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  1. Be on the look out for the Second season of Marco Polo. I really enjoyed the first season. “Marco Polo” Season 2 premiere will premiere globally on Monday, July 1, 2016 on Netflix.
  2. As Australia's site blocking Bill took a step closer to becoming law yesterday, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull made it extra clear that VPN use won't be a problem under the legislation. Ordering "the big boys" to sort out the VPN issue between themselves, Turnbull told rightsholders to leave consumers alone. After struggling with the issue of online piracy for many years, last week the Australian parliamentary committee investigating the government’s ‘pirate’ site-blocking Bill gave the legislation the green light. After Coalition and Labor senators endorsed the Bill with four modifications, it is now guaranteed to become law. Last evening the Bill passed the Australian House of Representatives but while doing so provoked interesting comment from Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull on the issue of VPN use. Noting that there is no “silver bullet†to deal with Internet piracy, Turnbull said that the Bill contains a number of safeguards and amendments designed to protect “public and private interestsâ€, including the use of VPNs that are promoted or used for legitimate purposes. “VPNs have a wide range of legitimate purposes, not least of which is the preservation of privacy — something which every citizen is entitled to secure for themselves — and [VPN providers] have no oversight, control or influence over their customers’ activities,†Turnbull said. The Communications Minister went on to give the example of an Australian consumer using a VPN to ‘trick’ a U.S.-based site into thinking they were located inside the United States. “This Australian could then — and this is widely done — purchase the content in the normal way with a credit card. The owner of the Australian rights to the content so acquired might well be quite unhappy about that, but they could take a remedy against the American site or the underlying owner of the rights. This bill does not apply to a site like this. It is not intended to apply to VPNs,†Turnbull confirmed. There are key reasons why the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015 does not apply to VPN use, but for clarity’s sake, Turnbull spelled them out. “Where someone is using a VPN to access, for example, Netflix from the United States to get content in respect of which Netflix does not have an Australian licence, this bill would not deal with that, because you could not say that Netflix in the United States has as its primary purpose the infringement, or facilitation of the infringement, of copyright,†the Minister said. Indeed, for this scenario to be covered by the legislation then Netflix and/or the VPN provider would need to show a general disregard for copyright and meet several of at least eight criteria laid out in the Bill, including demonstrating “flagrant†infringement. Turnbull went on to make it clear that if local entertainment companies have a problem with Australians utilizing VPNs to obtain a better content offering, then they should direct their grievances overseas and leave the man in the street alone. “If Australian rights owners have got issues about American sites selling content to Australians in respect of which they do not have Australian rights, they should take it up with them. The big boys can sort it out between themselves and leave the consumers out of it,†Turnbull said. Finally, the timely delivery of quality content at a fair price has always been a problem in Australia and one of the key local drivers behind both piracy and the VPN ‘problem’. Thankfully the issue was underlined by the Communications Minister who noted that blocking alone would not solve the country’s problems. “The bill is not intended to operate in a vacuum. The availability of content that is timely and affordable is a key factor in the solution to online copyright infringement,†Turnbull said. “When infringing sources of content are disrupted, this disruption will be most effective if Australian consumers have legitimate sources to turn to that provide content at competitive prices and at the same time that it is available overseas.†Whether that situation comes to pass is up to the entertainment industries but if grand efforts aren’t made, Aussies will use their VPNs not only to access Netflix, but also evade every site blocking measure this legislation hopes to impose.
