Netflix is a very popular online video streaming service. Even though its only available in select markets right now across North America and Europe the service has thousands of users from different parts of the world who connect to the service using a VPN to make it seem like they’re in a supported market. If reports coming out of Australia are correct the possibility exists that using Netflix through VPN might become difficult, may be even impossible.
Australia is one of the biggest non-US and European markets where as many as 200,000 people use Netflix through VPN. Even though they’re patiently waiting for the arrival of Netflix Down Under this method of using the service doesn’t sit well with Australian rights holders, which include global media juggernauts like Warner Bros., Roadshow and Universal Sony Pictures.
The rights holders are putting pressure on Netflix to plug the hole which allows people to use the service through Netflix. Some distributors in the U.S. aren’t just looking for an Australia-specific ban, they want Netflix to block it for good so that those in markets that are not supported can’t use Netflix.
There’s a caveat though, its not like the service can simply flip a switch and block Australian users who are connecting through a VPN. Netflix would probably have to blacklist the most popular and well known VPN providers. So not only will subscribers in other countries get affected, U.S. subscribers who stream Netflix through VPN will also be barred.
Netflix has not made such a move as yet and there has been no official indication that this is being done, so anyone who is relying on VPN for Netflix can keep their fingers crossed for now. Hulu on the other hand has a policy in place to block foreigners who use VPNs for connecting to the service.
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