Netflix blocks access to VPNs

The online streaming service has confirmed it is utilising measures to stop its customers from illegally accessing services in countries outside the UK.

Netflix has reportedly been forced to deny allegations that it is taking action against its users that use (VPNs) Virtual Private Networks to view programmes that are not licensed.

One of the service providers that has reported access problems (the TorGaurd VPN service) has stated that this is a new development and that just weeks ago they received reports from their customers that Netflix had blocked access based on VPN/proxy usage.

Apparently users of the popular streaming service regularly turn to VPNs to facilitate the viewing of programmes that are not licensed for their country i.e. the popular friends series is licensed for use in U.S however is not accessible for users in the U.K.

Following reports from users that their VPN connections were being blocked by Netflix, Netflix issued a statement stating that they hadn’t made any changes to their policies and that they always blocked access to the VPNs when they could and will continue to do so.

Users have apparently been using VPN services to make connections look like they originate in the correct country. While this practice is not technically illegal it is contrary to the terms of use for most streaming providers.

Online movie streaming providers such as Netflix pay the copyright holders of the relevant movies/programmes a licence fee in order to provide access to the content for their users, it stands to reason that Netflix are subject to certain terms (within the licences) of use regarding their streaming service and are under an obligation to take action when they discover their customers abusing the system.

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