  3. As Netflix prepares for a long-anticipated launch into Spain this year, the company's CEO has downplayed the effect piracy could have on his service. Speaking ahead of an October debut, Reed Hastings says that after years of engaging in piracy, Spanish Internet users are better prepared for his service. For years the global entertainment industries have bemoaned the state of Spanish market. Rampant online piracy meant that the country was regularly described as a piracy haven and its Internet generation a bunch of common thieves. Struggling economy aside, part of the problem in Spain (particularly on the video front) has been the lack of decent legal alternatives. Back in August 2011, rumors spread that Netflix was about to launch in the country after successes in the U.S. and Canada, but that never came to pass. Instead, just months later Spain was told by the United States that it would end up on a trade blacklist if it didn’t reel in piracy. In the years that followed the country did what it could to comply and earlier this year ordered the blocking of The Pirate Bay. Now, four years after its first attempt at breaking into the country, Netflix has confirmed it will launch in Spain later this year. Speaking in an interview with Spanish publication El Mundo, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says he’s excited for the launch which he believes will be one of the company’s best so far. “I think Spain will be one of our most successful countries. There is a high rate of Internet connectivity and a population that is accustomed to the use of electronic commerce and that has shown signs of being interested in our product. We are very optimistic,†Hastings says. But of course, piracy is a big part of the puzzle. Tech-savvy Spaniards have a long history of using every conceivable file-sharing system to grab content, in some cases a full decade before official vendors turned up in their country. However, the Netflix CEO isn’t fazed by the piracy problem. In fact, the company probably has a lot to be grateful for. “Well, you can call it a problem, but the truth is that [piracy] has also created a public that is now used to viewing content on the Internet,†Hastings says. He has a point. Pirates certainly have a clearer idea of what to expect from an online service so for many the switch could be fairly seamless. However, Hastings believes that on the convenience front, Netflix could even beat the pirates at their own game. “We offer a simpler and more immediate alternative to finding a torrent,†Hastings says. “In Holland we had a similar situation. That too was a country with a high rate of piracy. And the same thing happened in Canada. In both countries we are a successful service.†Somewhat refreshingly (and in contrast to the claims of most entertainment companies) Netflix isn’t scared of competing against ‘free’ either. “We can think of this as the bottled water business. Tap water can be drunk and is free, but there is still a public that demands bottled water,†Hastings says. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the service set to launch in Spain later this year won’t be the ‘full fat’ version consumers elsewhere (in varying degrees) are accustomed to. There will be a lot of content, but Hastings says that subscribers should expect a line up similar to that offered previously during the launch of the service in France and Germany. “In each country we have to start with a smaller catalog and begin to expand gradually as the number of registered users grows. In the UK, for example, we now have a fairly extensive catalog of TV series and movies after three years of activity there,†Hastings explains. “Our offering is expansive in Latin America too, but it is much easier to negotiate and acquire rights when you buy for a large subscriber base as we now have in the United States.†Only time will tell if the arrival of Netflix will begin to turn the piracy tide in Spain. For a cash-strapped nation with high unemployment every penny counts, but at an expected eight euros per month, Netflix should be within reach of a significant number of households.
  4. The new boss of Canadian telecoms giant Bell Media has confessed that her own daughter is a "thief". Speaking at the Canadian Telecom Summit, Mary Ann Turcke says her 15-year-old was using a VPN to access Netflix's superior U.S. service but she quickly put a stop to it. Netflix could've done so earlier, she added, but chose not to. While the video entertainment business needs to do better, Netflix is definitely going some way to filling the online movie and TV show streaming void. Nevertheless, even when consumers put their hands in their pockets for the service, elements of the industry still find cause to complain. The issue is one of geo-location. Essentially, users of Netflix in the United States get a more content-rich service than those accessing it from elsewhere. These restrictions are easily overcome by using a VPN service to tunnel in to the U.S. from outside but that annoys content companies no end. Licensing deals are to be respected, they argue. Just lately critics of the phenomenon have switched from using terms such as “geo-blockingâ€, favoring the emotive “Netflix piracy†and “Netflix theft†instead. Yesterday another heavyweight poured more fuel on the fire and pointed the finger at her own family while doing so. Mary Ann Turcke is the new boss of BCE Inc.’s Bell Media division in Canada. In a keynote speech to the Canadian Telecom Summit yesterday, Turcke raised the issue of Netflix but surprisingly relayed a story from within her own household, triggered by a ‘Life Pro Tip’ from her own daughter. “Mom, did you know that you can hack into U.S. Netflix and get sooo many more shows?†Turcke’s 15-year-old-daughter revealed. But far from mom being impressed at the ingenuity of her child, mom found her actions tantamount to theft. “She is 15 and she was stealing,†Turcke told the Toronto audience. “Suffice to say, there is no more VPNing.†For the teenager and probably most adults, this must be a frustrating concept to grasp. After shunning the lure of The Pirate Bay and its first-run movies on tap – for free, someone in the household has done the ‘right’ thing and bought Netflix. Yet someone, somewhere, has deemed Canadians to be unworthy of the full service and when that injustice gets addressed, mom plays the ‘thief’ card. “It takes behavioral change and it is the people — friend to friend, parent to child, coworker to coworker — that set the cultural framework for acceptable and unacceptable behaviour,†Turcke said. “It has to become socially unacceptable to admit to another human being that you are VPNing into U.S. Netflix. Like throwing garbage out of your car window, you just don’t do it. We have to get engaged and tell people they’re stealing.†Despite Ms. Turcke’s enthusiasm for establishing geo-busting as a crime, Canadian law professor Michael Geist previously rejected the assertion, an opinion also shared by Ottawa intellectual property lawyer Howard Knopf. “This is another manifestation of that good old Canadian phenomenon known as cross-border shopping in a free market,†Knopf said. “‎Some Canadian rights owners and licensees seem to think it’s smart to limit Canadian choice and raise Canadian prices. Maybe they are being shortsighted or greedy but that’s what they try to do.