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Netflix planning to remove location restrictions to stop VPN users

Contrary to an earlier report that Netflix wanted to shut down geo-location swappers using VPN services, the video streaming service might be looking into a global content offering regardless of country.

Netflix Global would provide content across all countries, regardless of licensing agreement. This seems like a long term goal from CEO Reed Hastings, who claimed the real mission was to stop piracy across the world.

Stopping piracy is partly done by offering content without barriers. Game of Thrones is the most pirated TV show in the world because until Season 5, non-US viewers had to wait weeks for the episode to be aired.

“The basic solution is for Netflix to get global and have its content be the same all around the world so there’s no incentive to. Then we can work on the more important part which is piracy," said Hastings. "The key thing about piracy is that some fraction of it is because [users] couldn’t get the content. That part we can fix."

These content license agreements between studios need to be cut to allow Netflix Global to happen, but Hastings is confident that Hollywood has started to embrace the global approach to TV shows and movies, as seen by HBO’s commitment to airing Game of Thrones simultaneously in all countries.

It is still murky water for Netflix though, considering DVD sales and other streaming services continue to grab exclusive deals. It forces content that is already available on US Netflix to be delayed in the UK and other countries.

Hopefully in the next year - as we see further adoption of streaming by the film and TV industry - it will become easier for Netflix to license content globally.

Netflix has one of the largest audiences in the world with 70 million subscribers, meaning once content is available globally it might gain popularity. Breaking Bad has shown this to be true, failing on regular TV but growing into one of the most popular shows through Netflix.

Other fan favorites on Netflix like Lie to Me have gained a surge in popularity, with rumours it will return to US TV in 2016.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.