back to article Big Content wants Aussies blocked from Netflix

Australia's television rights-holders are increasingly agitating against locals accessing Netflix by presenting apparently-US IP addresses to the streaming service. In short order, Quickflix (which has been working for some time to sign up local ISPs to carry its content) and TV broadcasters have been taking their case to …


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  1. scottyman

    If only there was a legitimate alternative...

    Like Netflix. Telecom (now Spark) has announced it's launching it's own content and streaming arm, which I completely get, as partnering with Netflix might raise the ire of Sky (in Australia, read this as Foxtel/Big Content)

    Telstra would be ideally positioned to partner with someone like Netflix, had they not already sold their soul to big content - but I figure ultimately the long term vision should be to harmonise the delivery of content across multiple platforms. Big Content in Aus really need to pull their socks up, and their heads out of their collective arses.

    Either provide us with legitimate options, or try to deal with the underlying issues - there's no benefit to anyone to criminalise these activities, especially since it's been so widely adopted.

    1. GrumpyOldBloke

      Re: If only there was a legitimate alternative...

      there's no benefit to anyone ... especially since it's been so widely adopted.

      There is huge benefit to politicians allowing problems to fester until such time as the aggrieved party is prepared to pony up the dollars to get it fixed. Public comments by politicians that reflect a strong position but no actual action are a guide to said party that the donations are heading in the right direction but just a little bit more is required to get it over the line.

  2. cyke1

    Comes down to scope of the contracts, if netflixs contract for licensing doesn't restrict Australia then not much they can do legally. They can try to push for laws to block them but in the end it will just piss off the people. They have to tread lightly on this cause pissing people off and blocking access to content in hopes they come to them for it ends up having completely opposite effect.

  3. alinuxer

    Crap !

    What a bunch of crap, use VPN and watch as much Netflix as you like from anywhere, all traffic is encrypted, the TV networks can show some proper shows, For anyone in the rest of the world who does not actually have to worry about over-agitated TV networks use SmartDNS which is easy to setup and supports all your devices. See

  4. Shane Sturrock

    You know what? I would happily use the likes to QuickFlix if it had the content. There's bugger all there. My TV and TiVo are both capable but a bunch of sad BBC back catalogue and a smattering of movies I've already seen long ago isn't going to cut it. The problem isn't the companies trying to deliver, it is the contracts that mean these companies can't get the material while Netflix can. Now, I don't use Netflix either but I know plenty who do and the cross border issues for content occur there too. In a world with digital delivery this all seems pathetic. It reminds me of years back when I used to buy LaserDiscs from the US and the importer told me they couldn't send me the copy of Jurassic Park I had ordered because Pioneer UK was releasing it. It didn't matter that the UK release was much later, or that the speed was wrong (4% pitch up) or that I had ordered the CAV special edition. In the end, I got the version I had pre-ordered but this is just the same old refrain. As long as the borders exist in the media companies peanut minds, the consumer will get shafted and treated like a thief when we are in fact paying for the material. Film distributors like the record companies have no reason to exist in the digital age so they try and legislate themselves into relevance.

  5. Rather Notsay

    Cartel? What Cartel? I don't see no price fixing and market restriction?

    It always baffles me why the ACCC doesn't wade into these companies for setting up a cartel. They collude nationally and international to restrict the availability of goods and in doing so, impose fixed pricing. This is often done by rights holders, not copyright owners: retailers, not manufacturers. Imagine Meyer asking JCP to refuse to sell Levis to Australians on holidays and suing anyone who imports Levis to on-sell them. They might even ask the airlines to make sure nobody who goes overseas does so to buy goods that Meyer has a monopoly on in Australia. In any other industry, the ACCC would be all over it.

  6. glen waverley

    buy dvd on holiday ...

    Seem to recall that it might be illegal to change the region code on yr aussie dvd player to play the us code dvd you bought on yr US holiday. Possibly under the humorously named us-oz free trade agreement.

    so much for that strategy then.

    1. SisterClamp

      Re: buy dvd on holiday ...

