I’ve been a Netflix subscriber since 2014 and while I see no issue with torrenting media I’m also happy to pay a fair price for quality content. In-fact many of the DVDs and Blu-Rays that I’ve purchased over the years are a result of me having previously seen the content elsewhere either by piracy download, loan of physical copy or TV broadcast. The best thing you can do for a content creator is to share their work so others can learn of it.
However in Australia consumers who pay for content can be punished for it. Four years ago I encountered region locking on some DVDs that I had purchased in the UK which wouldn’t play in Australia. Of course that wasn’t the first time I had encountered region locking and it hasn’t been the last.
Now four years later I have encountered another hurdle while attempting to purchase content from Netflix.
This did not happen previously, in the past Netflix has been happy to take my money and provide the service that I paid for. But since January this year Netflix has been cracking down on VPN services. It is only today that I found my own VPN blocked.
Since I access the internet exclusively via a VPN (as everyone should) this all but shuts me out of Netflix. Because my internet traffic is routed via the United States I have in the past been able to pay for and receive the same service as a person in the US, until now.
So the result is that I am no longer a Netflix customer. Because even if I were to split tunnel out of my VPN to connect to Netflix locally I would be shoved into the inferior Australian service rather than continuing to enjoy the much larger US catalogue that I’ve been using since before Netflix even came to Australia.
Why should I continue paying for what is now an inferior service?
With Region locked media, Geo(and VPN)blocking, Digital Rights Management and all the other crap (such as un-skippable trailers) that consumers have to deal with when they pay for content. Going to a torrent site and pirating your favourite content still makes a lot more sense than trying to pay for it.