A follow-up from Netflix over VPN: Sacrificing Privacy for Licensing
For years, you and YouTube have been the sole providers of video in our home. Because of you, we do not particularly desire a television, cable package, or Blu-ray collection. You have offered an affordable and legal way to access a quality library of entertainment, something that was previously just not an option. Sadly, that time comes to an end.
In January, you announced that you would further crack down on customers accessing your service through virtual private networks. You (rightly) claim that this allows customers to access libraries that are not necessarily licensed for their country of residence. However, VPNs are the best and only accessible way for the average consumer to protect (or at least make it tough to access) their browsing habits from the likes of Comcast, Time Warner, and the NSA.
In our home, all internet access is directed through a VPN at the router. We are not trying to abuse your system. We route our traffic through an exit node in the same country that we reside in. But, alas, this month you have begun actually to block your streams from our home because you detect that we are naughty customers using “a proxy service.”
You are a global platform providing a tremendous service. I respect your goal to have a single universally available library of content, but you are allowing yourself to get pushed around by the entrenched Hollywood license deals. Use your weight to change the system, not succumb to it! If a content owner does not allow you to acquire a global license, just refuse the deal until they do. I think your customer base will be patient enough to wait for them to come around.
Today, my family’s subscription ends. I will happily give you a second chance should you choose to reverse this business decision and fight Big Hollywood. Until that time, you get put in the corner next to Ticketmaster and Snapchat for aggressively blocking your privacy-conscious customers.
I wanted this to work. I did. It’s not me; it’s you.
a privacy-minded, cable-free millennial