As you may have noticed if you use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) package, Netflix recently started blocking the use of such software with its service. At the moment Netflix signs region-locked deals with TV producers and movie studios, and it doesn't want you watching content you're not entitled too.
That's upset a lot of people, not least the folks at digital rights organisation OpenMedia. Their petition to get Netflix to change its mind has attracted some 47,000 supporters (and counting) as of Sunday 15 May.
It's not just about region-shifting, according to OpenMedia: it's about the extra privacy and anonymity that using a VPN provides. "The internet is the best content delivery technology available, but big, outdated business models want to block, throttle, and carve it into Cable TV 2.0," reads part of the open letter to Netflix.
Netflix and stress
Of course the simple solution would be for the likes of the BBC, Universal Studios and everyone else to sign Netflix deals that put all their video in all countries at once. That's something that it's working towards, slowly, Netflix says (opens in new tab).
In the meantime the on-demand streaming service is stuck between the corporations who provide its content and the users who pay its bills. No wonder Netflix is ramping up efforts to produce its own shows and movies and sidestep the problem altogether.
Our love affair with Netflix shows no signs of slowing down just yet. A recent survey by data site CordCutting.com found that the average subscriber spends more time per day (two hours) watching Netflix than socialising, reading or exercising put together.
Our verdict on the best streaming service on the go:
- Check out the best VPN (opens in new tab)