Thoughts on legality of accessing Netflix outside the USA
There’s been a lot of discussion over the last few days on the legality of accessing Netflix in New Zealand by using unblocking tools. Earlier this week, the major content license holder – SKY – stopped an ISP from advertising its services which allow region unblocking on the TV network.
There’s been lots of back and forth over the legality of doing so based on our current, vague laws and if you could be caught. It’s ridiculous.
Essentially, it’s a grey area.
Here’s my thoughts on the matter and why I’ll continue to use these tools to access things like Netflix and Hulu:
- There’s no evidence this is actually illegal.
- It’s extremely unlikely a case against you to actually reach the courts as it’s almost undetectable.
- Any case against you seems to be highly unlikely to stand up in court without a law change.
- The options in New Zealand by ‘content holders’ are a pittance at best. It’s insulting how bad they are.
- It’s extremely unlikely Netflix/Hulu or any other service will be motivated to flag you to law enforcement for using their services. They like money.
I’d be happy to hear from any actual lawyers on their interpretations of this, but that’s pretty much where I stand.
If Sky and other content providers are so scared in New Zealand, perhaps they should suck it up and build something the people want rather than just aggressively attempting to strangle those that deliver services people desire.
My plea to SKY, TVNZ and other content holders in New Zealand is this: Instead of insulting our intelligence, work with people to understand why they use these services and build something better.