Netflix has kept to its plans to crack down on Canadian users who still make use of Virtual Private Networks. Most Canadian Netflix users, use VPNs to watch shows such as Degrassi: Next Class, TV shows which are not available on the Canadian version but only on the American version because of licenses.
At the moment, few details are available on how many Canadian users are affected, but error messages have appeared on some fee-based VPNs mostly when Netflix customers in Canada try to establish their location as either the UK or the US, two countries that are richly blessed with Netflix content.
Paypal has also joined in the fight against VPNs after rumors saying that they have started making payment services to VPNs they believe are violating the copyright law. Some Canadian users of Unblock-Us, say their provider has been the latest casualty in this fight for content and tv shows.
The Canadian content has around 4,209 movies, a low number compared to the US version’s 6,870 movies. Homegrown teen drama’s such as Degrassi and other popular movies such as Inglorious Bastards and Blue Velvet are some of the shows and movies that are excluded from the Netflix Canada version. Netflix US version no doubt has more content that the Canadian version. The Canada market is important for Netflix with a reported 4 million users, and also one-third of a million have been reported to use VPNs to access the content they want.
Analysts and observers say Netflix methods to block content on VPN are unclear at the moment. They do however believe that the company, cross-references a customer’s IP address from subscription agreements against a blacklisted proxy IP list denying access and streaming only location based content.
Leading global provider, NordVPN, says Netflix’s action has the potential to undermine users effective and legitimate use of private technology.
“One has to wonder why Netflix went through all the trouble (of) blocking a small number of users, and the likely answer to that is that the company has been pressured by rights-holders to do so,” NordVPN said in a blog post.
“Many Internet users feel their choices had been significantly limited. It is also unfortunate that they are discouraged from using VPN and proxy services, which indirectly discourages the use of security software that makes their Internet browsing secure and private.”
Netflix announced the ban on VPNs after it had expanded its service to most nations on January 14. Most nations have varied quantity and quality of content.
The company is doing this because of rights holders and the need to protect its own content, which led to takedown requests of most sites which hosted pirated show versions, as reported by TorrentFreak. Netflix also highlights links which they believe relate to pirated material on Google.