Now that Netflix is available almost worldwide Netflix is turning their eye to people using VPNs, like IPVanish, and smart DNS services, like Unblock-Us, to gain access to content not available where they live. With a program called “Evolving Proxy Detection” Netflix hopes to block services that promise to make it look like you are located in a different country.
“If all of our content were globally available, there wouldn’t be a reason for members to use proxies or ‘unblockers’ to fool our systems into thinking they’re in a different country than they’re actually in,” said David Fullagar, vice president of content delivery architecture at Netflix. “We are making progress in licensing content across the world and, as of last week, now offer the Netflix service in 190 countries, but we have a ways to go before we can offer people the same films and TV series everywhere.”
David went on to say, “Over time, we anticipate being able to do so. For now, given the historic practice of licensing content by geographic territories, the TV shows and movies we offer differ, to varying degrees, by territory. In the meantime, we will continue to respect and enforce content licensing by geographic location.”
“…in coming weeks, those using proxies and unblockers will only be able to access the service in the country where they currently are. We are confident this change won’t impact members not using proxies.”
So it seems the other shoe has dropped after the big announcement that Netflix will be available almost worldwide. It is possible that part of the deal to allow Netflix to offer their content in more countries was the requirement to limit VPNs and smart DNS users.
The reason content owners want to block smart DNS services and VPNs is their desire to sell the rights for their content in every country. It is not unusual for the same movie to be available on Netflix and Amazon Prime but in different parts of the world. Although Netflix seems to want the rights to everything, they are limited to the deals they can strike with content owners.
This is not the first time service providers have tried to block VPNs. Sling TV, HBO NOW, and Hulu have all been aggressive in trying to block VPNs and smart DNS services to varying degrees of success. It will be interesting to see how successful Netflix will be.