If you’ve ever tried to watch Netflix outside of the US, you already know that access to the service is blocked in most countries around the globe. Then again, you’re also likely privy to the fact that using a virtual private network (VPN) based in the US is an easy way to get around this restriction.
It’s a loophole that virtually everyone in the entertainment industry is aware of but nobody has really done anything about… yet.
As CNET points out, Netflix is preparing to come to Australia in an official capacity in the not-too-distant future. The service is already used by an estimated 200,000 Aussies but when Netflix finally arrives Down Under, rights holders want the VPN workaround to the US version of Netflix to end.
In order for Netflix to abide by those wishes, they’d need to blacklist all of the common VPN providers. Doing so, however, would also cut off access to US-based customers that are using VPNs legitimately. It’d also mean that someone from the US wouldn’t be able to use a VPN to watch Netflix while traveling abroad.
On the other hand, once Netflix officially arrives in Australia, odds are that many of those 200,000 or so estimated VPN users will likely opt to simply subscribe to the Australian version. Of course, this is assuming that both pricing and content offerings are the same. If a Netflix account costs more in Australian and / or there’s less content to stream (either of which are highly likely), existing VPN users would probably have little interest in it.