Netflix was pressured by Sony Pictures to terminate accounts of users in other countries where Netflix is not legally available, says a report from ZDNet. This was confirmed by an email that was leaked from Sony Pictures as a result of the cyber-attack on the studio last year.
Sony complained about VPN users to Netflix
WikiLeaks published various emails and documents of Sony Pictures, some of which detailed the financial information and negotiations of the Japanese firm with other companies, including Netflix. In one of the emails, Keith LeGoy, a director of Sony Pictures, mentioned a meeting with Netflix in November 2013 that aimed to sort out the issue of customers that are using VPNs to access Netflix’s content in countries such as Australia. In regard to the use of VPNs, LeGoy alleged that the online-streaming service was deliberately ignoring the illegal use of their content as the company was collecting revenues from the VPN.
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Moreover, the Sony Pictures’ exec claimed that a considerable number of people in countries such as Australia, South Africa and Iceland, where Netflix is not available (or was not available at that time), are comfortably using the online-streaming service.
Citing this as another kind of piracy, LeGoy further asserted that Netflix is getting money from such illegal subscribers to provide them with Sony’s content, a practice that Sony had not authorized.
Going global will solve the issue
In response to Sony’s complaint regarding VPN users, Netflix stated that restricting the ways which people could subscribe to the service would not be fair to users who are legally using Netflix.
Moreover, the company’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos recently agreed to consult with Sony on the problem of VPN users, and suggested that such illegal use would be reduced considerably after Netflix achieves its goal of global expansion.
According to Sarandos, Netflix is looking to sign more global contracts so the company can deliver its content to nearly everywhere in the world. He also suggested that the online-streaming service would go completely global by the end of next year.