a hypocrite for not being pro murder?

    • Can’t Fix Stupid

      They are using you successfully as a tool.

    • mola2alex

      You can’t explain how your comment makes any sense. Tool? What is this, the 90’s? And how are they using me, my comment did nothing to support Netflix position on vpns, just makes you look stupid. Please, do share how any Netflix original content means they are hypocrites for honoring content deals especially considering original content is not restricted. Just plain dumb

  • In the end of the day, things will either go back to the way they were or another new company will come in and take the top spot. Netflix has put itself in a tough spot of giving people what they want (which is everything for next to nothing) and generating enough revenue to do so.

    What happens when they need more seed money and investors are over the tech industry? Who will pick up the slack?

  • downhilldude

    The day Netflix successfully blocks me, is the day I cancel Netflix. The Canadian site blows!

    • Nadefrenzy

      What VPN do you use?

    • downhilldude

      A common one, for $3/month.

    • Martin Chan

      Configure yours properly to not leak you DNS. You’ll be fine. If they do start blocking, combine Netflix with Shomi and another streaming service and you’ll probably cover all shows you need to watch. Still super cheap.

    • Nadefrenzy

      PIA is out it seems.

  • Tyrannosaur3464

    It’s still a service until $10/month… We just want to complain about everything, don’t we?

    • Jason

      its not just the price, its the fact netflix didnt really care until the production companies started complaining and people have cancelled and gone back to pirating

    • nerdrrage

      So netflix is bad for ignoring vpn use until the companies they need to do business with threatened to sic the lawyers on them? would it have been somehow better if they banned vpns from day one? this comments section is full of people will zero clue how businesses work.

    • Martin Chan

      My thoughts exactly, get Netflix and Shomi and another service and it’ll still easily be super cheap and properly cover everything you need to watch.

  • Pokpok

    Region locks obviously exist for a reason. Want to view Us content? Either move to the US, download/torrent your shows, or get regular TV. Don’t want to do any of those? Then shut the hell up and deal with it. Maturation of the internet, but clearly regression of internet users..

  • Rony

    yes, understand all screening rights and stuff. but why then we pay $10 for the service ,same as US and get way less. why EU costumers pay 10 euro which is more than us pays , for way less content ?

    • mola2alex

      That makes no sense. Charge what people will pay not based on how some people think it should be worth. Business much?

    • SycloneRob

      10usd is 13cdn. So they are paying more and get more. Oh yeah this is mobile syrup where we want everything for practically nothing. Otherwise we pirate but cry when a corporation bend us over and we have no options. The game keeps going around and around.

  • Tracydeanne

    What does that mean when I travel? I’ll lose access to Netflix if I cross the border? Or they’re just going to target the proxy services themselves?

    • Abel

      You should have access to the local content when you travel.

  • Andrew English

    All Netflix should have done is locked peoples accounts into the content based on where they live or where their credit cards originate from. So regardless if someone was to proxy through a US connection the system would know the user is Canadian (for instance) and only give them access to Canadian content.

    • Jason

      ive often wondered why they dont do this if they are so up in arms about blocking content, if a candian shouldnt see an american tv show then by that logic it should be blocked when travelling to the us

    • mola2alex


    • Advik

      That would be a major loss to customers using Netflix who are traveling all the time from country to country and Netflix wouldn’t want to seem unfair and the backlash would be even worse.

    • Abel

      They can’t do this. This would be similar to you travelling to the US and only seeing Canadian channels on the TV!? If you go the US, you don’t expect to see CBC, CTV, Global TV, etc, for instance, so the same principle applies to Netflix.

      Not to mention than then if you have a relative/close friend in the US, you could exchange usernames and password and then each one would have permanent access to both contents.

  • Jason

    the internet brought the world together so how is region locking the maturation of internet tv? shouldnt the maturation be allowing all content in all parts of the world?

    • This is a global village – we are all in it. Netflix is in it .One price for any villager. Fair is fair

      Screw borders – it gets us all into nothing but bloody trouble!

    • SycloneRob

      I guess its fair to say our pay is too high then? we should all get paid like other countries averaged out. Maybe a good paying job end up being $5 an hour??

    • nano

      Sounds like a plan!

      From each according to their ability, to each according to their need.

      Is their any presidential hopeful in agreement?

      Or does that sound too red??

    • Abel

      LOL. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels at their best!

    • When the poor are in the majority with poor health care, poor education and poor salaries who will they vote for?

      Trump or Marx?

      Since Marx is obviously (??) wrong I guess Trump.

      However…..maybe a revolution?

    • mola2alex

      It takes time for business models to change but they will slowly get there. Content owners want to milk each region and so they charge each region different based on what the market will support. Just like a copy of Windows coated less in other countries than the US. Eventually content owners will build their own services and go direct. Like what HBO is doing. Other smaller ones will use aggregators of content like Netflix.

