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Netflix Executive Admits a VPN-Blocking Policy Might Be Impossible To Enforce (theglobeandmail.com) 172

An anonymous reader writes: Netflix's chief product officer Neil Hunt has admitted that the company has 'no magic solution' to subscribers who use VPNs to access content not licensed for their geographical region, commenting that 'It's likely to always be a cat-and-mouse game'. Hunt notes that Netflix can only rely on lists of VPN IP addresses, and that these can easily be changed. However since Netflix subscribers pay for the service via geographically linked credit and debit cards, this article wonders if Netflix really believes that hundreds of thousands of their subscribers are permanently in migration or on holiday — and also that venerable old VPN IP addresses — ones so well-known that they are routinely challenged by services such as CloudFlare — never seem to have any trouble connecting to a Netflix account.
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Netflix Executive Admits a VPN-Blocking Policy Might Be Impossible To Enforce

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  • Netflix doesn't care (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Fwipp ( 1473271 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2016 @03:46PM (#51295155)

    Netflix doesn't care if people outside the Approved Content Zone are watching (and paying). They only have to pretend to care, to appease the other corporations they're licensing media from.

    • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2016 @03:54PM (#51295249) Homepage

      No, I'm sure Netflix doesn't care -- probably because they know they can't do anything about it, and because it's not really hurting their bottom line.

      Of course, the media cartel will start pushing for even crazier locks to ensure nobody can ever see something without their express permission.

      I doubt they'd ever pull it off, but I can imagine someone demanding hardware fobs with built in GPS or something equally draconian and idiotic. Or having such a system me required to be included in computers.

      Because as far as they're concerned, they should have veto rights over every piece of technology on the planet.

      • by The-Ixian ( 168184 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2016 @04:01PM (#51295319)

        As a matter of fact, at some point in the last year or two, Netflix went to a "per screen" subscription model.

        This implied (to me anyway) an acknowledgement of the fact that people share accounts with friends and family.

        Instead of putting a damper on account sharing, they used the opportunity to offer different screen numbers at different price points.

        They could have started banning accounts or locking to a particular IP or something, but they didn't take the heavy handed approach.

        It was a really smart move and shows that they are flexible.

        • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@wo[ ]net ['rf.' in gap]> on Wednesday January 13, 2016 @05:04PM (#51295899)

          They could have started banning accounts or locking to a particular IP or something, but they didn't take the heavy handed approach.

          IP blocking doesn't work - because someone can watch Netflix at home using their home broadband, while someone else is using a mobile connection. Or maybe if they're all together, mom, dad, and the children are each on their own devices using their own data with 4 separate IPs.

          That's why limiting IPs isn't feasible - there are very legitimate reasons to have multiple IPs even if everyone is in the same room!

          • IP blocking doesn't work - because someone can watch Netflix at home using their home broadband, while someone else is using a mobile connection...

            You're missing the point of "IP blocking" in this context. It's not about a user accessing from multiple IP addresses. It's about people using a VPN service to make their connection come in from another country. If some content is not licenced for viewing outside the US, for example, viewers outside the US can use a VPN provider to tunnel their traffic through a US IP address. It is this IP address - one being used by a VPN service provider to tunnel in unauthorized viewers - that Netflix would be trying to

            • Furthermore, it behooves the VPN provider to switch addresses frequently because any given one has got to have 50-60% clientèle that are using it for Netflix. Just as it is bad business for Netflix to piss off their customers by blocking them.
            • by mysidia ( 191772 )

              viewers outside the US can use a VPN provider to tunnel their traffic through a US IP address.

              It's not a "Cat vs Mouse" game; it's more like a "Cat vs Tick" game

              .....Or they can get a friend in the US to provide a private VPN for them to use.

              Or they can colocate a personal server in the US, and VPN through that.

              Or they can stand up short-term Amazon EC2 compute instances in a US datacenter with a private VPN through that, using the AWS API to turn it on only when they need Netflix.

              There are some c

            • It is this IP address - one being used by a VPN service provider to tunnel in unauthorized viewers - that Netflix would be trying to block. And yes, it would be effective, although they admit it's "a cat and mouse game" because the VPN provider can switch to using a different IP address.

