Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) is being asked by a group of content rights holders in Australia to block the access of Australians to the U.S. version of the site via Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), a report from CNET Australia reveals.
CNET Australia reports that Simon Bush, chief executive officer of the Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association (AHEDA), said that while his organization is not lobbying Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) to block VPN access from Australia to their U.S. site, “some of the member companies individually are doing that.” It also appears that U.S. rights owners are talking to Netflix, Inc. about the issue.
“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. They’re requesting for it to be blocked now, not just when it comes to Australia,” Bush is quoted as saying.
Additionally, the CEO of the group said that it is “a common sense assumption” that the company would want people in Australia to access only their Australian site once the service launches in the country. He added that some companies which are members of the organization he is heading are discussing blocking VPN access in Australia with Netflix, Inc.
According to CNET Australia, over a quarter of Australians with a subscription to entertainment content providers use the services of Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) even though the company has yet to be launched in the country.
These subscribers are able to use the U.S. version of the popular premium content streaming company’s site by using VPNs and international credit cards, the publication notes. VPNs can trick a site’s system into believing a connection is coming from some other geographical territory which makes it a tool that can be used to defeat geo-blocking filters such as those used by Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) to prevent people from outside the U.S. from accessing the U.S. version of its site.
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) shareholders includes Carl Icahn’s Icahn Capital LP which reported about 1.76 million shares in the entertainment content streaming company by the end of the second quarter of the year.
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