Torrent sites have taken a massive hit recently, with UK ISPs blocking sites, and The Pirate Bay shut down in early December following a police raid.
Netflix geo-pirates might be next on the list; that’s people who use nefarious (read: ultimately harmless) methods to access content in other regions. Oh, the humanity! Won’t someone please think of the studios?
A little background first of all: Netflix content varies dramatically from region to region. Here in the UK, you can forget about Parks and Recreation, The Walking Dead, Salem, Anchorman 2, Friends, the Roseanne Collection… The list goes on.
As such, many customers take measures to circumvent the geo-blocking, ultimately watching content they kinda really shouldn’t.
Heck, here on Mobot we’ve detailed How to watch US Netflix on your UK iPad or iPhone, on your UK Android smartphone or tablet, and your UK Windows Phone. It’s an incredibly simple process, but it’s suggested that some users are suddenly experiencing problems.
TorrentFreak reports: “Netflix is starting to block subscribers who access its service using VPN services and other tools that bypass geolocation restrictions. The changes, which may also affect legitimate users, have been requested by the movie studios who want full control over what people can see in their respective countries.”
That sounds pretty final, but don’t worry; Engadget reached out to Netflix, and a spokesperson for the streaming service says it’s made “no change” to the way it handles VPN traffic.
One theory is that Netflix has been testing blocking methods on a small, temporary scale before rolling it out to all “deviant subscribers” (as TorrentFreak calls them, brilliantly).
Netflix is clearly aware that a huge number of users are accessing content they technically shouldn’t, so it’s a real balancing act: keeping the customers and the studios happy.
How would you feel if you couldn’t access US Netflix from the UK? Would you consider cancelling your subscription? Or are you happy enough with the UK library? Let us know below.