              No, it's not effective. It's not that the VPN provider CAN switch it that it probably does. It likely has hundreds if not thousands of endpoints. Me, personally, if I wanted a VPN, I would just spin up an amazon or digital ocean image. If they blocked my IP, it would take only a few minutes to spin up another one or in the case of elastic IPs I wouldn't even need to spin up a new instance just assign a new IP to an existing instance. The only way to block VPN would be to start blocking large chunks of

          • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
            Yes, but Netflix must realize that three people could be in the same room on three different devices, all connected through a different geo gateway, so that one account has 3 connections to the same physical location that "appear" to be from three different countries. I've bounced between countries a bit getting the show I wanted to work, and Netflix doesn't care, when they could easily find and stop it, if they wished.
        • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

          As a matter of fact, at some point in the last year or two, Netflix went to a "per screen" subscription model.

          They did? I stream Netflix on my smart TV, with a set-top box type device, and on three or four PCs and tablets, and very rarely my phone -- and I think I pay $8/month.

      • by Nikker ( 749551 )
        AFAIK being a Canadian subscriber, the US version of Netflix I would have the lions share of content. If so then they would be able to see what content was viewed by users who have registered information from other locations. They could use this to make offerings and tailor their service to other markets.

        So really it's not a loss for either the content owners or Netflix, they get to see a preview of demand and negotiate accordingly to bring that to the location that favors them the most.
      • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2016 @04:03PM (#51295337) Journal

        No, I'm sure Netflix doesn't care -- probably because they know they can't do anything about it, and because it's not really hurting their bottom line.

        The Netflix CEO recently gave a speech as CIS where he said "sharing is good". They're happy with multiple people watching a screen, they're happy with parents sharing their password with kids (and the multi-screen option looks cheap to me), because they know people would rather have their own accounts, and likely will when they stop being broke students.

        I think he gets it.

        • by Coren22 ( 1625475 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2016 @04:11PM (#51295425) Journal

          My Netflix account even has three sub accounts for the same price! Each account has its own preferences and watch list. There is no reason for my kids, or my parents, to go out and get their own accounts as there is nothing they are missing out on by sharing my account.

          • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

            Sub accounts? Is that new?

            Netflix has profiles for different users on a single account but its not compatible with older netflix clients.

            I would not call the profiles features sub accounts though as the profiles are not password protected and you have to trust everyone on your account not to change the password nuke your viewing history or swap to your profile and watch an entire season of mlp.

          • by mjwx ( 966435 )

            My Netflix account even has three sub accounts for the same price! Each account has its own preferences and watch list. There is no reason for my kids, or my parents, to go out and get their own accounts as there is nothing they are missing out on by sharing my account.

            I have the most basic level of Netflix (My ADSL tops out at 3 gbps on a good day, thanks LNP for killing the NBN) and I can still create several profiles. It's actually rather annoying as I would rather Netflix just logs in with my profile by default.

      • There is nothing you can do about people using VPNs, but you could easily make other changes, and not care about the IP address - acknowledging and recognising the people go on holiday.

        That's a bigger bugbear with some of these services than the content restrictions - take Mubi. I can download content onto my tablet for offline viewing. But if I happen to turn the network, it realises I'm not in the region that I downloaded the content, and suddenly i can't watch it. Hey, it happens to be that I'm on holida

        • by SimonTheSoundMan ( 1012395 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2016 @04:50PM (#51295771) Homepage

          Apple does the same with movies and TV programmes purchased through iTunes. Went to America, purchased a few films to watch, with my British iTunes account. Get home, cannot watch them as soon as I connect with a British IP. Go back to America, all is fine.

      • Short of a built-in GPS unit in every computer that can signal where the device is on the globe, what exactly can even the media giants do? They're the ones that have fixated on IP addresses as the be-all and end-all of geolocation, and that is coming home to roost.

        Maybe all these media companies should just sell their bloody products on the Internet, regardless of location of producer or consumer, and quit sawing off their own fucking legs.

        • what exactly can even the media giants do?

          Tie the content's geo-stamp to the billing address of the account's credit card. Sure, some users can jump through the hoops of getting a foreign card, but most won't bother.

          • You do realise you can set your billing address to anything you want, arbitrarily, anytime?

            I do this all the time to get around credit-card geolocation.
            I call up my CC company (CapitalOne, Chase, USAA, or Bank of Montreal), and say "I'd like to temporarily change my billing address" and then give them an appropriate out of country address. It's nice if it exists, but it doesn't have to.