  • Martin Chan

    Proxies still work, just don’t used shared VPNs and configure them properly so it doesn’t DNS leak.

  • southerndinner

    The only maturation taking place here is my maturation from a paid Netflix account to Usenet with SSL and an automation tool for TV and movies. Bye Netflix!

  • Travis (Barrhaven)

    “The maturation of internet TV” – such a BS argument. There is content in US Netflix that is unavailable in Canada, so the exclusive license to air a piece of media in a specific region argument fails.

    What Netflix is doing is encouraging viewers to seek pirated content.

    What Netflix should be doing is encouraging producers to see the world as one giant community, where people in country A shouldn’t have more access than people in country B. It creates an unfair ecosystem.

    The maturation of Internet TV should include tearing down borders, and encouraging fairness. Netflix is the very cable, satellite and fiber TV providers we’ve grown to hate with much disdain.

    So, rather than fight for their customers, they’re fighting against them. How sad. And while they’re doing this, they’re reducing a person’s right to privacy, which is one of many arguments pro-VPN.

    I have grown a lot less interested in Netflix. I don’t need to watch this media, it won’t affect my life to lose it, but Netflix needs customers like me to pay for service in order to stay in business, to remain relevant.

  • hardy83

    “Think of it as the maturation of Internet TV”

    Nah. I’d rather think of it for what it really is. The continued enforcement or archaic systems that media and cable companies refuse to evolve past.

    Maturation would be evolving past the content rights systems that locks countries out of certain things, not an outdated region locking system that has plagued cable TV for decades.

    The Internet doesn’t work that way. If people want their content, they will get it regardless of whatever failed system you try to enforce on a platform (Internet) that it doesn’t work on.

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  • Sir

    The “maturation of internet tv ” should be to kill region locking altogether.

    Unfortunately, Netflix blocks my VPN, which I DON’T use to get around region locking, BTW. I live in Texas and use a Texas server… So no more Netflix. It seems really dumb to drive away legitimate customers without any good reason to do so.

  • Pingback: Netflix Binge – What Have We Become? | Paul Lopushinsky()

  • OttoVonBismarck

    Interesting sidenote to this. It’s possible to configure a dedicated IP on a computer using a VPN to stream U.S. Netflix however if you try to do so using Roku, Apple TV or the app version on a tablet or phone it doesn’t work. There is a workaround to this therefore but it isn’t easy.
    Basically I’m left to stream my iMac through my ATV to watch a U.S. Netflix show, even with a dedicated VPN router.

  • beyond

    This whole region blocking issue is absurd. Why don’t they just offer the content everywhere at a low rate, maximize the amount of people they can distribute to. I don’t see how region blocking maximizes their profits (record companies, movie studios etc). It’s not like it costs them much to create more copies of the content, its all digital. Maybe I’m missing something.

  • Sleddog

    I liked it better when the internet was still the “wild west” so to speak. As with everything that Big Business gets involved in, we’re seeing the continued homogenization of the inter-webs. As far as Netflix is concerned, its no longer the World Wide Web, it’s the Regional Wide Web, and like with all maturation; things tend to become a little rigid and stiff. I think history might look back at this decision as a step backwards for the company and for global culture sharing.

    Being Canadian, I know we have strict “homegrown content” regulations with our CRTC that reduce Netflix to a rather drab offering that quickly becomes dull and pales before what I used to be able to access with US or even UK Netflix. I refuse to buy SHOMI since it’s a joint venture between SHAW & ROGERS, nor will I buy the appropriately misnamed CRAVE offered by BELL. After years of being gouged by these price fixing oligopolies prior to cutting the cable, I’m not about to return to giving them my hard earned cash.

    I may even continue to save money by cancelling my subscription to Netflix. I just went the free route; 1). KODI > 2). Add-On INSTALLER> 3). PHOENIX. Everything I need is right there and I don’t need to fork out 120$ a year just to be told I’m a bad little boy for using a VPN. I’m also one of these guys that has an free (perfectly legal) OTA (Over The Air) HDTV signal so I’m kind of touchy when it comes to huge companies controlling how we watch our entertainment. I’m old, grouchy, and can remember when TV was free and mostly black and white. The less control on what, and how we watch our entertainment is better for everyone. Its cross cultural and builds bridges. Lets keep the “World” in World Wide Web.

    • Mr_Smoosh

      What an awesome post.

  • Elinor Cohen

    For us the moment it happened we cancelled our account. It’s useless. Kodi is a terrible experience but we manage and there are other solutions. Since I don’t consume anything that’s on TV in my country and that’s why I had Netflix in the first place, their decision rendered completely useless to me.

