Netflix will start cracking down on subscribers who use proxy services to access content that is “locked” in their area, according to a Thursday post on the company’s blog.
This is in stark contrast to the company’s previous stand, where it told Australian journalists at CES in 2015 that it did not have any interest in stopping these workarounds, claiming that bypassing wasn’t a problem due to each region’s library being the best for them and people not doing it.
Because of the complicated nature of some of Netflix’s licensing deals, not all shows and movies on the service are available to users all over the world. For example, the US library has double the amount of TV shows and movies that the Australian one features.
In order to bypass this, many subscribers have turned to internet proxies or other software that can fool Netflix’s servers into thinking their computer is located in another region, “unblocking” their favourite shows.
When Business Insider spoke to Netflix CPO Neil Hunt last week, he said that historically Netflix hadn’t been good at tracking or stopping these types of users. That seems set to change.
In the post published Thursday, Netflix’s David Fullager, who heads content delivery, says that “in coming weeks, those using proxies and unblockers will only be able to access the service in the country where they currently are.”
Fullager also assures users this will only affect those trying to fool the system, and that Netflix’s ultimate goal is to have all content available everywhere.