            And if you have paperless billing, it really doesn't matter at all.

      • The Iranians know how to spoof GPS signals quite well. Be suspicious if they start pushing for more geolocation. If you believe the tinhatters, all Intel Management chipsets already have latent 3G hardware which could be repurposed for this use case.

      • Well, netflix is now available in my country - but I am still using a VPN service for the American version - I simply am not willing to pay the fee for a catalog less than a quarter as big as the one I get now - and critically, one that misses almost every single show I actually watch one it.
        Netflix internationally seem to actively avoid including shows already licensed to local television networks - despite the fact that the decision to stream can primarily be driven by the advantages streaming has over c

        • >> Netflix ... seems to actively avoid including shows already licensed to local television networks.

          Probably because, the local provider has full broadcasting rights to the content in the country, which usually include internet streaming. (those are being split out in newer contracts)

    • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2016 @03:56PM (#51295261)

      ^^^ This. Plus the smart ones realize that that someone paying $8/month is the best they'll get: if they cut them off at the knees, we, I mean they, will just go back to being 100% pirate.

      • YES. And their monies are better spend licensing content and PRODUCING the great content they are producing. So, geoblocking would be a lose-lose anyway.
        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          And their monies are better spend licensing content

          Perhaps the geoblocking makes the license affordable.

          • It may make the license affordable, or available at all, since movie and TV show rights are often sold country by country. It's still not in Netflix's interest to enforce it any more than their license says they have to.

    • by xfizik ( 3491039 )
      And that is fine with me. I really don't care if they care.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Pretty much this.

      I wish media companies would hurry up and just get rid of this retarded problem.
      The major issue with this system is advertising. Geographically related ads is a stupidly trivial thing to create dynamically in a data stream.
      Person streaming from UK, splice UK-related ad streams instead of US, instead of French, instead of whatever. Simple.
      The other issue is simply plain stupid tradition, ignorance and greed.

      The more these companies try to push back at the ONLY way media is going to evolve,

      • Geo blocking has very little to do with advertising. It's all about the content owner selling EXCLUSIVE rights to a TV network, cinema chain, pay TV channel, etc. The exclusivity only applies to a region. It a method for maximising profits in a global market, content owners get to sell as many exclusive licenses as there are regions.When those agreements expire they start selling non-exclusive licenses. Netflix and VPN make a mockery of their exclusive licenses, however Netflix is now a major distributor an
    • I came here to write exactly this.

    • Especially since most violations of the Approved Content Zone are subscribers who are temporarily away from home. It should not be difficult for Netflix to make sure that a subscriber lives in the place where he claims to be, and only a dedicated buccaneer would go to the trouble of keeping up a subscription at a US address while actually living in Thailand. VPN users are going to be Americans who happen to be in Germany the week they want to stream Netflix content that is tagged as US-only.

      I'll watch my sh

    • by nobuddy ( 952985 )

      Exactly what is happening. they know the regional licensing agreements and all that are horsepucky legacy that will die. they just have to give it lip service and minimal action to appease the dinosaurs that won't let go of them.
      Soon enough they will either die out or learn to adapt to new media. netflix is big enough that the content creators do not want to lose the venue.

    • Even more than that. They DO care. It is in their best interest that you can use VPNs to watch their content. Netflix is one of the few ways someone can see the latest (insert show here) before it gets available in their country due to territory protection. If that wasn't possible anymore, they'd very likely actually lose subscribers. Because, well, why bother if I don't get what I want out of it?

      • Exactly !
        Before netflix over VPN became viable here, I pirated tons of shows - not because I have a problem with paying (I actually bought the entire X-files and House series on DVD in the past) but because the local TV stations were always at least one and more commonly 3 years behind - and I wanted to see the things my friends around the world were discussing and see them while the real-world-events being referenced were still relevant.
        I also wanted to see some shows which were not released here at all be

    • Netflix doesn't care if people outside the Approved Content Zone are watching (and paying). They only have to pretend to care, to appease the other corporations they're licensing media from.

      And the governments of countries they operate in

  • I bet the guys at the big china great firewall dev team are laughing their arses off.
    • It's like anything we've ever sold to China. They buy ONE, then take it from there.