†While Turcke sees her own child as the thief, she also lays blame at the door of Netflix for not doing more to stop so-called ‘VPN pirates’. “Digital-rights management is one of the most sophisticated and heavily negotiated relationship aspects of our deals with Hollywood,†Turcke said. “As an industry, the players up and down the value chain can’t allow Netflix to continue doing what they’re doing, and Netflix has a choice to stop it. This is a business model decision on Netflix’s part. It’s not a technical problem.†But while Turcke criticizes Netflix for allowing people to access what they like, the notion of providing content on customer-friendly terms is certainly not alien to the entertainment industry veteran. “We, Bell Media, we, the industry, need to make our content more accessible. Viewers are demanding simplicity. And they will seek it out,†she said. Noting that consumers are simply not willing to tolerate restrictions surrounding online streaming rights, ‘windowing’ and national borders, Turcke warned the audience: “It is enough to drive anyone to the dreaded Netflix. Legally or illegally.†
  5. Netflix is seriously considering adding support for P2P-powered video streaming using "state of the art" technology. Perhaps partly inspired by Popcorn Time, the video giant is inviting applications from individuals with BitTorrent experience to fill the post of Senior Software Engineer and help finalize and implement the ambitious project. With roughly 60 million subscribers globally, Netflix is a giant in the world of online video entertainment. The service moves massive amounts of data and is credited with consuming a third of all Internet traffic in North America during peak hours. Netlix’s data use is quite costly for the company and also results in network congestion and stream buffering at times. However, thanks to P2P-powered streaming these problems may soon be a thing of the past. In a job posting late April, Netflix says it is looking to expand its team with the addition of a Senior Software Engineer. While that’s nothing new, the description reveals information on the company’s P2P-streaming plans. “Our team is evaluating up-and-coming content distribution technologies, and we are seeking a highly talented senior engineer to grow the knowledge base in the area of peer-to-peer technologies and lead the technology design and prototyping effort,†the application reads. The software engineer will be tasked with guiding the project from start to finish. This includes the design and architecture phase, implementation, testing, the internal release and final evaluation. “This is a great opportunity to enhance your full-stack development skills, and simultaneously grow your knowledge of the state of the art in peer-to-peer content distribution and network optimization techniques,†Netflix writes. A few weeks ago Netflix told its shareholders that it sees the BitTorrent-powered piracy app Popcorn Time as a serious threat. However, the job application makes it clear that BitTorrent can be used for legal distribution as well. Among the qualification requirements Netflix lists experience with BitTorrent and other P2P-protocols. Having contributed to the open source torrent streaming tool WebTorrent or a similar project is listed as a preferred job qualification. In other words, existing Popcorn Time developers are well-suited candidates for the position. – You have experience with peer-to-peer protocols such as the BitTorrent protocol – You have strong experience in the development of peer-to-peer protocols and software – You have contributed to a major peer-to-peer open source product such as WebTorrent – You have strong experience in the development of web-based video applications and tools Moving to P2P-assisted streaming appears to be a logical step. It will be possible to stream videos in a higher quality than is currently possible. In addition, it will offer a significant cost reduction. BitTorrent inventor Bram Cohen will be happy to see that Netflix is considering using his technology. He previously said that Netflix’s video quality is really terrible, adding that BitTorrent-powered solutions are far superior. “The fact is that by using BitTorrent it’s possible to give customers a much better experience with much less cost than has ever been possible before. It’s really not being utilized properly and that’s really unfortunate,†Cohen said. While the job posting is yet more evidence that Netflix is seriously considering a move to P2P-powered streaming, it’s still unclear whether the new technology will ever see the light of day. The job posting
  6. Netflix says that the company is pushing down piracy in countries where illegal sharing is prevalent. Part of its strategy is to determine the price of its service based on local piracy rates, so it can better compete in places where piracy is rampant. With nearly 60 million subscribers globally, Netflix is a giant in the world of online video entertainment. In terms of providing access to popular TV-shows and movies the company’s biggest competitor is piracy. Just a few weeks ago Netflix described the BitTorrent-powered Popcorn Time as a major threat. Interestingly, piracy also offers critical business intelligence to the company. For example, it uses local piracy statistics to determine what content it should offer in various regions. That’s not all though. During this week’s earnings interview Nexflix’s Chief Financial Officer David Wells said that a country’s piracy rate is a main factor in determining the service’s local price. “Piracy is a governor in terms of our price in high piracy markets outside the US,†Wells explained. “We wouldn’t want to come out with a high price because there’s a lot of piracy, so we have to compete with that,†Wells added. Another recurring issue is Netflix policies against VPN usage. While the terms of use have prohibited this for a long time already, the big crackdown on VPN users has yet to begin. According to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, VPNs are used by paying customers, which isn’t such a big problem as piracy. “It’s certainly less bad than piracy,†Hastings said, quickly adding that it’s not something the company encourages. Ted Sarandos, head of content at Netflix, noted that the company continues to work with the studios to address the VPN issue but that it’s “kind of a whack a mole.†Instead, Sarandos prefers to focus on the positive battle against piracy, which he believes Netflix is winning. “The real great news is that in the piracy capitals of the world Netflix is winning. We’re pushing down piracy in those markets by getting access.†Sarandos noted. With the right pricing Netflix has indeed converted many pirates. The next step is to make VPNs obsolete, by offering content globally without any geographical restrictions. “The best way to make the VPN issue a complete non issue is through global licensing that we’re continuing to pursue with our partners,†Sarandos said.
