Netflix has apparently been cracking down on people using VPNs (or virtual private networks), which enable users to watch content that isn't licensed for their country by masking their actual IP. For instance, if you're a UK member of Netflix you won't be able to watch Twin Peaks, Black Mirror, Friends, or Freaks & Geeks (I mention only cause I've been watching it recently by changing DNS codes on my Wii – HA HA) – but why?


That old bug bear. Held up, I'm sure, by the most righteous defenders of intellectual property as a Very Important Facet of whatever it is they're trying to defend, but in other ways just a bat-and-ball game for the upper echelons of companies battling it out to see who gets to hold the rights (and the most money), and in the long run just a barrier for the people the content was actually MADE FOR IN THE FIRST PLACE, that is, audiences, consumers, people. As always it's money, and not just money as you or I would understand it, but money money money and more money.

But Netflix has reared its head to deny any claims that it's renewed its efforts at cracking down on VPN users – instead, it simply says that there has been "no change" in how it deals with such connections, and that it had always blocked VPNs when possible, and will continue to do so.

However, it certainly sounds like a more vigorous effort on the part of the streaming service. TorGuard, one of many VPN providers, said this:

"This is a brand new development. A few weeks ago we received the first report from a handful of clients that Netflix blocked access due to VPN or proxy usage. This is the very first time I've ever heard Netflix displaying this type of error message to a VPN user."

Perhaps, in this case then, Netflix should be a little more assertive with licensing deals, and tell certain companies, distributers or whoever own the rights to this or that, to piss off if they want to limit the amount of watchers the show actually gets. When put like that, it sounds stupid. And when you take into consideration the nature of our world today, the burgeoning internationalism helped along every day, every second, by the internet, our ever-connected and inter-connected lives, the very idea of even limiting a piece of "intellectual property" (a hyped up name for a fucking TV show, made by a team of hundreds at a big studio who don't necessarily need any more money) to one single country is absolutely ludicrous.

And surely, on the whole, those who have and use Netflix are more likely in general to not pay monthly for Sky or BT or whatever to have channels like Comedy Central (who are showing Friends; the reason why Netflix UK can't have it), meaning that it's not really taking viewers away from Comedy Central but more giving more viewers to Netflix as a whole. Is it a case of Netflix being bullied? Or maybe it's more indirect, and maybe we're all just victims of high-up politics play in studios and distribution, same as it is in actual government.

C'mon, Netflix! Be better! Don't give in!