    • I doubt that. The Chinese don't care where a VPN ends, which is what Netflix needs to target. What the Chinese target are the entry points, which has to be known in order to even have service.

      • Netflix has client apps in any platform that the content is accessed through. You can't simply access Netflix without those, so they're also "entry points", just not at the transport level. If Netflix wised up (which I hope they don't), they may very well enforce regional lockout through a lot of (usually hard to change) system parameters that broadcast a specific device is in a specific country or restricted region (PAL, NTSC anyone?). They just have to look them up and filter there. When I say hard to cha
        • by Sique ( 173459 )
          According to the specs of my TV set, it supports both NTSC and PAL(+). Only SECAM is left out. Of course it's a cheap one, because only a high price brand will make the effort to create specific versions for different markets. The cheap ones go the one-size-fits-all-route. I've seen this happening first with DVD players, where the number of formats they play was somehow inversely proportional to the price tag, and the very cheap ones even left out regio coding.
  • by Ost99 ( 101831 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2016 @03:52PM (#51295223)

    Netflix wants global license deals for the content, they have no self interest in blocking VPN users.

    Netflix will do just enough to make sure they don't get content pulled by the content owners or jeopardize future content deals. If they can convince the content owners that the VPN problem cannot be solved, all the better for both Netflix and the users.

    • by Mitreya ( 579078 )

      If they can convince the content owners that the VPN problem cannot be solved, all the better for both Netflix and the users.

      Or maybe it should be illegal to do Geo-blocking, particularly if it applies to customers who reside in the correct region but happen to be traveling this month. Why should they even need to use VPN to access their paid-for account while traveling??
      I am certainly amazed that DVD region restrictions are (apparently) legal. Why does globalization (e.g. H1-B) only work for corporations?

      • by Ost99 ( 101831 )

        Yes, absolutely.
        Globalization has to cut both ways.

      • by Sique ( 173459 )
        If I remember correctly, region coding was declared illegal in Australia, and it was declared non-enforceable in New Zealand. The argument at the time that convinced the judge(s) was that only 700 english titles were released for region 4 (South America, Southern Pacific), while at the same time more than 17,000 english titles were available in region 1 (U.S., Canada), and the motion picture industry couldn't explain why they needed that much time for a regional release.
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Established coax networks in different nations want to bring exclusive shows to hype their ability to release in time with a US or UK release date.
      With video online any service can bring that same show to that nation at a lower cost per show or season or series.
      Thats why nations keep been lobbied by established national coax or network brands to protect their regional total control over a market.
  • MPAA is that you? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by The-Ixian ( 168184 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2016 @03:53PM (#51295229)

    This article certainly seems to be slanted toward the interests of the copyright holders.

    I think that as long as Netflix makes a token effort, that is all that is required. As has been stated many times in these comments, "Follow the money"

    Why would Netflix be interested being heavy handed about who they sell subscriptions to? There are legitimate reasons someone might be streaming over a VPN. Perhaps the VPN user is worried about ISP snooping or is on a public network.

    Anyway, I am not super optimistic about Netflix's future. Now that other content providers have their own distribution systems, they don't really need Netflix any more. I find less and less content on Netflix all the time. I actually find that I am watching my add-free Hulu more than anything these days.

    • NBC, ABC, CBS, CWTV, MTV, Disney, and more offer streams of recent episodes of their prime time shows with commercials of course or possibly without or with more content for a small monthly fee. Netflix isn't what it used to be but there are plenty of other options, right now aside of from the netflix originals they don't have anything I can't get on hulu or free and legal somewhere else, I cut cable TV a few years ago when all those stations started offering their prime time shows and haven't really felt l

      • by rsborg ( 111459 )

        NBC, ABC, CBS, CWTV, MTV, Disney, and more offer streams of recent episodes of their prime time shows with commercials of course or possibly without or with more content for a small monthly fee. Netflix isn't what it used to be but there are plenty of other options, right now aside of from the netflix originals they don't have anything I can't get on hulu or free and legal somewhere else, I cut cable TV a few years ago when all those stations started offering their prime time shows and haven't really felt like I was missing anything.

        Sorry, commercials are a showstopper for me. YMMV, of course, but Hulu doesn't come close to what I use Neflix for. Which is probably why they're doing so well.