  7. California-based Netflix is preparing a bold step by absorbing a former arch rival into its service. In a deal reported to be worth $11.5 million, Netflix and Popcorn Time talent will combine to re-market the latter as a Spotify-like 'free tier' enhancement to the full premium Netflix service. Over the past year the rise to fame of Popcorn Time has become one of the video entertainment industry’s hottest topics, with various iterations of the project becoming huge successes in their own right. Of course, this fame has put the Popcorn Time brand on a collision course with content creators and distributors, with numerous threats of legal action regularly making the headlines. However, behind the scenes a different end game has been in the planning for some time. Popcorn Time has become almost universally known as the ‘Netflix for Pirates’, a moniker that eventually led the California-based streaming service to refer to Popcorn Time as a competitor earlier this year. The admission was the first time that the company had noted synergies with its pirate counterpart and one that signaled the arrival of today’s announcement. TorrentFreak can now reveal that Netflix has struck a surprise deal with the people behind, one of the leading Popcorn Time forks. It marks the end of litigation threats and a move towards cooperative development. While the price tag is relatively modest at just $11.5m, Netflix has big plans for Popcorn Time that have already been tried and tested in the music industry. Noting that Spotify now has 60 million users operating on its free tier and more and more choosing to upgrade every month, Netflix intends to leverage the ‘cool’ reputation enjoyed by Popcorn Time to attract paying users to its premium service. popcorn“Today we’re here to announce that Popcorn Time has been acquired by Netflix for $11.5 million. While to many of you that may come as a surprise, and worry that Popcorn Time will change because of this, you don’t need to worry,†the Popcorn Time team said in a statement. “Popcorn Time itself won’t change to the users, it will still be the same app you’ve all come to love over the last year. However, working with Netflix means we can develop updates and fixes faster and bring you new features more regularly.†While its understood that Netflix designers and engineers will have both creative and technical input into the development of Popcorn Time moving forward, the current team will continue to work on the project to ensure users’ needs are met. “The current team will continue to work on Popcorn Time as always. Our goal has always been about bringing you the latest content at home as quickly as possible with all the great features you’ve come to love,†the team say. While the deal appears to have been sealed in the past few days, TF sources say that the whole thing was close to collapse only last month. In an eleventh hour move, Netflix negotiators demanded that the open source project become closed source in all future releases. An outraged team reportedly threatened to pull out, rejecting the $50m offer that had originally been on the table. Eventually a compromise was reached but it resulted in a near $40m reduction in Netflix’s offer, “a price worth paying†according to the team who insist that open source principles come first. All money received from Netflix will be returned to the project over the next several years. Various new names have been tabled for the project including current front-runner Popflix, but it’s understood that Popcorn Time will be maintained as a separate brand for the foreseeable future.
