Netflix urged to roll out VPN ban by Australian right holders

Netflix is being put under pressure to block users accessing the service through a virtual private network [VPN] with the movement against the technology in Australia taking on a new direction.

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Right holders are already lobbying on the issue ahead of Netflix’s launch in Australia with VPNs currently letting many Australians access the US version of the service and all the content that comes with it.

"I don't know what Netflix will do around geo-blocking people using VPNs and international credit cards, but presumably it would fit the business model -- if they've got rights cleared in Australia...and [they're] going to the effort -- that they would want Australians to access their locally-based service. That is just a common sense assumption,” said Simon Bush, CEO of AHEDA, an industry organisation that represents a number of prominent studios including Warner Bros., Universal Sony Pictures and Foxtel, according to CNET.

Right now Netflix has no blocks in place to prevent Australians accessing content via a VPN and Bush certainly thinks that the VPN culture among users is a problem not just being mentioned when it comes to Australians.

"I know the discussions are being had...by the distributors in the United States with Netflix about Australians using VPNs to access content that they're not licensed to access in Australia," he said. "They're requesting for it to be blocked now, not just when it comes to Australia."

Rights holders putting the VPNs to the sword comes a little over a week after the BBC Worldwide called on Internet service providers in the country to keep an eye on anyone using a VPN as they could be partaking in “suspicious” activity.

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Hulu broke with the norm earlier this year when it banned certain IP addresses linked to VPNs from accessing its service and it will be interesting to see the wider reaction should Netflix make a similar move.