Thursday 18 January 2018

Netflix will soon be locked to your home region!


Paul Mallon

Netflix has confirmed today that they're working to block the software which allows users to browse libraries from around the world

Netflix is an incredible resource of movies and TV shows which you can browse your heart's content, alongside some incredible original content which is available to all users at the same time.

But the company has many different versions of their content library, which varies from region to region thanks to a tangled web of copyright licenses that are assigned based on region and the studios that control them. It's a complicated issue and the basic result is you won't see everything if you're living in, for example, Ireland. Figures are hard to come by but there are more than 13,000 titles avaiable on Netflix globally (the entire library) and less than 3000 of them can be viewed in Ireland. More info on those figures here.

Which is where VPNs and proxies come in. With a relatively simple piece of software you can make the Netflix site think that you are browsing from a different region or country. In this way, it has been fairly easy for users from Ireland and the UK to access the movie and show library of other countries like the USA and Canada. But not anymore.

In an official blog post, Netflix has said they are committed to enforcing regional restrictions more vigilantly than they have in the past -

"Some members use proxies or “unblockers” to access titles available outside their territory. To address this, we employ the same or similar measures other firms do. This technology continues to evolve and we are evolving with it. That means in coming weeks, those using proxies and unblockers will only be able to access the service in the country where they currently are. We are confident this change won’t impact members not using proxies."

In the past, Netflix has been fairly casual about this issue, so this new tack likely has more to do with pressure from the licensing bodies and studios. It has also become a bigger problem since the company lanched their service around the world, with Netflix now available in over 190 countries. They've also said they're working towards making all content available to everyone without a proxy but we don't see that happening any time soon.

In the meantime, if you have anything you want to watch from a different region try to get to it as soon as possible.

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