  8. In recent months Hollywood has pushed Netflix to ensure that VPN users can't access their services. Netflix honors these requests, but according to CEO Reed Hastings there's a better way to deal with the issue. The company would like to get rid of Hollywood's geographical restrictions entirely and render 'VPN piracy' obsolete. After years of waiting, Netflix officially launches in Australia today. As a result, the tens of thousands of Aussie “VPN-pirates†who already used the U.S. version through a loophole, can now use it legally in their home country. While Netflix’s rollout is a step in the right direction, the content selection will also be somewhat of a disappointment to those who are used to the U.S. offering. Because of complicated licensing agreements Netflix has a much more limited content library Down Under. For the movie and TV studios geographical licensing agreements are a core part of their business. However, it also means that many Aussie pirates won’t be canceling their VPN subscriptions just yet. Speaking out on the controversial VPN use, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says that the problem can be fixed if the industry starts to offer the same content globally, without artificial barriers. According to Hastings the VPN issue is a relatively small problem compared to traditional forms of piracy, and relatively easy to make obsolete. “The VPN thing is a small little asterisk compared to piracy,†Reed notes. “Piracy is really the problem around the world.†According to Netflix the ‘VPN pirates’ are willing to pay, they just can’t get what they want through their local Netflix. “The basic solution is for Netflix to get global and have its content be the same all around the world so there’s no incentive to [use a VPN]. Then we can work on the more important part which is piracy,†Hastings says. The availability issue is fixable, Hastings believes, although it’s questionable whether Hollywood is ready to switch to global licensing deals. Lacking availability is at the root of both traditional and VPN piracy and Netflix hopes that the industry will address this problem. If that’s done, they can focus on those pirates who simply don’t want to pay. “The key thing about piracy is that some fraction of it is because [users] couldn’t get the content. That part we can fix. Some part of piracy however is because they just don’t want to pay. That’s a harder part. As an industry, we need to fix global content,†Netflix’s CEO says. Hastings’ comments are in line with the stance of Europe’s Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip. The EU commissioner previously called for the abolition of Netflix’s geographical restrictions in Europe, labeling them as “discriminationâ€.
  9. Andrus Ansip, Europe's Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, wants to abolish geoblocking. Restricting user access to content based on their location, which Netflix, YouTube and others do, is discrimination, he says. "I want to pay – but I am not allowed to. I lose out, they lose out," Ansip notes. Due to complicated licensing agreements Netflix is only available in a few dozen countries, all of which have a different content library. The same is true for many other media services such as BBC iPlayer, Amazon Instant Video, and even YouTube. These regional blockades are a thorn in the side of Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market in the European Commission. In a speech this week he explained why these roadblocks should be abolished. “Far too often, consumers find themselves redirected to a national website, or blocked. I know this from my own experience. You probably do as well,†Ansip said. “This is one of many barriers that needs to be removed so that everyone can enjoy the best Europe has to offer online. It is a serious and common barrier, as well as extremely frustrating,†he added. The Commissioner is targeting an issue that lies at the core of the movie and TV industries, who license content per location. Ansip specifically mentions BBC’s iPlayer, but other services including YouTube, Amazon and Netflix have the same restrictions. The geoblocking restrictions are demanded by content creators, who want to sell the streaming rights on a regional basis. To enforce these licenses, users from outside of the designated countries are blocked. The Commissioner believes that this is an outdated concept which he likens to discrimination. If people want to pay for content, they should be able to, irregardless of where they live. “In the offline world, this would be called discrimination. In the online world, it happens every day,†Ansip noted. “I want to pay – but I am not allowed to. I lose out, they lose out.†“How can this be a good thing? We put up with the situation because there is not much alternative. Now it is time to do something about it,†he added. The artificial restrictions are not a market issue according to the Commissioner, but a matter of rights. These rights should be enjoyed equally and not just by the happy few who happen to live in a ‘licensed’ country. “There should be no exceptions. Everyone should be treated the same. This is a key principle that underpins everything we want to achieve,†Ansip said. The EU is currently discussing how copyright legislation in Europe should beoverhauled and the Vice-President for the Digital Single Market hopes that measures against geoblocking will be part of the new rules.