        • I primarily use Netflix to binge on older TV shows. Since I don't have a cable subscription, I miss many of the "hot" shows. But then will watch them a few years later when they show up on Netflix. I also like some of the Netflix originals; "The Killing" was probably my favorite TV series of all time.

          Hulu is great now that they offer an add-free service. Even with the ads, it wasn't anywhere near as bad as regular broadcast TV. But now that it is ad-free and because it has almost exactly the same back catal

          • Most of those "hot" shows are offered straight off the networks website with commercials of course and you can watch a lot of OTA stations on a live stream from their own site just a tablet with chrome and playon the roku.

            Plex has channels for the big networks and can organize your dvd collection to watch on your roku, xbox, play station, etc...

            • One thing that I have noticed about some of the TV Network's apps is they require proof that you have a local cable subscription. Since I don't, I cannot use those apps.

              I do use Chromecast to stream stuff from my PC and I do use OTA.... (when I am particularly bored).

              I have looked at Plex, but I don't want to pay yet another bill. As it is, my cord cutting (between Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hulu ad-free) cost me about as much as a basic cable bill (around $35/month) anyway.

              • The life time subscription was $49 when I got plex now it's $149... I do enjoy it very much but there are other options that are free and open source now like emby and Kodi although Kodi is not officially supported. At the moment I would still probably buy a lifetime subscription just because I like the interface and channels and it's so much easier to setup than Kodi.

        • I keep Netflix because I like some of their original content, they have back catalogs of entire shows I can binge watch without comercials, and it's organized all in one place as apposed to searching back and forth between dozens of free sites only to watch it with commercials. What I really don't miss is paying $30 for the previously mentioned stations with commercial interruptions when I get the same service free 24 hours later and more conveniently packaged in a stream I can watch at my convenience not o

    • ones so well-known that they are routinely challenged by services such as CloudFlare

      Also, I am constantly challenged by CloudFlare, but I live in the US.

      At least, they could have mentioned a less crappy service.

    • Now that other content providers have their own distribution systems, they don't really need Netflix any more.

      This is exactly why Netflix is going gangbusters on producing their own (high-quality) content.

      Once the digital-distribution playing field has levelled somewhat, the content-owners will (once again) hold all the cards. Netflix is preparing for that.

  • by mitcheli ( 894743 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2016 @03:56PM (#51295267)
    I had to use VPN's to watch my properly paid for Netflix account while I was stationed overseas on a US Military Base. For all intensive purposes, I was on US soil (meeting geographic requirements), using a US leased commercial provider and was a US serviceman using a US form of payment. How much more US can I be besides being on the mainland? Yet, my access was blocked. One VPN later and my viewing was restored. Sometimes we need VPN's to make it all work.
  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2016 @04:02PM (#51295333)
    The root cause of the problem is the ignorance-driven policies of the media content industries, who continue to deny that the world is getting smaller.

    .
    Media content industries who want to continue to live in the good ole days.

    Media content providers who are so afraid of technology that they are unable and {gasp!} unwilling to leverage it for profit.

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      Media distributors (not the content providers) make a pretty good buck dividing the world up into territories. And demanding a cut from the providers to do business in their town.

      Pretty much like the mob used to do for garbage, cabs and contracting in places like New York City and Chicago.

  • by dyslexicbunny ( 940925 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2016 @04:08PM (#51295391)

    To me, that's a sign people want to watch whatever content and there's stupid bullshit in the way of making it a reality.

    You'd think that's a sign that we'd just make all content universally available all at once so everyone can enjoy it and discuss it with likeminded people. But there are too many vested interests making that implausible. Sigh.

    • You'd think that's a sign that we'd just make all content universally available all at once so everyone can enjoy it and discuss it with likeminded people.

      Part of the problem is that "content providers" want to reserve the option to charge _less_ in poorer markets. For example, a lot of U.S. textbooks are sold in China and India at lower prices, albeit on cheaper paper and maybe with a Chinese cover. There is no legal obstacle to importing these books back to the U.S. and selling them at a lower price than U.S. textbooks. So with DVDs, they introduced a technical obstacle: preventing DVDs sold in one region from being played in players made for another region

      • Part of the problem is that "content providers" want to reserve the option to charge _less_ in poorer markets.

        And more in other western countries.

