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Netflix to actively restrict the use of unblock tools

14 Jan 2016 | Rasmus Larsen |

If you are using an “unblock” service to access Netflix’s catalogue in a different region you might soon be out of luck. In the coming weeks, Netflix will make it much harder to use unblock tools to bypass its geoblocking.

Netflix to introduce geoblocking

Many subscribers all over the world access the US version of Netflix, which has more content. This has been possible by using simple “unblock” tools such as DNS services or proxies. However, as Netflix has expanded to almost every country of the world, it has decided to make it harder to access content in other regions.

Specifically, this means that Netflix will try to restrict the use “proxies” and “unblock” services.

- “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,” wrote David Fullagar, Vice President of Content Delivery Architecture at Netflix.

House of Cards

Working towards a global service

Until now, Netflix has accepted the unblocking practice. They are also quick to acknowledge that the catalogue ideally should be identical in all regions, but it will take time to reach that goal.

- “We are making progress in licensing content across the world and, as of last week, now offer the Netflix service in 190 countries, but we have a ways to go before we can offer people the same films and TV series everywhere,” wrote David Fullagar and continues; “Over time, we anticipate being able to do so. For now, given the historic practice of licensing content by geographic territories, the TV shows and movies we offer differ, to varying degrees, by territory. In the meantime, we will continue to respect and enforce content licensing by geographic location.”

Netflix’s original TV series and documentaries will continue to premiere in all regions simultaneously, but they cannot control other studios’ content. Netflix’s original movies will premiere online and in cinemas simultaneously, too.

Over the next couple of weeks, we will learn just how extensive Netflix’s geoblocking restrictions are, but one thing is clear; if you are using an unblock service you should prepare for change.

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