Netflix is fast becoming the company people love to hate. And when saying that, I don’t mean to detract from their many accomplishments in this world. I think it’s amazing what they have done and how they have done it. But a lot of people don’t like what they see as the recent direction Netflix has taken.
Of course, the big issue being talked about here and everywhere is Netflix’s recent hardline stance taken against VPN’s and other internet proxy services.
People feel that they are being taken advantage of and being treated unfairly because of recent changes in policy. Netflix grew from a small business to a huge multinational company by opening up and facilitating access to content, not by doing the opposite!
It could also be said that Netflix has grown as a company by turning a blind eye to people using VPNs to watch their content. All these years, people all around the world have been accessing content from all around the world, and it has never been a problem.
Rumors are circulating that Netflix is caving in to pressure from the rest of the industry to maintain current restrictions or face legal action. It’s unclear, however as to who these entities may be. Are they governments, or branches of government? Traditional media outlets?
When you think about it with an open mind, there is absolutely no reason why content should be restricted by which region of the world you are in. Countries that routinely censor their internet, such as China, North Korea, and Iran already do far too good a job of that! And for the rest of the world, which is supposedly the “free world”, the majority of us, is there any reason why we should have any problem accessing content? Aren’t copyright laws supposed to be applicable globally? What does region-based content restriction gain anyone except for bureaucrats and entrenched industry interests that just want to arbitrarily make an extra chunk of money for no good reason?
I think that the last point strikes a very important nerve, especially with those of us who use the internet within the USA. Industry monopolies feel they should be perfectly entitled to “slice and dice” the internet, and offer it up in chunks to the public in order to maximize profits. This is what it’s really all about, greed and the worst kind of institutional entitlement, and the rest of us have to suffer for it!
You’ve probably already heard about net neutrality, but if you haven’t, or if you feel you don’t know enough about it, please read up on that hyperlink and inform yourself. This goes right to the heard of what the internet is supposed to be and how it’s supposed to function and the benefits it can offer to humanity.
The good news is, as of this writing, skirting around Netflix’s recent silliness isn’t that hard still. Comprehensive instructions on how to get around the proxy detector.
In the meantime, and before this escalates any further, we really need to look at that whole business of restricting content by geography a lot deeper. This is probably one of those times where world leaders need to come together and sign a global treaty that removes all these unnecessary restrictions and frees up this data once and for all!