  10. Hello, I have NetFlix, HuLu , SpotiFi, Crunchyroll to sell with 12 month warranty for 5euros each. Also I do have few PSN accounts with games ps3 and ps4 games, like Vessel (PS3) Grand Theft Auto V & Free Great White Shark Cash Card (PS3) METAL GEAR SOLID V: GROUND ZEROES (PS3) Crazy Machines Elements & Add ons (PS3) Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell® Blacklist™ Homeland Pack (PS3) Machinarium (PS3) The Cave (PS3) Gran Turismo® 6 (PS3) for 20 euros, MLB 14® The Show™ (PS4) SingStar™ 40+ Songs (PS4) for 10 euros METAL GEAR SOLID V: GROUND ZEROES (PS4) 5 euros The Last of Us™ Remastered (PS4) The Last of Us™ Remastered Extras (PS4) 8 euros For more information you can send me a pm or add me on Skype: case.ftp
  11. Netflix is starting to block subscribers who access its service using VPN services and other tools that bypass geolocation restrictions. The changes, which may also affect legitimate users, have been requested by the movie studios who want full control over what people can see in their respective countries. netflix-logoDue to complicated licensing agreements Netflix is only available in a few dozen countries, all of which have a different content library. Some people bypass these content and access restrictions by using VPNs or other circumvention tools that change their geographical location. This makes it easy for people all around the world to pay for access to the U.S. version of Netflix, for example. The movie studios are not happy with these deviant subscribers as it hurts their licensing agreements. Previously entertainment industry sources in Australia complained bitterly that tens of thousands of Netflix “VPN-pirates†were hurting their business. Over the past weeks Netflix has started to take action against people who use certain circumvention tools. The Android application started to force Google DNS which now makes it harder to use DNS based location unblockers, and several VPN IP-ranges were targeted as well. Thus far the actions are limited in scope, so not all VPN users may experience problems just yet. However, TorGuard is one of the VPN providers which noticed a surge in access problems by its users, starting mid-December. “This is a brand new development. Just two weeks ago we received the first report from a handful of clients that Netflix blocked access due to VPN or proxy usage. This is the very first time I’ve ever heard Netflix displaying this type of error message to a VPN user,†TorGuard’s Ben Van der Pelt tells us. In TorGuard’s case the users were able to quickly gain access again by logging into another U.S. location. It further appears that some of the blocking efforts were temporary, probably as a test for a full-scale rollout at a later date. “I have a sneaking suspicion that Netflix may be testing these new IP blocking methods temporarily in certain markets. At this time the blocks do not seem aggressive and may only be targeted at IP ranges that exceed too many simultaneous logins.†Netflix is reportedly testing a variety of blocking methods. From querying the user’s time zone through the web browser or mobile device GPS and comparing it to the timezone of their IP-address, to forcing Google’s DNS services in the Android app. TorGuard told us that if Netflix continues with a strict ban policy, they will provide an easy solution to bypass the blocks. Other services, such as Unblock-us are also suggesting workarounds to their customers. Netflix’ efforts to block geoblocking circumvention tools doesn’t come as a surprise. TF has seen a draft of the content protection agreement Sony Pictures prepared for Netflix earlier this year. This agreement specifically requires Netflix to verify that registered users are indeed residing in the proper locations. Among other things Netflix must “use such geolocation bypass detection technology to detect known web proxies, DNS based proxies, anonymizing services and VPNs which have been created for the primary intent of bypassing geo-restrictions.†geofiltering Blocking VPN and proxy “pirates†has become a priority for the movie studios as streaming services have failed to introduce proper countermeasures. Early 2014 the movie studio looked into the accessibility of various services through popular circumvention tools, including TorGuard, to find out that most are not blocked. In a follow-up during the summer of 2014 Sony Pictures conducted research to identify the IP-ranges of various VPNs and proxies. These results were shared with Netflix and other streaming services so they could take action and expand their blocklists where needed. geolocationresults Based on the above it’s safe to conclude that Netflix will continue to roll out more aggressive blocking tools during the months to come. As with all blocks, this may also affect some people who use VPNs for privacy and security reasons. Whether Netflix will factor this in has yet to be seen. TF contacted Netflix for a comment on the findings and its future plans, but a few days have passed and we have yet to receive a response. Netflix is not the only streaming service that’s targeting VPN and proxy users. A few months ago Hulu implemented similar restrictions. This made the site unusable for location “pirates,†but also U.S. based paying customers who used a VPN for privacy reasons.
  12. The recent trend of movie and TV projects forgoing traditional channels and heading straight for streaming platforms continues this morning with the news that Pee-Wee Herman's comeback movie will debut on Netflix. In the works since at least 2010, Pee-Wee's third big adventure will be produced by Judd Apatow. Not much is yet known about the film, but last we heard it was taking a road movie format, with Pee-Wee's alter-ego Paul Reubens working on the screenplay with Paul Rust. Should you be unaware, Herman was big news in the US in the 1980s, with the Saturday morning show Pee Wee's Playhouse running on CBS from 1986 until 1990. It was mad. Laurence Fishburn was in it. Tim Burton's Pee Wee's Big Adventure (and its non-Burton sequel Big Top Pee-Wee) followed, but then there was the unfortunate incident in the disreputable Florida movie theatre, and suddenly Reubens was no longer a children's entertainer... In recent years though, he's been having a bit of a renaissance. There was a one-man show on Broadway; sell-out festival screenings of Big Adventure; and Pee Wee's Playhouse, The Pee-Wee Herman show and the two movies are already playing to enthusiastic audiences on Netflix, making the platform a sensible-looking home for further instalments. "Let's face it," said Apatow when the project was first announced, "the world needs more Pee-Wee Herman. I am so excited to be working with Paul Reubens, who is an extraordinary and ground-breaking actor and writer. It's so great to watch him return with such relevance." A Netflix spokesperson has said the deal isn't quite done yet, but it's looking pretty likely. There's no director in place either, but Reubens/Herman says he hopes to be shooting by February.
