VPN users: Say goodbye to (US) Netflix

Netflix VPN
Netflix Originals Narcos, Daredevil and Jessica Jones are all available in the UAE

Netflix has officially announced that any subscribers using a virtual private network (VPN), proxy, or “unblocker” service to access a version of Netflix that is not the one based in their country of location will be bounced over to their local service in the next few weeks.

This announcement followed Netflix’s massive announcement to launch their services in 130 new countries. Even though the launch was highly accepted, an issue that has been discussed globally is content. Netflix is an international brand, but has to maintain regional licensing and laws from most countries. That means, for example, that the UAE doesn’t get Orange is the New Black since it’s rights are with OSN, the UK doesn’t get The Walking Dead and Australia doesn’t get How to Get Away with Murder.

Cat and mouse clicks

This isn’t anything new. Netflix’s terms of service have always forbidden the use of any mechanisms to bypass their software that detects a user location, but now that the streaming service’s audience has grown dramatically, the policy will have to be enforced more heavily.

“If all of our content were globally available, there wouldn’t be a reason for members to use proxies or “unblockers” to fool our systems into thinking they’re in a different country than they’re actually in. We are making progress in licensing content across the world and, as of last week, now offer the Netflix service in 190 countries, but we have a ways to go before we can offer people the same films and TV series everywhere”.

VPN vs Netflix

Will VPN services be able to up their game to surpass Netflix’s new security measures? That’s still to be seen. But clearly its going to be a cat-and-mouse chase between VPN companies and Netflix for a while.

Here in the UAE, too, many people were using Netflix services long before its official arrival in the region. These very people are the ones to criticise the limitation of content in the country. We sat down with Netflix to discuss this issue and much more.