Netflix terms of use threatens to terminate accounts using VPN

Bad news for UK viewers trying to watch US content and vice versa

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The Independent Tech

Netflix is clamping down on users accessing the service through a VPN, with its updated terms of service threatening to "terminate or restrict your use of our service, without compensation or notice".

Virtual private networks are used for a variety of reasons, but with regards to Netflix usually to combat limited download speeds and access content restricted to other territories.

Here's the key clauses:

Article 6C

You may view a movie or TV show through the Netflix service primarily within the country in which you have established your account and only in geographic locations where we offer our service and have licensed such movie or TV show. The content that may be available to watch will vary by geographic location. Netflix will use technologies to verify your geographic location.

Article 6H

We may terminate or restrict your use of our service, without compensation or notice if you are, or if we suspect that you are (i) in violation of any of these Terms of Use or (ii) engaged in illegal or improper use of the service.

The rule was spotted by Reddit user CrypticCraig, who claims a Netflix customer service rep confirmed in Chat that "Netflix opposes the use of VPNs".

Netflix is pretty forward-thinking with regards to internet piracy, so I wouldn't expect them to start charging around banning users however.

Last week, its CEO promised to reduce the need for proxy and VPN workarounds by announcing plans to make its content global, something which Netflix told us will hopefully make this whole VPN issue 'moot' in the long run.

"Virtually crossing borders to use Netflix is a violation of our terms of use because of content licensing restrictions," a spokesperson said. "We employ industry standard measures to prevent this kind of use. We have not recently made any changes to these measures or to our terms of use.

"By way of background, what we do is nothing different than what traditional TV networks do to prevent, for example, someone from outside the US from watching the Olympics on Further background: We are working to become a global Internet TV network and, as part of that, will have more global rights to series, features, docs, comedy specials, etc., this should make this whole issue moot overtime."