Netflix without the chill
Tech-savvy Aussies have been using proxies to change their location and access US content. Netflix is now conducting a crackdown to prevent this.
After a hard day at work sometimes you just want to curl up on the couch with a responsible beverage and watch Netflix. Say you want to watch Bob’s Burgers or Parks and Recreation to get a little laughter going, guess what? You cannot.
Tech-savvy Aussies have been using proxies and services such as Getflix and uFlix, to configure their DNS settings and IP address to change their location into appearing from a different country. It serves the purpose of Aussies being able to stream media content specific only to particular geographies.
However, Netflix is conducting a crackdown to detect Australian customers that are using US Netflix accounts.
Why the strictness?
Whilst Netflix is available across 190 countries, content deals ensure that the availability of movies and TV shows differ across regions. This is mainly due to local companies putting up a competitive fight by securing content deals to attract, and maintain, loyalty of customers that are local to the company’s’ area. For example, in Australia, Foxtel holds the rights to some of the more popular US TV shows.
Although, you cannot exactly blame Aussies for geo-dodging. Netflix in the US offers an estimated 5,659 titles. The Aussie Netflix offers even less than half of that number. It’s not enough that America has ‘In-and-Out’ burgers but must they claim the beloved TV shows as well?
Netflix in the United Kingdom, Mexico, Brazil, and Canada offers more TV shows and films than the Aussie Netflix. Also, the price of Netflix subscriptions is pretty much the same in all those countries and Australia.
Besides not being able to relate to any of the “white Christmas” songs, this is another hit that Aussies take as spoilers for popular TV shows are all around us. We all saw Jon Snow’s doom coming.
While geo-dodging is not illegal in Australia, it goes against Netflix’s Terms of Service. Netflix is responsible to show specific media content only in areas that they have a license for.
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Ananya is currently working in our content team as a Paralegal, aiming to provide free legal guides to facilitate public access to legal resources. Pursuing her interest in the regulation of emerging media, her work centres on the legal and business concerns engendered by the application of traditional legal principles to social media.