Thursday, 21 January 2016 17:05

Netflix down – Aussie geo-blocking has started


Some Aussie users of the international Netflix service have been blocked and are not happy.

iTWire recently reported that Netflix is just living up to its stringent content licensing geo-blocking agreements that are imposed by the content producers – not the company.

Some uFlix customers have seen the message "You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again."

Melbourne based uFlix said the crackdown had so far reached only "a few users", but that it expected the number to grow in the next few days. "The blocking is currently not aggressive and we believe Netflix is only testing the new blocking methods on their customers," said Peter Dujan, uFlix managing director.

uFlix is a company that tries to circumvent Netflix’s legal restrictions – its entire business model depends on that. It allows you to access regionally blocked content. Netflix normally recognises your location automatically and displays content suited for that location. As an example, if you are in Australia, Netflix may not offer “Movie X” on their streaming service, but Netflix users in the UK can view “Movie X” with their streaming service.

Rather than admit defeat, uFlix has sent a clear message to its users. “We are working on a solution to get around these new measures and apologise for the inconvenience to those who are currently only getting Australian Netflix.” In order to create a workaround for what it believes to be a “temporary” setback, uFlix is asking customers to perform a number of different tasks and provide them with feedback.

Another company, Express VPN, said it had also received reports of Netflix blocking its customers from using a virtual private network to gain access to another country’s library. “We are well aware of this issue and our engineers have already started working on a solution for it.” It remains upbeat that Netflix will not be able to stop its customers from using the service. “After trying our solutions, they can already access their Netflix once again,” the spokesman said. “In case you should ever encounter difficulties in watching Netflix, please contact our support team for additional assistance.”

It is likely that Netflix picked an easy target first – companies like uFlix that use DNS-based geo-blockers. iTWire will keep an eye on this issue.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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