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Netflix to Block Proxy Access, “Respect and Enforce” Licensing by Location

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Just over a week ago Netflix went pretty much global, available in 190 countries around the world. But that expansion now comes with some consequences, as the company’s VP of Content Delivery Architecture, David Fullagar, explained in a blog post this morning.

Essentially, Netflix will soon evolve their proxy detection, to prevent members from accessing catalogues outside of their home country. The reason for doing so is because “the historic practice of licensing content” by location has not gone away, yet. In the meantime, proxy access will be blocked “in the coming weeks”:

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.

A Netflix representative told Variety they will use “a variety of technologies to properly geolocate members and to avoid attempts to circumvent proper geolocation.” This means VPN services such as PureVPN may be blocked, but it’s too soon to conclude just how well Netflix will do that. However, one VPN provider source told us they “would not be worried” about the Netflix block, as workarounds will be there.

Content licensing isn’t going away anytime soon, so Netflix can’t change that. But with their hit original programming, such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, these will be available worldwide to all members, at any time. It makes sense why Netflix is pouring so much money into making its own TV shows and movies.

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