Paypal Also Cracking Down on VPN and Unblocking Services

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Image source: PayPal

Following Netflix’s crackdown on bypassing of geo-blocking, Paypal has now entered the fray taking it’s own action.

VPN and Smart DNS service Unotelly has posted an email they received from Paypal stating they will no longer be accepting payments for the service as it may use “technological measure that descrambles a scrambled work, decrypts an encrypted work or otherwise avoids, bypasses, removes, deactivates or impairs a technological measure without the authority of the copyright owner.”

Of course any VPN can be used for the purpose of bypassing geographic restrictions, the main difference with services like Unotelly is they specifically advertise this ability as a feature of their service.

It must also be stressed that there are no laws against bypassing restrictions at this time.

With Paypal taking these steps so soon after Netflix’s crackdown it’s difficult not to make an assumption that these events are connected.  There has been increased rhetoric referring to bypassing region restrictions as piracy plus privacy concerns creating a huge spike in VPN usage in recent times.

As regional licensing has been hugely profitable for licence holders for decades it is easy to see how very recent technical advancements would be considered a threat to their business models.  Technical limitations of the past made enforcement easier, just ask anyone who tried to play an NTSC video tape in a PAL territory!

Of course, I can only make a casual link between the Netflix and Paypal actions at this time.  However I will not be shocked if we see more action taken against VPN and unblocking services, particularly those that advertise bypassing geo-blocks, within the next few months.

(Source: TorrentFreak)

Netflix Crackdown Is Underway

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Image: Netflix.com

The hope that Netflix was just making a token effort with restricting use of VPN and unblocking service to access other region content to appease licence holders has been, at least partially, dashed for users of the uFlix service in Australia.

Reports have also been received that some Getflix users are also having issues.

Being based in Australia, and as a user of an unblocking service, I am happy to say my access is still currently available.  However I am reluctant to specify the service I am using at this time as I am not too keen on bringing further attention to it given these recent events.

Do you still have access to overseas Netflix content?  Comment below and don’t forget Choice Australia is trying to prevent Australians from being locked out of US content.

Netflix Is Already Blocking US Content Streamed Via VPN In Australia (source: Gizmodo Australia)

Netflix CEO Doesn’t Think VPNs Are A Big Problem

netflix-logoAfter all this talk of a crackdown on region jumping Netflix users the CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings, has come out saying that he doesn’t think that there is much of an issue with people avoiding regional restrictions.

His focus is instead on pushing for global licensing of content to make geo-blocking of content a thing of the past.

It’s easy to guess which side of the fence I am on.  As a firm supporter of the idea that accessible and affordable content is the best way to combat piracy I am hoping the licence holders start listening to Mr Hastings!

And can we please stop referring to region hopping as “VPN piracy” guys.  The content is still being paid for, and it proves the customers are willing to pay more for a better selection.

ENTERTAINMENT Netflix Doesn’t Think VPN Piracy Is A Big Problem (source Gizmodo Australia)

Author:

Trevor Holland

The Homepage Episode

Download The Homepage Episode

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(Image source: YouTube)

Join your guides of geek as we launch into Season 3 of The Rufus Project! Kristian and Trevor get very excited about our new homepage, we check out some of the news from the break and then have to get a little bit sad about some of it.  We also let you know about our the movie featured in our first Redeeming Features Cast for 2016.

Don’t forget to visit our YouTube channel for special features and gameplay videos and don’t forget our uStream channel for live events!  Make sure you follow us on Facebook or Twitter to get regular news, podcast updates and to give us your feedback and suggestions.

Want more? Check out our home page at rufusproject.com, then subscribe to The Rufus Project via your favourite Podcast app or over at Podomatic, and while there feel free to throw a few dollars our way via the donate button to help us cover hosting costs!  You can also wear our exclusive designs by heading to our shirt store store, or check out stuff we like over at Bandcamp.

Enjoy!

News Stories

Game Of Thrones Return Date Announced, Piracy Stories To Occur Just After

Despite Rampant Piracy The Movie Industry Records Record Profits

Vin Diesels’s Socks (YouTube)

Netflix Intends To Crackdown On Those Bypassing Regional Restrictions

Choice Australia Fighting The Netflix Blockade

DAVID BOWIE: STARMAN

David Bowie YouTube Mix

Important places to visit

The Rufus Project Homepage

The Rufus Project Shirt Store

kristianfletcher.com

Do you have a product or service you think may be of interest to The Rufus Project listeners?  Please contact us at therufusproject@gmail.com


*** The fine print ***

Theme song:

Ain’t We Got Fun by Benson Orchestra of Chicago (1921) available under public domain at The Internet Archive

Stoned Moneys by Malter available under Creative Commons at Flashkit.com

News Theme:

Opening Theme Song by Fletcher Henderson (1945) available under public domain at The Internet Archive

Geek Feature Theme:

Press Start by Tuberz McGee from Temporal Duality: A Sonic CD Remix Album available under Creative Commons

Pop Culture Theme:

Red Hot Henry Brown by Georgia Melodians (1925) available under public domain at The Internet Archive

Local Wildlife Theme:

Dino Stomp by Richard E Moore available under creative commons at freesound.org

Small Dog Bark sampled from the cute and fluffy Lucy by Trevor Holland (also available under creative commons for general use… please attribute me if you use it!)

