So what if Canadian Netflix doesn’t include 30 Rock?
If you’re like many Canucks,you haven’t let being north of the U.S. edge stop you from watching your favourite TV shows and movies. An evaluated 1.92 million Canadians reportedly use proxy services and virtual personal networks to access the American version of the site.
But that might be relating to to change. Netflix announced Thursday that it will crack down on people who hop the essential fence.
Why can’t Netflix just chill? Here’s what you need to conscious.
Copyright issues lead to geofencing
“Copyright gives the owner of a peek through or movie the right to [sell] that show or movie, and a copyright possessor can divide that right up any way it wants to,” says Ariel Thomas, a copyright member of the bar at international business law firm Fasken Martineau.
There are all sorts of minds why Netflix may only buy the American rights to a movie or show. A common one is disposed to that someone else, perhaps a competitor like Shomi or CraveTV or requite a traditional TV station, already owns the Canadian rights to it, says Thomas.
Although it’s workable to buy the global rights to show a piece of content, the rights tend to be apportioned up in order to maximize profit.
Most of Netflix’s contracts with titles owners are private, so we don’t know exactly how much legal pressure they’re mainly under to enforce geofences. But one leaked 2014 contract between Netflix and Sony compelled the runnel service not only to geofence its site, but to frequently update its technology to cut off people from jumping the fence.
Many ways to skirt the qualifications
Virtual private networks (VPNs) and proxy services thwart Netflix’s country-specific provisions by making it appear that your computer is in the location of your voice. Some websites provide access to these tools free, while others bid a subscription fee.
If you use a VPN or proxy service, you’re not alone. A 2014 poll showed that a third of Canadian anglophone Netflix operators have employed these sneaky tools to access the American location.
You won’t be arrested
“A lot of people, when they hear the word illegal, they regard as of the cops showing up at their door,” says Thomas.
Skulking streamers can breathe a sigh of relief — you won’t go to jail for using a VPN. (But if you’re a VPN service provider who’s profiting from others evading Netflix’s restrictions, you may want to watch out).
You are, however, in violation of the Copyright Act, according to Thomas.
“The copyright proprietor could sue you and obtain a remedy from you in court,” she says. Transportation: you could be forced to y up.
The good news for those on the sketchy side of the law is that no Canadian has been took for using a VPN to access another country’s Netflix service.
Playing whack-a-mole with consumers
As VPN providers become more technologically sophisticated, Netflix finds itself calculated to seek out geofence-hoppers who are getting better and better at hiding.
In January 2015, Netflix spokesman Scarp Edwards told CBC News that “detecting VPN usage is like playing a play of whack-a-mole. By their very nature, it’s difficult to tell how many people are by ssing geofilters.”
Netflix hankerings to go global
The com ny didn’t immediately respond to a request from CBC Intelligence for an interview. But Netflix’s chief product officer Neil Hunt recently reproached the Globe and Mail that “our ambition is to do global licensing and global models, so that over maybe the next five, 10, 20 years, it’ll grace more and more similar until it’s not that different.”
In a blog post, Netflix’s vice-president of satisfy delivery, David Fullager, reiterated that the com ny’s ultimate target is provide the same movies and TV shows worldwide. “If all our content were globally close by,” he writes, “there wouldn’t be a reason for members to use surrogates or ‘unblockers’ to fool our systems into thinking they’re in a different boonies than they’re actually in.”
The bottom line? Netflix wants you to be masterly to binge-watch all your favourite American shows, but realistically it won’t be happening any circumstance soon.
Hey, there’s always DVDs.