      Exactly. Aussies don't realise just how bad the "intellectual property right" laws are. Many years ago (VHS tape days), laws were passed that would net you, e.g., a 2-yr jail sentence if the police spotted a TV recording of an Ashes tournament in your video library. As far as I know, that law is still in place. Even Apple(!) told the govt to hold on a sec and not be so gung-ho.

      There are already laws in place to put you in an Aussie jail for the most trivial of reasons. They slipped past when most weren't looking, just waiting for the right "Pearl Harbour" event....

      PS Can we conspiracy theorists get another icon, instead of just the Alien? How about the All Seeing Eye?

    2. Faceless Man

      Re: buy dvd on holiday ...

      Dont believe so. In fact, many DVD players are sold as multi-region players. I've never had to actually change anything to play Region 1 and 2 disks on any of my DVD players. Or my parents', and they buy name brands, and not the cheap ones from the electronics shops in Chinatown.

    3. FasterFaster

      Re: buy dvd on holiday ...

      At one point in OZ the ACCC did get through the courts that region coding was a cartel activity and hacking your player (even your playstation, just not disabling copy protection) to be region free, or selling region free players was perfectly legal. Then the Free Trade agreement with the US came along and that was squashed. The ACCC was rightly peeved about that. Retailers were no longer allowed to sell region free players in stores. Some of them got around that by giving you a sheet of instructions so you could alter it yourself if you chose to as most of them now just need a sequence of button presses to do it.

      NZ still has a parallel import policy so it is still legal... for now.

      Still, I don't see how bypassing a network policy on Netflix is any different from ordering DVD's from .

  7. Mr. Chuck

    Region -1

    Everyone under 30 downloads all their shit anyway. Give it up Rupert, it's a lost cause. What you can or cannot bully the Aus govt. to do is largely irrelevant at this point in history.

  8. Sampler

    hang on a second

    There's Australians with internet access good enough to stream netflix?

  9. Scoular

    Unfortunately the Australian government is working for US business interests not for the Australian people. The situation is likely to get worse rather than better. I do wonder if it is just stupidity or if there are hidden incentives the people cannot be told about - for security reasons you know.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As far as I am aware, using Netflix et al outside of the US etc is a violation of T&Cs of Netflix.

    If they (Netflix) wanted to they have a legitimate reason to cancel your account.

    There are no laws being broken here, so politicians can go jump off a bridge. The minimal technical ability required to use a DNS provider or VPN is still enough to put off 95% of people from using the service so I don't see an issue.

    Local streaming services in NZ have been utter garbage so far, no wonder we are out there using the best in the world.

  11. Andrew Jones 2

    Blocking VPN's wouldn't make a difference for Netflix access, all that you need is Netflix-unblocker DNS service. There are plenty of them about, and because there is no need for a VPN the stream is delivered at your usual connection speed.

  12. david 12 Bronze badge

    "escalation of copyright infringement to a criminal offence"

    Last time I was interested, which was ~20 years ago, copyright infringement was already a criminal offense in AUS. (Not the case 40 years ago). The quid-pro-quo in that legislation was that it also became a criminal offense to falsely accuse someone of copyright infringment.

    As one who was once falsely accused of copyright infringment, I must admit it would gladden my heart to see the police get stuck into a copyright troll.

  13. Winkypop Silver badge


    Between Malcolm Turnbull and Rupert Murdoch, Australians wont have a fast internet service anytime soon.

    Old Rupe' killed off the NBN by making sure the LNP got into power.

    He will keep Netflix (etc) at bay to save his Foxtel pay TV empire.

    The Trans Pacific Partnership will simply be the 100 tonne slab that seals many Australians in.

    Fortunately, some of us have cheap and easy solutions at hand.

  14. vpn

    Access Netflix from anywhere around the world. PureVPN, an easy way to unblock Netflix outside the USA

  15. poopypants

    This sort of crap is why I no longer watch film or television, and instead spend my spare time working my way through my huge Steam sale backlog.

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