Netflix subscribers (or friends of subscribers) have been able to utilize a virtual private network (VPN) or proxy service to gain access to content in other countries. Unfortunately, the movie and TV streaming service announced today that it will soon block those services so that viewers will only have access to movies and shows that are licensed for the country they're currently in.
The company's aim is to make content universal across the 190 countries it services, but who knows if that's really feasible. Take Better Call Saul for instance. The Breaking Bad spin-off runs on AMC in the United States, but is presented as a "Netflix Original" in the UK. The second season of Better Call Saul hits U.S. airwaves February 15th, with the premiere hitting Netflix in the UK a day later.
At this juncture, Netflix would have to make a pretty sweet deal for AMC to let any or all of the 5.9 million weekly viewers last season wait an extra day to watch the show commercial-free.
What this could mean is that Netflix will focus on its own content while eliminating choices with regional conflicts, so its catalog would be available worldwide without having to worry about licensing agreements and rights and all that. If Netflix is committed to stopping VPN and proxy users, the best way to do so would be to make it literally pointless to use the services.
But one thing to keep in mind is the old adage, "when there's a will, there's a way." And when it comes to bypassing imposed restrictions, the will is usually up to task. Only time will tell if other workarounds come to fruition, but if/when they do, we'll have you covered.