We all know you can’t get as much on the Canadian Netflix as the US version. If you’re on Netflix in the U.S., you can watch the final season of “Dexter,” or stream the most recent season of “Sons of Anarchy.” You can’t watch them here in Canada though, along with a boatload of other content.
Turns out, there is a trick Canadian Netflix subscribers use to access movies and TV shows that are supposed to be available only in the states. And apparently, a lot of Canadians know of this trick.
Currently, about a third of Canadians who have Netflix access its U.S. service by free and subscription-based online services that mask a user’s Internet address to make it appear they actually reside elsewhere.
Now, major media companies are lobbying Netflix and other services like it, trying to prevent subscribers from accessing content outside of their home country.
Simon Bush, the head of Australian media lobby group AHEDA, representing major media companies such as Warner Bros., Universal and Sony Pictures, says talks to stop Australians from using U.S. Netflix services “are happening now.”
Approximately 200,000 Australian households have access to the U.S. version of Netflix, when Netflix hasn’t even officially launched yet in the country.
In Canada, Netflix is also facing challenges from media companies. The CBC and Netflix have found themselves in a battle over funding of future Canadian content.
The CBC wants the CRTC to require Netflix to subsidize the production of local programming.
In a submission to the CRTC, they argued that any “over-the-top” streaming service, similar to Netflix, earning more than $25 million a year in Canada should be required to pay into the Canadian Media Fund. Netflix representatives are scheduled to appear before the CRTC today to reiterate their opposition to a “Netflix tax.”
– Q New Media Editor / Chris Bundas –