VPN Users ‘Pirating’ Netflix Scare TV Networks
This is a discussion on VPN Users ‘Pirating’ Netflix Scare TV Networks within the Entertainment forums, part of the Community channel category; VPN Users 'Pirating' Netflix Scare TV Networks | TorrentFreak While Netflix is without doubt a hit service credited for doing ...
- 03-03-14, 02:54 PM #1
VPN Users ‘Pirating’ Netflix Scare TV Networks
VPN Users 'Pirating' Netflix Scare TV Networks | TorrentFreak
While Netflix is without doubt a hit service credited for doing something positive in the battle against piracy, it needs to spread its wings even more widely. There is one region in particular that would love to see it arrive on its shores, but probably won’t for some time.
Australia is often criticized for its appetite for unauthorized downloading but it’s a country with a better ‘excuse’ than most for engaging in it. Not only is legal content much more expensive than in the US, the region is continually under-served, meaning that locals resort to file-sharing networks for shows such as Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad, turning Australia into a per-head piracy front-runner.
Netflix is blocked in Australia, partly because the big US studios have an exclusive deal with media giant News Corp to show content. On the Internet, however, news travels fast. Googling “netflix australia” turns up dozens of articles explaining how to circumvent the Netflix geo-blocking mechanism to (shock, horror) actually PAY to watch Netflix in Australia using VPN services and proxies.
Naturally there are no official figures on how many people watch Netflix this way but estimates range from 20,000 up to 200,000 subscribers. Highlighting how the TV networks view these people, an article this morning in News Corp-owned The Australian went as far as labeling subscribers as “pirates”, even though they are paying for the service.
“There is concern at local networks about the growing impact of the US company flouting international regulations by accepting payments from Australian credit cards, despite maintaining a geo-block that is easily bypassed by VPN manipulation or spoof IP addresses,” the paper said.
But do subscribers deserve to be called pirates when they are showing the clearest possible buying signals? In 2011, then Attorney-General Robert McClelland gave his opinion.
“In relation to the use of VPNs by Australians to access services such as Hulu and Netflix, on the limited information provided there does not appear to be an infringement of copyright law in Australia,” McClelland told The Australian, the same News Corp-owned publication now calling Aussie Netflix subscribers “pirates”.
But with Netflix not having to go to the expense of setting up in Australia in order to service the region, rivals in the same market area are also feeling uneasy.
“The studios have licensed Netflix to distribute content on particular terms in the US and other larger markets, they haven’t licensed Netflix for Australia,” said Quickflix chief executive Stephen Langsford this morning.
“I have no doubt that the studios are in discussions with Netflix about VPNs because it is blatantly in breach of terms and Netflix is essentially getting a free ride into Australia.”
Quickflix currently has around 100,000 full subscribers so if the highest estimates are to be believed, the company has potentially half the 200,000 “unauthorized” subscribers Netflix already has in Australia.
The only real solution to the situation with Netflix, VPNs, piracy and the Australian content problem is to properly service the region with legal video in a timely fashion and at a reasonable price. By now it’s a stuck record, but anything else simply won’t work.
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Re: VPN Users ‘Pirating’ Netflix Scare TV Networks
Someone does something a copyright holder doesn't like "oh, they're pirates". The industry slaps the "piracy" label on everyone; they even like to call people who DVR programmes "pirates".
It's a term they use to just criminalize anything. There was a company over here that offered "local broadcast TV" over the internet for a mere $8/month; they were in fact complying 100% with the laws in providing it. However, TV networks stepped in, accused them of copyright infringement and labeled all the subscribers "pirates". One federal judge ruled it wasn't infringement and the company was legal. NEtworks didn't like that...continued to call the company and subscribers pirates and appealed to a higher court; who bought in to their BS and ruled it was infringement. Was it infringement? No. From a legal standpoint not one copyright law was broken...the TV networks just wanted more money so they found someone who would side with them. It's still caught up in the courts as the third appeal was refused since "the laws aren't clear and we don't need the TV networks to bully people around".
Of course, they were upset because these places were simply privately streaming the over-the-air terrestrial signal; and TV networks really don't like you using those...they'd prefer you get it from a cable/satellite provider so they can double dip on the profits and get you to pay them. ("local" channels negotiate retransmission fees with cable providers; cable providers in turn charge you for carriage...we're paying twice for locals).
In order for infringement to be commited; it's a complicated thing. Streaming media which doesn't get stored on your device cannot be considered infringement. There's also the issue of "you can only steal what you're able to buy". If you can't subscribe to Netflix in australia; then you legally cannot steal it. One of the satelllite piracy companies ran out of Canada for years, somewhat legally. You couldn't purchase DirecTV service in Canada; therefore you couldn't steal the signal.
Basically this is news-corp trying to make everyone "feel bad" for doing this so they can push subscribers to whatever inferior product they offer.
Corporations are not nice.