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        Or perhaps it's that the copyright owners sold long-term exclusive syndication rights to certain programs in certain regions many years ago, before Netflix Instant Watch was a thing.

  • Take My Money! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I pay for content when I can get it, honestly these services are MORE CONVENIENT than fiddling around with torrents / content streaming sites

    Does the industry make more money by blocking content than not?? If so how???

    Why even create a pirate economy? To sell DRM which is expensive and easily circumvented??

    I don't understand it and I probably never will...

    • by txoof ( 553270 )

      I pay for content when I can get it, honestly these services are MORE CONVENIENT than fiddling around with torrents / content streaming sites

      Does the industry make more money by blocking content than not?? If so how???

      Why even create a pirate economy? To sell DRM which is expensive and easily circumvented??

      I don't understand it and I probably never will...

      Yes, the industry does make more by blocking content. They do this by selling the rights to a show in each market at a value they perceive to be fair for that market. The owners of "Myth Busters" lease the rights to show it in Norway and the Netherlands on Discovery. Discovery wants **exclusive** rights to show the new episodes and whatever rerun deal they've worked out. If viewers in these markets get the show on demand via Netflix that would dilute the audience that Discovery is counting on and thereby

  • It's amazing how much of a big deal they make about this, when they still get paid regardless of where you watch.

    The content industry seems to put Netflix VPN users right up there with being bad as pirates! Umm, hello, they're still PAYING for their content. And the content owners are being paid, even if the path is different than it would be otherwise.

    It's a big mess; we really need to start wiping out geographic barriers to content availability. One world, one internet.

  • Personally, I'm really into documentaries and the likes. The problem is Netflix US has all these utterly terrible american style docs which stop every five minutes to recap due to ad breaks which aren't there (in case you haven't seen them, the streamlined Mythbusters are a joy if you know where to get them because they chop out all this crap)

    Anyway, Netflix UK has a lot more really good documentaries and since they're for UK viewers, particularly the BBC where there aren't adverts, you get a solid hour of really good information rather than 'Aliens' almost immediately followed by 'Before the break, Aliens'.

    If Netflix can switch to a global model all the better but for now I have little choice but to pay a little extra to enable me to fully utilise the service because if I was stuck with the US version I don't think I would care enough to pay the monthly subscription.

    • Personally, I'm really into documentaries and the likes. The problem is Netflix US has all these utterly terrible american style docs which stop every five minutes to recap due to ad breaks which aren't there (in case you haven't seen them, the streamlined Mythbusters are a joy if you know where to get them because they chop out all this crap)

      You'll enjoy this: That Mitchell and Webb Look - Gift Shop Sketch I'm looking for a gift for my aunt [youtube.com].

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      Anyway, Netflix UK has a lot more really good documentaries and since they're for UK viewers, particularly the BBC where there aren't adverts

      This and it's not just the Beeb that produces good doco's.

      I didn't understand why I've never seen a PBS produced documentary before Netflix... I watched one and found out not only was it preceded by the electronic equivalent of pan handling but the quality was terrible.

      Finally, I remember watching a US produced documentary called "WWII in HD" when it should hav

  • There is something they could do that's more effective than blocking by IP address - not that I want them to start doing this however...

    Apple don't do any checking on your IP address, rather they check the billing address of your credit card. It's a lot more difficult for someone living overseas to get a credit card with a US billing address than it is to get a VPN.
    Further, they must do some kind of monitoring of the usage of accounts that have a US billing address but the bulk of the content on the account

  • I watched the latest Sherlock on the BBC iPlayer connected via my VPN provider. Then I discovered the BBC mini-series "And then there were none" (really good, btw). I love my VPN service! BTW, I see no notification whatsoever on the BBC site that says I'm not allowed to watch from the US.

    My VPN is the best $2.50 a month for my entertainment dollar. And that's all I spend per month to watch videos other than my $35/mo. Internet bill.

  • My preferred local video rental store (still in business as of last week) has 10,000 distinct titles in their back catalog (yes, most of them in archaeamorphic DVD). Any three titles $7 for a week.

    Chugging them back on due date: kind of a pain in the ass.

    Blowing off this entire discussion thread: all kinds of priceless.

    I have a list of 500 highly regarded movies we have already watched, and another 250 highly regarded movies pending in my watch queue. I never come away from the video store with less than

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