Netflix will crack down on systems that allow consumers to trick the service into showing content from other countries, the company announced Monday. Proxies, "unblockers," and other related technologies are set for the chopping board, in a move sure to cause uproar amongst the general public.
Netflix offers different selections of films and TV shows depending on where the user is based and where the service negotiated rights to content. For example, British users will miss out on hit films like "American Pie," "About a Boy," "Forrest Gump" and "Heathers" that are available on the American version of Netflix.
Meanwhile, American users miss out on the selection available in the U.K. service, including "Beauty and the Beast," "Happy Gilmore," "Home Alone" and "Layer Cake." Proxies and unblockers let users from other countries access selections like these that they would normally be unable to access.
The company made waves earlier this month when it expanded services to more than 130 countries in one day. That news has now potentially become less appealing, however, as users are forced to stick to the selection made available to their country.
The dream of a single, global selection of films and TV shows is still the company's ultimate goal. Netflix maintains it will keep pushing to make this a reality, but for the moment it is restricted by the historic practice of licensing shows and films based on territory.
"We look forward to offering all of our content everywhere and to consumers being able to enjoy all of Netflix without using a proxy," said David Fullagar, vice president of content delivery architecture at Netflix. "That’s the goal we will keep pushing toward."
Netflix closed trading on the NASDAQ Thursday at a share price of $107.06.