BUSINESS

U.S. Netflix In Canada Could Be History If Copyright Holders Have Their Way

09/18/2014 12:11 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 00:58 EDT

Major media companies are beginning to lobby Netflix and other streaming services to prevent users from accessing content available in other countries.

Currently, about a third of Canadians who have Netflix access its U.S. service, but that could all end if these lobbying efforts prove succesful.

Simon Bush, the head of Australian media lobby group AHEDA, told Cnet news that discussions to lock Australians out of U.S. Netflix services “are happening now.”

AHEDA represents major media companies such as Warner Bros., Universal and Sony Pictures.

Netflix hasn’t officially launched in Australia yet, but some 200,000 Australian households already access the U.S. version of Netflix.

Some streaming services are already beginning to put such restrictions in place. U.S.-based Hulu has been blocking users who access its service through virtual private networks (VPNs) and proxy servers for the past several months, Torrentfreak reports.

VPNs mask the real location of a computer user by making that computer part of a larger, private network located elsewhere. Proxy servers reroute a user’s traffic through a server to make it look like the user is located elsewhere. Hulu’s ban evidently applies to both.

In Canada, Netflix is also facing calls from the media industry to be regulated like a Canadian broadcaster, and to be required to pay into the CanCon media fund.

Netflix representatives are scheduled to testify before the CRTC on Friday, where they are expected to reiterate their opposition to what they are calling a “Netflix tax.”

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