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Canadians Turn To Piracy As Netflix’s VPN Ban Bites

Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

Canadians are turning to piracy in droves as Netflix tightens its screws on VPN and SmartDNS services. The country’s Netflix users are clearly agitated and frustrated over what they perceive as the company’s unfair decision to block its content from reaching Canada from across the border even when the customers are willing to pay for it. As a result, streaming users from Canada are not only venting their anger through social media, they are even beginning to indulge in borderline illegal activities in order to get access to their favorite content.

Netflix decided to block unblocker services in January of this year at the behest of copyright owners and Hollywood studios. The crackdown has impacted users from all over the world who were relying on VPN and SmartDNS services to access content that was mostly meant for the US viewers. However, the ban is perceived as unjust especially by the Canadian users who suddenly find themselves cut-off from their favorite shows which are readily available just across the border. As per reliable estimates, there are over 4 million Netflix users in Canada and at least 30 percent of them were using unblocker services to access their favorite shows before the Netflix ban went into effect.

In a way, the grievances raised by Canadian users of Netflix are justified since Netflix’s content library in Canada is almost half of what is available in United States. While Canadian users of the service have access to 3000 titles, American subscribers have access to double the number of movies, TV shows and Netflix originals. The situation is even worse in other geographical areas as far as the number of titles is concerned. For instance, Australian subscribers of Netflix get access to only 2000 titles whereas in the countries where the service was launched just recently, subscribers get access to less than 1000 titles. What’s worse, many of them pay subscription fees which is almost at par with the US version of the service.

To compound the matter further, Netflix is not only increasing its subscription fee in many countries; the company has also decided to serve more localized content to subscribers. In some countries, for instance, the company is planning to serve 20 percent local content and 80 percent international content. This goes against the interests of the subscribers since a vast majority of them just want to see American TV shows and movies. In this scenario, there is no guarantee that consumers would get access to their favorite shows even after paying a hefty monthly subscription fees to Netflix.

Netflix, on its part, has dismissed the concerns raised by its subscribers. The company says that it is focusing on offering original content which is not available elsewhere and is even working to offer similar content subscribers from different parts of the world. However, this doesn’t offer any consolation to Canadian streaming users who are paying a lot of money to the company to watch their favorite TV shows and movies. So it is no wonder to see that many Canadians are ditching Netflix altogether and are increasingly turning to piracy.

October 22, 2016

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