Open Media has created a petition asking Netflix to stop blocking customers using Virtual Private Network services to access their larger American repertoire. Click here for details.
In response to potential copyright issues Paypal has decided to stop offering their services to VPN services. And unfortunately that means that those of us who want to secure our tablets, laptops and phones whilst traveling or using public wi-fi will need to pay using other methods.
The first VPN company to receive notice was Canadian company UnoTelly, whose account have been limited by Paypal on the third of this month. And although other VPN providers appear to still be offering Paypal as a payment option, they are expected to be limited soon.
VPN services are not illegal but their use to view copyrighted content that has been limited to a specific country is technically illegal, even when payment has been provided to legitimate services like Netflix.
Netflix is working on providing more material to Canadians but people will always be tempted to use VPN to access the American version of Netflix as long it provides more content.
Netflix has issued a statement that they are working on offering content universally and will therefore start blocking Canadians from their American service.
“Some members use proxies or “unblockers” to access titles available outside their territory. To address this, we employ the same or similar measures other firms do. This technology continues to evolve and we are evolving with it. That means in coming weeks, those using proxies and unblockers will only be able to access the service in the country where they currently are. We are confident this change won’t impact members not using proxies.” – January 14th,2016 Blog Entry
There is doubt in regards to the possibility of blocking proxy services like VPN on the net but if they do license more content the need for such a service would be reduced, which is great news for Canadians.
I’ve tried Netflix a few times and found myself leaving shortly after joining because of a lack of content. And now they’ve got more competition because of services like Shomi and Crave TV so it is in their best interest to start offering more content to Canadians.
BTW, if you are subscribed to a VPN service don’t get rid of it unless you do not use public wi-fi often. You can use it to secure the smart phones, tablets and laptops you use when you’re away from home.
Whether you think it’s too slow, spotty or expensive, the CRTC wants know.
So, the election results are in and now it’s time to start asking questions.
What parts of Bill C-51 will remain unaltered and what changes are to be expected under the new government ? Will Canadians be burdened with extra costs to implement these surveillance programs ? What measures will be taken to keep the data secure ?
Does the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement include further intrusions into our copyright ? Will the public be consulted in regards to the key provisions of this agreement prior to signing ? Will our recent reforms be bypassed and superseded by foreign entities and lobbyists ?
We will of course all need to wait until the next budget to know what investments the new government is planning for our digital strategy. But we should know who will be assigned to the key cabinet positions shortly.