Netflix blocks an increasing number of overseas users from accessing its US content

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Last month, Netflix announced that it was cracking down on those people who use proxies to watch content on the streaming site that isn’t available in their own country. Its first step was to target specific VPN services, such as Australia’s uFlix; then, PayPal joined in the geoblocking fight by severing its payment processing agreement with Toronto-based VPN UnoTelly.

Now, it seems that Netflix has moved things up a gear, as reports are pouring into Reddit from users across the world who are finding that they can no longer access the site using VPNs and DNS workarounds.

Users in Spain, Germany, the Czech Republic and the UK have reported that the previous methods they used to circumvent Netflix geoblocking are no longer working. “Since yesterday, using a VPN while accesing Netflix will cause an error (M7111-1331-5059) and a message saying you must disable it in order to watch content,” wrote user eduazy. “I'm personally considering cancelling my Netflix subscription since 90% of the content I watch isn't available in my country. (sic)”

VPN companies claimed that there was little Netflix could do in order to stop people using their services to access location-restricted content on the site, but it seems as if the company is pouring a lot of resources into this battle.

Reports also say that Netflix is even blocking VPN’s that don’t actually change a user’s location.

While there are those in the UK who say they can no longer access Netflix using a VPN, not everyone in the country is facing the same problem. But there’s always the chance that this may change as time goes on.

Netflix itself says that it has no choice but to enforce the ban, due to the "historic practice of licensing content by geographic territories.” Whatever the reasoning, Netflix will doubtlessly lose an ever-increasing number of international subscribers the more VPNs it manages to block.

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Adhmuz

TechSpot Paladin
Decide with your wallets, that is the only way to make a stand. If enough people leave NetFlix it will pressure them to do something more than just blocking people from accessing the content they want. I would suspect the majority of people in regions with limited selection of content are subscribed to NetFlix to use VPNs to gain access to the USA's library of content. Blocking these people will just have them resort to piracy.
 

yRaz

Nigerian Prince
Decide with your wallets, that is the only way to make a stand. If enough people leave NetFlix it will pressure them to do something more than just blocking people from accessing the content they want. I would suspect the majority of people in regions with limited selection of content are subscribed to NetFlix to use VPNs to gain access to the USA's library of content. Blocking these people will just have them resort to piracy.
see, the problem here is that netflix is being pressured by content owners to do this. If they don't do this then they risk losing content from their library.
 

Thorney

TS Enthusiast
I know I dont blame Netflix but they must realise that most people smart enough to circumvent regions are the sort of people that probably used to pirate tv shows until they could do thid and they will just go back and do it the old way even if its not as easy, safe or userfriendly as clicking on a Netflix link.
 

madboyv1

TechSpot Paladin
I know I dont blame Netflix but they must realise that most people smart enough to circumvent regions are the sort of people that probably used to pirate tv shows until they could do thid and they will just go back and do it the old way even if its not as easy, safe or userfriendly as clicking on a Netflix link.
I'm sure Netflix knows this, but it's up to the content owners to realize this. That, and to figure out a better way to license content for global consumption instead of regional consumption.
 
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Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
We all know where this is going to lead. People paying for content can no longer watch said content. If you cannot get it through legitimate means, piracy is the only way to go.

First the YouTube Ordeal and now this. I wonder how many times content companies have to shoot themselves in the feet to realize what they are doing only has a negative effect on their bottom line.
 

lripplinger

TS Addict
It is such utter horseshit that content is blocked via geography to begin with. The Hollywood studio system needs to be taken down. What the hell is wrong with them? People around the world want to view the content, and are will to pay to view it. And yet, the old system still continues to strangle people by the balls. It is just like how you have to buy TV channel packages, when you might only watch a couple of the channels in the 200 channel package you were forced to buy, just to view those couple channels! When will this crap ever end?
 

robb213

TS Evangelist
We all know where this is going to lead. People paying for content can no longer watch said content. If you cannot get it through legitimate means, piracy is the only way to go.

First the YouTube Ordeal and now this. I wonder how many times content companies have to shoot themselves in the feet to realize what they are doing only has a negative effect on their bottom line.
Big wigs never learn. You'd think they'd want the longer term profit and wider exposure, but nope. Modern business in this regard makes no sense to me.
 
R

Raoul Duke

I too wish the problem of content providers vs. geographic restrictions would go away. Different content for different countries, movies released and available only in certain countries, DVD, Blu-ray region restrictions. The companies at the top of the entertainment heap are global multinationals, would be nice to see them sort this out.
 

Emexrulsier

TS Evangelist
As of last night I was still able to access US netflix using an alternate DNS from the UK. I am also one that will cancel netflix and return to torrents etc if I can no longer access the US site. The UK one in comparison is utter tosh, even more annoying when you see BBC items on the US ... BBC items that we bloody paid for in the first place!!
 

Edito

TS Addict
Decide with your wallets, that is the only way to make a stand. If enough people leave NetFlix it will pressure them to do something more than just blocking people from accessing the content they want. I would suspect the majority of people in regions with limited selection of content are subscribed to NetFlix to use VPNs to gain access to the USA's library of content. Blocking these people will just have them resort to piracy.
Very valid point, Netflix became available in my country very recently, many people subscribed and I personally can't imagine my living room without it and a friend of mine showed me the content I can watch with a US account I already knew but I said to my self keep it like this but for the sake of curiosity I saw in his home and damn the difference it's just too great and I feel ripped for paying the same and having a lot less...
 

Nikhil S

TS Rookie
Netflix actually is making money and doesn't mind VPNs. Just that it's been forced to crackdown in the garb of copyright law. Surely there will be a way out. Hola or other prominent ones have no chances. I tired Ghostpath and SlickVPN that seem to work.