The fact that Netflix offers different content to different users in different regions, has always meant people have tried to find ways around that geoblocking. One popular method has been to use a virtual private network (VPN) service, but with Netflix's recent crackdown, a lot of users are now considering pirating content instead, according to a new study.
Netflix has had one of the biggest effects on rates of piracy around the world since its inception. By making content easily available worldwide, for an affordable monthly fee, there has been much less reason for heavy media users to pirate. Geoblocking due to content not being licensed in some territories always created a bit of a barrier, but getting around it was never a problem.
Whether you used a VPN, DNS changes or a proxy, Netflix was never too bothered either, as if you were paying for an account, what did it matter what you watched on the platform? Unfortunately for Netflix and those users though, movie and TV studios did care, as they weren't getting paid for licensing in all those regions, so in recent years they've put increasing pressure on Netflix to act.
The problem is, that now that it has, instead of driving people to access content legally, it is instead just driving them to piracy. According to a study by SecureThoughts, 84 per cent of VPN users blocked by recent changes to the way Netflix operates, will now pirate more content because of it.
The study asked 1,000 VPN users several questions about the crack down and the results are anything but complimentary. Just 22 per cent thought it would have any effect on stopping VPN and proxy use on Netflix – and even if it does, they'll likely pirate the content anyway.
What's really sad about this though, is that the VPN users and pirates are mostly just doing it out of necessity. 68 per cent of those quizzed said they would be willing to pay more to have access to the entire Netflix international library. As it stands, only just over half believe it's worth it to be a Netflix member outside of the U.S., which shows there is a real disparity in the amount of available content.
KitGuru Says: If you're a Netflix user, do you circumvent geoblocking to get access to more U.S. content? If your option was blocked, would you pirate more?