Lorraine Toussaint (L) and Samira Wiley (R) in a scene from “Orange is the New Black” Season 2
Lorraine Toussaint (L) and Samira Wiley (R) in a scene from “Orange is the New Black” Season 2

Netflix doesn't deny VPN crackdown, says workarounds for international content were always banned

Users of video streaming service were outraged yesterday after company appeared to crack down on tools that allow for the streaming of content from other countries

Andrew Griffin
Monday 05 January 2015 10:24
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Netflix’s terms have always blocked tools that allowed customers from other countries to watch films and TV programmes from other countries, a spokesperson said yesterday, as the company was reported to have blocked the use of such technology.

Users said yesterday that Netflix should expect lots of cancellations after the company cracked down on users that circumvented geolocation restrictions, apparently under pressure from movie studios to uphold licensing rules.

But such rules and preventative measures have always been in place, a spokesperson told The Independent.

"Virtually crossing borders to use Netflix is a violation of our terms of use because of content licensing restrictions," said Joris Evers, in corporate communications at Netflix. Those terms have not recently changed, and the company has long banned the use of such technologies.

"We employ industry standard measures to prevent this kind of use," Evers said. That is the same kind of technology that is used by traditional broadcasters to stop the viewing of video outside of licensed locations — such as those used by the BBC to stop their coverage of the Olympic Games being watched outside of the UK.

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