  13. Netflix now works on Ubuntu out of the box — no hacks, plugins or user-agent switching workaround required. The company has, quietly, and without fanfare, flipped the switch required to allow Google Chrome users on Ubuntu (and other modern Linux distributions) to watch movies and TV shows in the browser. If you’ve been following this long, protracted saga — which has been about as enjoyable as a binge-watch of the US Inbetweeners remake — then this news won’t be too out of the blue. Last month Netflix engineer Paul Adolph pledged to remove the user-agent filter, the final hurdle in preventing Ubuntu users from streaming content, once a newer version of the security library (nss3) was rolled out to users.
  14. History of the Eagles, the iconic band's acclaimed documentary, will be available on Netflix beginning today, Wednesday, October 15. The Emmy Award-winning film features rare archival material, concert footage, and never-before seen home movies that explore the evolution and enduring popularity of one of the world's biggest-selling and culturally significant American bands. History of the Eagles made its television broadcast debut on Showtime last year, earning the network its highest ratings for a music documentary in eight years. Its subsequent 3-disc DVD/Blu-ray release became the best-selling music documentary of 2013 and was certified Platinum in the U.S. & Australia; Diamond in Canada; and Gold in UK, France and New Zealand. It charted Top 5 in 13 countries, of which 11 were #1 (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, UK & USA). Part One premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2013 and the Sundance London Film And Music Festival in April 2013 to great acclaim, dedicating two hours to the chronicling of the band's creation and rise to fame in the 1970's through its breakup in 1980. More than 25 new and exclusive interviews were conducted with all current band members -- Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit - as well as former members Bernie Leadon, Randy Meisner and Don Felder. Also featured are new and exclusive interviews with Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Kenny Rogers, Irving Azoff and many other seminal artists and band contemporaries who have been closely involved with the Eagles' history. Part Two reveals the personal and professional struggles members faced while the band was apart, and chronicles the group's dramatic reunion in 1994, as well as its resurgence in recording and performing throughout the next two decades. Among the band's many achievements since reforming are its triumphant Hell Freezes Over tour, the 2007 release of Long Road Out of Eden (which sold more than 5.5 million copies worldwide and earned two GRAMMY® Awards), and its ongoing ascendance as an international supergroup. Directed by Alison Ellwood and produced by Alex Gibney, History of the Eagles was created with a select crew of filmmakers including: Blair Foster, Executive Producer; Alison Ellwood and Ben Sozanski, Editors; Karim Karmi, Co-Producer; and Erin Edeiken, Line Producer. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  15. The parent company of luxury watch maker Cartier is trying to expand the grounds on which websites can be censored in the UK. In an action against the country's leading ISPs, Richemont International is seeking an injunction to have sites displaying pirated brand logos blocked at the ISP level. The UK is now one of the easiest countries in the world to obtain a website blocking injunction on copyright grounds. While much work had to be done initially, having websites filtered out by the leading ISPs is now a streamlined and largely closed-door practice. Child protection issues aside, up until now it has been copyright holders leading the charge for websites to be blacked out. Dozens of sites are affected, with the majority of the world’s leading file-sharing portals now inaccessible by regular means. If the parent company of luxury watchmaker Cartier has its way, soon a new and potentially more widespread wave of website blockades will begin. Compagnie Financière Richemont S.A. owns several well-known luxury brands including Cartier and Mont Blanc. For some time it has been trying to pressure sites offering counterfeits into closing down, but without success. Mirroring the tactics being employed by the studios and recording labels, Richemont has essentially given up on that approach and has decided to take legal action ISPs instead. In March 2014, Richemont reportedly wrote to the country’s leading ISPs (Sky, TalkTalk, BT, Virgin Meda, EE, Telefonica (O2)) complaining that third party sites were engaged in illegal activity and were displaying pirated logos which infringe on Richemont trademarks. In May the ISPs responding by telling the company that it had not done enough to have the sites close down, such as contacting their webhosts to have service discontinued. The ISPs also complained that by blocking the websites there was a chance that legitimate trade could be affected. An unfair financial burden for the ISPs was also a probability, particularly given the number of likely copycat requests if the application was successful. While it appears the ISPs are putting up more of a fight in this case than they did with entertainment company blocking requests, those were actioned under copyright law where injunctions against service providers are catered for. UK trademark law has no such direct provision. The case, which is now being heard at the High Court, has attracted the attention of the Open Rights Group. ORG says it takes no view on the merits of the case, but has been given permission to intervene in