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Piracy up over Netflix antics

by on28 April 2016

Make it too difficult and people will opt for piracy

Movie piracy has been on the decline for a while as legitimate content at a reasonable price became available. However that has turned around again as Netflix attempted to bring in a regional control system which makes it difficult for users to get the content they want.

It has been particularly noticed in Canada, where Netflix’s library is half that of its less civilised neighbours. Since mid-January has been blocking access to foreign content. Apparently this move was made by Hollywood studios who demand country-exclusive licensing agreements.

It turns out that the Canadians are just shrugging and turning to back to piracy. The logic is that if the Studios do not make content available then they feel they are entitled to pirate. This is exactly the same scenario that has repeated itself through-out Hollywood’s history. The business model for Hollywood should be simple. If you make the content cheap enough and available there will be no piracy, but Big Content simply fails to get it.

Some Canadians are dumping their Netflix accounts completely and returning to piracy or signing up to an unblocking service that provided the technology needed to access Netflix shows in other countries.

Netflix itself used to boast about how its service was killing off illegal downloading and now it is finding itself losing customers because the studios are insisting on stuffing up their business model. But Netflix hardly seems concerned; it now boasts more than 81.5 million members worldwide.

During its earnings call this week, Netflix's CEO Reed Hastings called affected customers "a very small but quite vocal minority." He said that they were "inconsequential" to the company.

So we guess if it starts ignoring its customers, they will go elsewhere.

Last modified on 28 April 2016
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