Australian rights-holders are calling for a ban on users who use a VPN to access the American Netflix. This could become a problem for those who access Netflix from overseas, or anyone who uses a VPN when connecting to the internet. So why is there pressure for Netflix to ban VPNs?
By using a VPN you can access otherwise restricted content online. For those in Australia, access to Netflix just isn’t possible locally as the service hasn’t even set up there. Legitimate customers pay their money to Netflix in America, and by using a VPN, access the US version of the streaming service so they can watch TV shows and films legally. So where is the problem? It all comes down to the technical and legal minefield that is licensing laws. The rights-holders for US shows in Australia feel they are losing out on money, thanks to Australian customers using services overseas.
However, it will be unfair to ban just anyone and everyone that use VPNs, not to mention impossible, as accessing region restricted content is only one benefit of a VPN. For many users, the primary reason to connect to the internet through a VPN is for security reasons. One such use are company employess needing to access files away from the office, files that the company don’t want to host online unsecured. Or for those who browse the internet out of the country or use unsecured public internet, these people connect through a VPN in order to keep themselves and their data safe.
This move will surely cause contraversy and outrage across the internet, but instead of targeting those who are more than happy paying a legal service, companies should be careful of the alternative. If they won’t provide countries like Australia with Netflix, or at least a service with similar content, people will only turn to the other easy option to access films and TV online; piracy. Those who pressure Netflix to ban VPNs might reconsider when the illegal alternative will no doubt cause more outcry from studios and companies the world over. But they will only have themselves to blame when their paying customers turn elsewhere.
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