Netflix is taking steps to stop users from bypassing geographic content restrictions

By Shawn Knight
Jan 14, 2016
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  1. Netflix may be available in 190 countries around the world but the content offered to subscribers in one country may not be available to viewers in another country. As a result, tech savvy users have long used proxies or "unblockers" to get around geographical content restrictions.

    Such users may soon be in for a rude awakening as Netflix is taking steps to update its proxy detection techniques. Once complete, proxy and unblocker users will only be able to access the service in the country they are currently in.

    David Fullagar, Netflix's vice president of content delivery architecture, announced the pending change in a blog post on Thursday, noting that it wouldn't impact members not using proxies.

    In the post, Fullagar said Netflix is making progress in licensing its content across the world but admitted that they have a ways to go before they can offer people the same movies and TV shows everywhere. Fullagar added that they look forward to a time when they can offer all content universally but they must respect and enforce content licensing by geographic location at this time.

    The executive didn't elaborate on exactly what steps his company will be taking to enforce such restrictions.

    As Variety points out, this isn't a new concern and Netflix is likely responding to increased concerns from studios and content partners.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,890   +645

    This will be the downfall of Netflix, at least here in the UK Netflix will definitely lose ground to Amazon if they do this. At the moment, Amazon has lots of good stuff to watch in the UK, but Netflix you sort of, have to pretend you're in Canada before you get a decent selection of stuff from them.
  3. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,104   +533

    Not much Netflix can do about that. It has to pay for each title in it's library for each country and they have to continuously renew as well, costing them a boatload of money. On top of all that, copyright law gives media company rights over their productions for pretty much eternity.

    Of course, how long copyrights last have been extended many times in the last 20 years. The only one's benefiting are companies.
  4. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,837   +884

    I don't think they want to do this, they're probably being pressured by publishers and the MPAA.
    Evernessince likes this.

    R3DP3NGUIN TS Booster Posts: 147   +8

    I'll save $10 a month if it gets too inconvenient to bypass geo restrictions. In Aus the content is largely crap. Back to full-time torrenting at worst!
    noel24 and agb81 like this.
  6. noel24

    noel24 TS Maniac Posts: 299   +152

    Yep. eBay never picked up in Poland because of already established competition and crappy choice. The analogy is quoted here in (social) media all the time since Netflix decided to officially start their service week ago: You pay more than American (10euros vs 10$) for an order of magnitude less content in a country with quarter of american average wage. Also - no subtitles or dubbing, so basically You have to know English fluently. Netflix is DOA here.
  7. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Maniac Posts: 528   +143

    For me: no US content, no subscription.
  8. danny22

    danny22 TS Rookie Posts: 16   +9

    Bye bye netflix.
  9. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,347   +1,943

    I see we don't get live sport here so Netflix will never be an option for me until that changes, if it changes.
  10. wastedkill

    wastedkill TS Evangelist Posts: 1,373   +310

    I just don't get why its super complicated to release x title on the internet for every country with 1 click of a mouse button, like seriously its 2016 not 1992 things change instantly why do companies like netflix try to make things cost more and take more work.
  11. agb81

    agb81 TS Booster Posts: 77   +38

    Is not up to them how things work, they only license shows. If a producer wants their shows to appear only in a select list of countries they can put that in the contract, for them is "my way or the highway", netflix has no choice.

    So far netflix has been "complying" by saying its customer base "please no unblockers" but now, producers are pushing further and if netflix wants to keep licensing shows, they have to comply to producer's demands.
  12. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,618   +494

    Damn, so much for Netflix, and I just signed up for the free first month. I was planning on using VPNs too. Glad I can always fall back on the one reliable form of content acquisition.
  13. agb81

    agb81 TS Booster Posts: 77   +38

    For me in Mx, if it happens, I might as well stick to my landline's provider free service which is plagued with narco and crime content; netflix Mx also has a wide variety of narco and crime related tv shows which I personally don't like, so free service of s*itty programs for me tyvm.
  14. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,890   +645

    I know, I understand that. The thing is, I live in the UK, the pound is worth quite a lot and we're all paying subscribers, I believe at last count the UK had 4.3 million Netflix subscribers which is the second biggest Netflix subscriber by country Netflix serves. Compare the amount of content Canada has, we're properly left out in the cold.

    This is the thinking I simply cannot understand from the film studios. Unfortunately for Netflix, this is going to hit them hard. I am one of those people who are going to get Amazon Prime for the next "Top Gear" and obviously test it out for their other content (I have already borrowed a friends account to watch Black Sails) and the truth is, if Amazon are able to keep up the decent content in the UK then I will be cancelling my Netflix in favor of Amazon.

    Which I will be sort of sad about, I've had Netflix since it first launched in the UK and I've been loyal ever since. But if they are being forced to stop people like me that just want to access the content that, lets face it, I've already purchased in my monthly subscriber fee, then I am going to be looking else where. And it makes me sad :oops:
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
  15. ypsylon

    ypsylon TS Enthusiast Posts: 69   +9

    Couldn't care less. Tested few times never found anything worthwhile (OK recorded live 2 documentaries, that's about it). For Netflix it's like shoot in both foots & knees. Most regular non-US N users don't care about localized content. All or nothing. Simple as that. And biggest supporter of piracy [MPAA] can't do squat about that. Torrents will do well for many decades.
  16. Peter Lugs

    Peter Lugs TS Rookie

    Limit content by Netflix account home, not IP. Trying to "catch" people by IP address is a crazy idea by lawyers who don't understand modern tech. I work regularly in Canada, UK, USA and France. Keep it simple. Let me subscribe and pay in a market, then stream the content of that market, regardless of IP.

    Being able to pay in a given market establishes a "Netflix residence." This is how even normal things work and how the agreements between Netflix and content providers should be written. Then Brits living in France or Italians on holiday in Canada can fire up their usual Netflix without "IP-retending" to be home.

    Using the IP address of one's current gadget as a proxy for account residence is just wrong-headed. Duh, whoever got the idea to build rights management on the back of IP addresses was clearly not the brightest penny in the pot. As it expands into multiple markets, Netflix has an opportunity to get this right.
  17. rhdevries

    rhdevries TS Rookie

    That's funny. In Canada people pretend they're in the USA to get the better stuff.
    Burty117 likes this.
  18. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,890   +645

    Did I said Canada... I meant North America ;)

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