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Netflix wants to tackle VPN piracy with global content



Sneaking across virtual Netflix borders could soon be a thing of the past, according to the streaming service’s CEO.

Company boss Reed Hastings says Netflix has a simple plan to stop pirates using virtual private networks (VPN) to access different versions of the service.

Currently, if users want to access the US version of Netflix outside of the states, they need to trick the company’s servers into thinking the video request is from the US using a VPN.

Some users do this because the US version of Netflix has different available content than the UK equivalent, so VPNs allow a greater range of content to be accessed.

The VPN scenario is someone who wants to pay and can’t quite pay,” explained Hastings, speaking to Gizmodo Australia.

“The basic solution is for Netflix to get global and have its content be the same all around the world so there’s no incentive to [use a VPN].”

He added: “Then we can work on the more important part which is piracy.”

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Australia is currently one of the biggest Netflix piracy hubs, with some 200,000 households in the country accessing Netflix US using VPNs.

Fortunately, Netflix is planning an Australian launch next week, which should help cut down this number significantly.

Once VPN workarounds are made redundant, the company then wants to shift its focus onto tackling piracy.

The VPN thing is a small little asterisk compared to piracy,” said Hastings. “Piracy is really the problem around the world.”

“The key thing about piracy is that some fraction of it is because [users] couldn’t get the content. That part we can fix. Some part of piracy however is because they just don’t want to pay. That’s the harder part.”

He added: “As an industry, we need to fix global content.”

Matthew Bunton

March 31, 2015, 4:30 pm

This is good news finally, set up one store front and then just concentrate on the content. I really like Netflix but as a long time user I struggle for new content.

Hamish Campbell

March 31, 2015, 10:15 pm

I'm not sure that pirates who pay are doing it right.


March 31, 2015, 10:15 pm

As an Australian I am outraged by this constant harping about piracy. We are the descendants of a criminal class sent to the furthest point on the planet by our Imperial overlords and if you force us to do things like pay for stuff you are actually committing cultural genocide. Go stick it in your hat you greedy corporate bastards.


May 10, 2016, 10:41 am

Even if Netflix was a viable global option, isn't internet speed in Australia relatively slow? Until the Geo restriction crap is gone, downloads > streaming and who could forget about meta data retention laws, only vpns are ultimate solution for torrenting in australia.

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