Soon after Netflix announced its truly global expansion earlier this year it started clamping down on VPN users. Many Netflix users take advantage of VPN to bypass geo-restrictions on content, so a user in India can access the U.S. Netflix content because it obviously has the better selection of content. That’s no longer possible as Netflix has taken a tough stance against VPN users and from the looks of it the company is in no mood of backing away.
In a recent roundtable discussion at the company’s head office in Los Gatos California, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that the company has the obligation to respect the content rights that it acquires. “Someone else has paid for the rights in Germany, so we should respect that, just as we would expect the same in return.”
Basically, what he’s saying is that Netflix has to respect that it doesn’t own streaming rights for all content available on its platform for all countries. Subscribers will have to put up with it because they can’t reasonably expect Netflix to continue with this practice of letting them stream content in a country where Netflix does not have a license to stream that content.
That argument makes sense but VPN users point out that not all of them rely on VPNs to bypass geo-restrictions. Many simply use VPNs for protecting their online privacy, others want to evade throttling by their ISP, but when Netflix throws the hammer down on all VPNs it affects those who are not trying to bypass content restrictions as well.