Netflix has denied that it’s starting to lock out customers using VPNs.
Customers using the TorGuard VPN (Virtual Private Network) service have reported running into difficulties when using Netflix, encountering error messages stating that access was blocked due to VPN or proxy use.
A Netflix spokesperson told Recombu: “The story is false. Our VPN policies have not changed.”
Netflix is available in a number of countries but due to rights issues, the content it can show varies from country to country.
In the UK, Sky gets to show big name blockbuster movies on Sky Movies and Now TV months before they arrive on Netflix, Amazon Prime and elsewhere.
But by using a VPN to fool Netflix into thinking you’re accessing it from the US, you’re able to access a much bigger selection of content.
Understandably, rights holders and rivals are not happy about this. Australian streaming service Quickflix has publicly called out Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings on the issue, accusing him of enjoying a free ride in Australia.
One of the many results of the extensive Sony Pictures hack was the revelation that it wanted Netflix to take action on paying customers who used VPNs to access region-locked TV shows and movies. Using VPNs to access overseas content violates Netflix’s terms of service.
Getting round the geolocation restrictions isn’t that hard right now, but due to the pressure, it’s expected that Netflix will be forced to pull the shutters down on VPN-using customers.
For the time being, Netflix is officially saying that no-one is being booted out of the party.