Wrap Up Theme:

Forbes Farewell by US Marine Fife and Drum Corps (1902) available under public domain at The Internet Archive

Closing theme:

Ain’t We Got Fun by Benson Orchestra of Chicago (1921) available under public domain at The Internet Archive

Choice Australia Fighting The Netflix Blockade

netflix-logoFurther to the news that Netflix intends to take action over region hopping, Choice Australia have launched their own campaign to ensure Australians can keep access to the wider US library.

They are seeking submissions from Australians who are still able to access overseas Netflix content to collate and publish methods that don’t get blocked.

While I fully support the intent of this action, there is concern it will create an centralised list for those doing the blocking to act off.

Meanwhile there is still hope that Netflix is merely making a token effort to appease some of the rights holders out there.

If you want to join Choice Australia’s campaign, follow the link below:

Help us tear down the geoblocking wall! – Choice Australia

Author

Trevor Holland

Netflix Intends To Crackdown On Those Bypassing Regional Restrictions (UPDATED)

netflix-logoNow this is worrying news. Netflix, who have recently been pushing their global availability, has announced they will be taking steps to ensure consumers can only access the library for their location.

This means that anyone outside the US will have a smaller selection of content. I, like many other Australians, use a bypass method which allows “region hopping” to maximise my selection.

While it hasn’t been stated, this move would be at the behest of media companies wanting to set up licensing agreements for different countries to maximise profits. Of course, once an area is excluded from certain content then they will find other ways to obtain it.

Consider the most pirated TV show in history, Game of Thrones. It has very few options, and to watch it in Australia requires a very expensive Foxtel subscription. It was briefly available through iTunes and Google Play on an episode by episode basis until Foxtel got super protective and locked them out until after the seasons finish.

The upshot, big leap in piracy of GoT I’m Australia.

The moral is that Netflix has been successful in reducing piracy around the world, even though some are not using it as intended. By forcing Netflix to prevent people from region hopping media companies are taking a backward step with efforts to reduce piracy.

Just be happy people are paying to watch your stuff guys!

UPDATE:  Choice Australia has launched a campaign to keep bypassing the geoblock.

Author
Trevor Holland

Source: Gizmodo Australia
Damn, Netflix Is Cracking Down On VPNs And Proxies

Despite Rampant Piracy The Movie Industry Records Record Profits

Pirates Fail to Prevent $38 Billion Box Office Record – TorrentFreak

At the end of 2015 the movie industry has made a rather substantial profit including a record breaking $11 billion profit from the North American box office.  This despite massive efforts combating the scourge of piracy that is apparently destroying the movie industry.

Just think how much bigger that figure would be without all the lobbying, campaigning, legal work etc that the industry forks out for each year despite studies revealing how file sharers are more likely to spend money on entertainment!

There is the argument that the efforts to fight piracy must be working, hence the above result, however the reduction in file sharing has largely been attributed to the growth of services like Spotify and Netflix.

Additionally the increased threat of action against file sharers, along with concerns raised by greater data retention around the world, has seen a huge boost in VPN usage allowing users to mask their identity online.  And of course, if the monitoring companies can’t detect your piracy then the stats will look better for them.

There really seems no easy answer for either side of the argument when it comes to privacy vs piracy, but I feel the increased availability of media at reasonable prices will prove more beneficial for the movie industry and the paying customer than the current heavy handed treatment being used with government and courts around the world.

What are your thoughts?

Trevor

The Abridged Episode

Download The Abridged Episode

Join your guides of geek as we bid farewell to Terry Pratchett, check out Netflix Down Under, see if Mae West can redeem the last film she was ever in and then wrap it up in this compact episode of The Rufus Project.

Don’t forget to visit our YouTube channel for all the bonus features and gameplay videos and don’t forget our uStream channel for live events!  Make sure you follow us on Facebook or Twitter to get regular news, podcast updates and to give us your feedback and suggestions.

Want more? Then subscribe to The Rufus Project on iTunes or over at Podomatic, and while there feel free to throw a few dollars our way via the donate button to help us cover hosting costs!  You can also wear us on your upper body or drink from us by heading to our Spreadshirt store, or check out stuff we like over at Bandcamp.

Enjoy!

The important links:

News stories

Discworld Author Sir Terry Pratchett Has Died At 66

Netflix wants VPNs to be ‘a historical footnote’ in Australia

Do you have a product or service you think may be of interest to The Rufus Project listeners?  Please contact us at rufusreviews@gmail.com