Netflix is banning you from watching other countries’ films and TV shows

No more Friends

It’s easy to get round Netflix’s country limitations and watch shows from the US, German and Australian versions of the site if you’re bored of the choice on the UK page. But in a blog post today Netflix announced they’re going to start banning sites and extensions which let you access the US and other international sites. They’re called VPN servers (Virtual Private Network) and let you get around content licensing restrictions. If you use VPNs, you’ll know them as Hola or ExpressVPN. The statement from Netflix said:

“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.”

People have been using Netflix unblockers to see different films for years, getting around the ridiculous rules which mean the UK version has Legally Blonde 2, but not the original. In the US they have 3,000 more shows than us, so it’s only natural – and the company themselves basically even claimed they were fine with it last year. There’s even a site dedicated to finding out what other countries have on their Netflix so you can switch over and watch. The US have The Walking Dead, Mad Men, US Office (which we recently lost), New Girl and even Mean Girls. Netflix Australia even have all the Harry Potter films.

It's over

It’s over

Now perhaps in a move away from the Netflix and Chill phenomenon, they expanded to 130 countries practically overnight so look to be taking licensing a lot more seriously. The statement added:

“Some members use proxies or “unblockers” to access titles available outside their territory. To address this, we employ the same or similar measures other firms do. That means in coming weeks, those using proxies and unblockers will only be able to access the service in the country where they currently are. We are confident this change won’t impact members not using proxies.”