Netflix will begin clamping down on proxy servers and VPNs over the next few weeks as the company seeks to enforce licensing deals it has in various regions. The video streaming service has traditionally been rather relaxed about people using proxy servers to access its content, but this seems to have changed as it is now serving over 190 countries across the world.
There is a massive difference in the amount of content available across regions, largely due to licensing issues with various governments and broadcasting companies. For instance, Malaysians are only privy to about 10-percent of the content that Americans have. Shows like The Flash and Agent Carter are already licensed by other local content operators, and are therefore unavailable.
Most remedy this issue by using proxy servers and VPNs to spoof their locations and access additional content. Something that Netflix is now apparently uncomfortable with, and is taking action against these services. The users on VPNs will not be penalised for attempting to circumvent the regional differences. Instead, Netflix is stepping up its ability to detect proxy servers and discover the actual location of the viewer.
“Some members use proxies or “unblockers” to access titles available outside their territory. To address this, we employ the same or similar measures other firms do. This technology continues to evolve and we are evolving with it. That means 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.”
However, Netflix has offered some consolation to users who lament their lack of content. The streaming service is still working towards offering its entire library to the world, and the announcement sounds like it is working to regain the broadcasting rights for a majority of the shows.
Of course, this isn’t the only problem Netflix users are facing. There have been calls for it to censor its content in some markets, and the MCMC has even been directed to meet with Netflix officials to explain Malaysian broadcasting regulations.