    • mola2alex

      I am sure a few people are cancelling but if they don’t own the rights, the right holders could potentially sue and they pay damages they could use to bid on content. I am sure they aren’t just doing this to piss people off.

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  • Jeb’s Jiblets

    VPN’s are used by the majority of corporations all over the world to secure their networks and devices accessing them. For the same reason, I use a router based VPN so that any device which accesses the Internet goes through the VPN tunnel established from my router, through my isp to a specified exit node on the Internet.

    It is no different than the Anti-virus & Firewall security we all use to protect us. I live in the U.S., My exit nodes are in the U.S.. I still was blocked by Netflix. So, what did I do? Easy decision, I canceled my account with netflix rather than “drop my drawers” in order to use their service. (of course there are ways to route ports and protocols around the VPN. But who is netflix really? Have you ever read their TOU? They also sell your account and usage data to 3rd parties.

    Remember the days when companies made the same demands that we drop our firewalls and anti-virus in order to use their services?

    How about all the data mining Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and many others do even when you do not use any of their products? Well, the VPN stops the majority of this kinds of data mining as well because all they see is the computer at the exit node, not yours. If you don’t believe it, think about how facebook and google get so rich. Where does the money come from? Targeted Advertising.

    Ever see who’s hooked up to your computer at any given time? Try running the “netstat -a” (without the quotes) in a command window then sit back and give it a minute or two to reveal just how MANY companies are hooked up and logging everything you do.

    VPN’s are the wave of the future.

  • Flodurn

    A couple days ago I got the “proxy detected” message and am now stuck with the abysmal Canadian Netflix “library”. Or rather, stuck until my subscription for the month runs out and I cancel.

    So long Netflix!

  • Aaron

    I happily cancelled my subscription to Netflix immediately after being denied access to the content I pay for because of their proxy rules. There are legitimate reasons to proxy, Netflix will not be the arbiter of how I use my internet.

  • Unotelly is now pooched too so I had to back out my whole house solution as it becomes a MASSIVE PITA to leave it in play in hopes that they fix things.

    I am giving up on proxying/DNS spoofing as I am the techie of the house and no one else is and I don’t want the frustration of having to be a tech at home as I am in it neck deep as a job so would like to come home and not have to fiddle.

    That being said, I am OTA digital and PVR on SageTV and use Netflix as a secondary source of content. I will keep paying for it but I will not renew my Unotelly account as there is clearly no point other than to pay for a sometime service that feels more like paying to be frustrated…

    These content owners are as bad as the RIAA ever was. And to a comment back a few posts, it is not the CRTC that causes this issue. This is the same exact issue we have had with music and more recently (but for a lot longer than people even know) with books. There will be a day that it all gets leveled but sadly it will still be some time.

    I guess when my Unotelly subscription runs out, I can use the money from it to pay for Crave or Shomi.

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  • Ricky Martin

    Being a movie lover, I searched a lot to find out which VPN is working with Netflix. At the starting Unblock-us was working but suddenly stopped. Now I am using “HIDE-MY-IP” to access Netflix from outside US and it is working effectively for me.

  • teddygramz2060

    well im still using us netflix someones going just make a new vpn lol good luck

  • Sharon Arbuckle

    He’s going on about fairness, but how fair is it that I only have access to 10% of the US content, but am expected to pay 100% of the price? How about adjusting prices to content access – then we talk about fairness.

  • AESC

    How come the users pay the complete Netflix fee even with taxes and don’t get the same catalog as other users.
    This region thing is awful if you compare what is available in the US versus what is available in Latin America it’s a huge difference.
    But Netflix in his own right think that this is better for the same fee.
    If you are not going to serve the same catalog to all the regions at least charge a fee proportional to the catalog size. It’s completely unfair that people with less choices have to pay the same as the people with more choices.

  • Wow Hastings, you’re so full of sh**. This is not the maturation of the internet, this is the begining of a war that you will loose. You WILL lose customers to this and sometime in the future this will be reverse. You’re forcing people to pay for a service that offers them 10 times less content for more price than the US market and you call this FAIR?. You’re full of nonsense. If you’re going to offer less content for a service than US, then offer the service for LESS MONEY too, because I’m in Argentina and the service cost the same as US but our money devaluation make it so that we pay 14 times what an US citizen pays for the service with HALF the catalog. You’re insuling your users by saying this is the “maturation of the internet”. And I liked Netflix.. with the enphasis on “liked”.

  • Console and PC Master Race

    Netflix hasn’t done a very good job of blocking people. There are several working solutions to getting around the geoblock. I’m in Canada and have been enjoying US Netflix nearly uninterrupted. The crack down has been a non event to me lol.