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.