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Netflix Is Now Successfully Blocking People From Bypassing Region Settings

Netflix headquarters in Los Gatos, Calif.Netflix headquarters in Los Gatos, Calif.
Netflix headquarters in Los Gatos, Calif.Photograph by Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

Weeks after warning the world that it was gearing up for a big crackdown (finally), Netflix appears to have successfully blocked all VPNs and unblockers that previously let people access content from other countries.

Over the weekend, people around the weekend noticed that their access, using a VPN or unblocker to stream content otherwise only available to users in other countries, had been denied, according to complaints on online bulletin board Reddit. Although Australia appeared to be the first to feel the heat, users from several countries around Europe reported having trouble using their workaround method of choice over the weekend, according to Engadget.

Though Netflix (NFLX) has always banned VPNs and other workarounds per its policy, it’s historically been lax about enforcing that ban until now. However, it seems the company hack kicked its efforts into high gear recently, presumably due to pressure from license holders, as the Independent notes.

“For now, given the historic practice of licensing content by geographic territories, the TV shows and movies we offer differ, to varying degrees, by territory,” wrote Netflix VP of content delivery architecture in a blog post announcing the crackdown in January. “In the meantime, we will continue to respect and enforce content licensing by geographic location.”

Netflix is currently available in 190 countries around the world.