Skip to main content

Piracy could be on the rise in Canada following Netflix VPN shut-out

netflix adds picture in ipad sign
Earlier this year, Netflix began to crack down on those using VPNs to access content not available in their geographical region. This began in earnest in Australia, but recently Canadians have also found themselves unable to use VPN services to access Netflix internationally.

Instead of simply accepting this and watching something else, however, Canadian users are increasingly turning to piracy, according to a CBC report. Users don’t look at what they’re doing as illegal, and are baffled that Netflix would rather turn away revenue than let them access content in a different country.

Of course, Netflix itself would probably like nothing better. These restrictions are largely due to efforts by Hollywood studios to impose exclusive per-country licensing agreements. With Netflix’s global expansion, begun earlier this year, now in full swing, this has become a much larger problem for studios than it was at first. As a result, many countries’ libraries are much smaller than what’s available in the U.S.

“It’s kind of frustrating because you try to be legal, you try to be aboveboard. And they’re just big bullies and I’m really tired of big bullied,” former Netflix customer Suzan Lorenz told the CBC. “It just really annoys me someone out there is censoring and telling us what we can see.”

Lorenz is only one among many who are considering turning to piracy in Canada, and that’s a bigger problem than Netflix might have anticipated. A recent study shows that not only are Canadians bigger cord-cutters than Americans, but the study’s author Brahm Eiley says that Canadians are “kind of more comfortable going out and finding content in whatever creative way they want,” which could mean streaming, but could also lead to piracy when the former isn’t available.

In Netflix’s earnings call last week, CEO Reed Hastings called those affected by recent VPN bans “a very small but quite vocal minority,” adding that they were inconsequential to the company’s future. Even if that’s the case, while the company’s subscriber base has been growing, it’s stock price has not been keeping pace, suggesting that while Netflix is on top for now, it isn’t invincible.

Editors' Recommendations

Kris Wouk
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kris Wouk is a tech writer, gadget reviewer, blogger, and whatever it's called when someone makes videos for the web. In his…
Latest update to Windows 10 has a bug that could break VPN services
Windows 10 Surface Pro 4 stock photo

Microsoft has announced a bug in the Windows 10 May 2019 Update which could hamper the operation of virtual private networks (VPNs). The issue affects the Remote Access Connection Manager service, which is what Windows uses to manage connections to a VPN.

Remote Access Connection Manager, also known as RASMAN, needs to run in the background for always-on VPNs to work, or for VPN users who connect to the internet via dial-up. If the service stops working, it will interfere with these users' VPN connections.

Read more
Netflix’s rate hike is a good thing. Wait, wait, hear us out
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Nobody likes a price hike. Whether it's a cable bill, tax rate, or the tab for a large pepperoni pizza, we tend to take it personally. I get it! After all, this hits our wallets, which is probably the only thing more precious than a delicious slice of said pizza. So when Netflix announced it will jack up its prices by $1 to $2 per month, I can understand why the internet lit up with headlines deriding the company. Misery loves company on the internet, perhaps even more than cat memes, so it stands to reason my Twitter feed (and my office) became a feeding trough for haters. My colleague even declared it the end of the golden age of streaming.

Read more
‘American Vandal’ canceled by Netflix, but could continue elsewhere

After one season spent defending the innocence of a penis graffiti artist, then another dedicated to exposing a laxative-wielding criminal known as "The Turd Burglar," the true-crime mockumentary series American Vandal has offered its fans another compelling mystery: Whether the critically acclaimed show will return for a third season.

Netflix has reportedly canceled American Vandal after two seasons, leaving producers CBS TV Studios fielding calls for a revival elsewhere just as plans for the third season were bing plotted out. The cancellation makes American Vandal the latest high-profile series to get axed by the streaming video platform following the highly publicized cancellation of Marvel-Netflix collaborations Iron Fist and Luke Cage.

Read more