Netflix to crack down on people who watch shows not meant for their territories

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Netflix, the VOD service which was recently opened up to 130 new countries including Zimbabwe has said that it will be clamping down on subscribers who use proxy services or “unblockers” to access content that isn’t meant for their territories or regions.

As global content provider Netflix doesn’t have the rights to show some of the major series that have been its major highlights in all of the new territories it has explored.

The rights have been secured by other distributors, notably MultiChoice in the African market. Through DStv, the Naspers owned company has the exclusive privilege to distribute shows that include Breaking Bad as well as Netflix original series like House of Cards.

In a blog post posted on its site, David Fullagar, the company’s Vice President of Content Delivery Architecture highlighted the variance in new market entry and securing licensing for all its content in these new territories. He also pointed out that Netflix would be evolving its technology to match the evolution of “unblockers”.


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.

While this announcement will likely offer some form of consolation to holders of content that is being viewed on Netflix but shouldn’t, the real test will be how effective Netflix’s measures will be in the face of evolving “unblocker” technology.


  1. Anthony Somerset says:

    they ultimately won’t be able to block VPN based solutions that are not proxy/dns based 🙂

    1. Dolos says:

      Very true. But Streaming via VPN sounds painful, you reckon one could stream HD content?

      1. Anthony Somerset says:

        depends on the VPN end point at each end, not with a low end laptop for certain

        you can also choose VPN technologies or tunnelling technologies that you can configure to lower the security settings if you are concerned more about performance than security

        OpenVPN is one such technology that comes to mind, failing that you could just open an unecrypted GRE tunnel between 2 servers if you have the right operating systems and know how

  2. ZBC / Netflix says:

    I would rather say goodbye to what seems like a digital “ZBC / Netflix” if what they are currently offering to Zimbabwe is anything to go by.

  3. Sagitarr says:

    The challenge will remain as in other areas like virus “engineering” with the criminals/bad boys ahead and the “police” behind….. i.e. until data charges come right down such that the effort to bypass formal, legal channels are not worth the “value” of the effort. Cyber-Policing efforts will also need to be implemented by legislation through artistes/IP organisations similar to ASCAP in USA.

  4. maBlanco says:

    Nyangwe zvikaita basa zvineBasa Rei?

    Until content is accessible and affordable, this challenge for content providers will always exist. same-fanana nePiracy.

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