Netflix plans to crackdown on access to geo-restricted content | Fieldfisher
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Netflix plans to crackdown on access to geo-restricted content


United Kingdom

Netflix's announces plans to create roadblocks for users who attempt to use VPN's and proxy pirates to access geo-restricted content.

On 14 January 2016, vice president of Content Delivery Architecture at Netflix, David Fullagar, announced that "while the company would continue to break down borders in order to offer content to the broadest possible audience, measures will be taken to ensure that content licensing agreements are respected". In the coming weeks, Netflix are seeking to crack down on individuals who use VPNs, proxies and similar tools in order to gain access to geo-restricted content. Users engaging in such activity will face 'roadblocks' when trying to access content available outside of their territory. This will ensure that users are only able to access the service in the country where they are situated. Currently, Netflix in the US offers access to more content than in the UK and individuals often use VPNs to gain access to the US version.

This announcement comes at a particularly interesting time. Netflix is seeking to limit cross border access at a time where Portability Regulations have been released to facilitate cross border access to content in line with the digital single market strategy. In their announcement Netflix did however express that, over time, they "anticipate being able to…offer people the same films and TV series' everywhere". This suggests that they do intend to operate in line with the digital single market strategy in the long term, but that this may be a slow process in order to ensure viability.