Netflix set to launch next year in Australia, where it already has thousands of subscribers

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netflix, australia, video streaming

Web-based subscription TV service Netflix is gearing up for a launch in the Australian market, according to Graham Burke, co-CEO of Village Roadshow Pictures, a leading Australian film company that has released some major Hollywood motion pictures including The Great Gatsby, The Matrix Trilogy, and more.

"They're talking to our people about supply of products, so they are opening and coming to Australia", he said, adding that the company is "opening operation in Australia next year". Netflix has yet to comment.

Rumors about the video-on-demand giant's launch in the Australian market have been doing rounds for a year now, with the latest reports pegging an official launch for 2015.

One of the major hurdles that Netflix would have to overcome is signing local content deals. There were also reports that the Seven Network has considered making deals with other telco and digital television companies, including Optus, Freeview and subscription service provider Quickfix, to launch an online streaming service to rival Netflix, should it launch in Australia.

With an estimated 50,000 to 200,000 subscribers, Netflix is already quite popular down under without officially launching, where people use VPNs to get around geo-blocking. Experts say that while streaming itself would not amount to any violation of copyright law in Australia, breaching the terms of use to access a streaming site could be considered a crime.

The news comes as the Australian government is considering harsher proposals to crack down on internet piracy. If Netflix does launch, the move would bring an end to the argument used by people for online piracy about the lack of a Netflix-like service in Australia.

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