order to raise awareness over the possibility that third party interests could be affected if blocking injunctions are granted. “As the court is being asked to extend the circumstances in which blocking orders are granted, it’s vital that the wider public interest is taken into account. We hope that our intervention will help ensure that future claimants cannot use blocking orders to restrict legitimate activity or free speech,†says ORG Legal Director Elizabeth Knight. ORG says its concern is that if Geneva-based Richemont are successful, further applications could be made which are contrary to public interest. These could include blocking sites that use logos to legitimately criticize or parody well known brands “Court blocking orders may also affect commercial third parties who have no involvement in any alleged infringement – for example law abiding businesses whose products appear on websites alongside those of companies involved in infringing activity,†the group says. It remains to be seen how smoothly the process pans out, but there could be interesting side effects. Entertainment industry companies and artists also own plenty of trademarks that are often displayed on ‘pirate’ websites. If the trademark route proves a simple one, that could end up being their chosen path for future blocking requests. Mr Justice Arnold has requested submissions on how third party rights could be affected if injunctions are granted. ORG will ensure he gets the message. source: torrentfreak
  16. A new study published by research firm KPMG reveals that only 16% of the most popular and critically acclaimed films are available via Netflix and other on-demand subscription services. The study, which reveals that availability through other platforms is excellent, is praised by the MPAA, but the big elephant in the room is conveniently ignored. There is little doubt that, in the United States, Netflix has become the standard for watching movies on the Internet. The subscription service is responsible for a third of all Internet traffic during peak hours, dwarfing that of online piracy and other legal video platforms. It’s safe to assume that Netflix is the best and most convenient alternative to piracy at this point. That is, if the service carries the movies people want to see. This appears to be a problem. Research firm KPMG has just released a new study that looks at the online availability of the 808 most popular and critically acclaimed films. The study was commissioned by NBC Universal and praised by the MPAA, presumably to dispel the argument that many people pirate because they don’t have the option to watch some films legally. “This first-of-its-kind report analyzed the availability of 808 different film titles over 34 major online video distribution services and found that 94 percent of the films were available on at least one service,†MPAA’s Chris Dodd commented on the study. The MPAA is right that most of the movies are available through online stores and rental services. However, the Hollywood group conveniently ignores the lacking availability on popular subscription platforms which services such as Netflix and Hulu use. This is not a minor oversight as the study finds that availability of top films on Netflix and other subscription services is very low. Although KPMG decided not to mention it in the executive summary of the report, the findings show that only 16% of the films are available through on-demand subscription services (SOVD). Availability of the top films The above sheds a different light on the availability argument. Because, what good is it if 94 percent of the films are available online, but (at least) 84% are missing from the most-used movie service? After all, most people prefer to get their movies in one place as it’s not very convenient to use a few dozen services to get your movie fix. Of course this is not an excuse for people to go out and download films without permission, and we have to admit that a lot of progress has been made on the availability side in recent years. However, Hollywood can definitely learn from the music industry, where most of the popular content is available through subscription services. From the availability point of view there’s another issue worth pointing out. The most pirated titles are usually recent releases, and these are generally not available, not even through iTunes, Amazon or rental services. This is also illustrated in the KPMG report which shows that 100% of the top 2012 films are available online, compared to 77% of the 2013 releases. It’s probably safe to say that the majority of all pirated downloads are of films that are not yet legally available. In other words, there’s still plenty of improvement possible.
  17. If copyright holders get their way it will soon be impossible to access Netflix though a VPN service. The entertainment industry companies are calling for a ban on privacy services as that opens the door to foreign pirates. netflixWith the launch of legal streaming services such as Netflix, movie and TV fans have less reason to turn to pirate sites. At the same time, however, these legal options invite people from other countries where the legal services are more limited. This is also the case in Australia where up to 200,000 people are estimated to use the U.S. version of Netflix. Although Netflix has geographical restrictions in place, these are easy to bypass with a relatively cheap VPN subscription. To keep these foreigners out, entertainment industry companies are now lobbying for a global ban on VPN users. Simon Bush, CEO of AHEDA, an industry group that represents Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros., Universal, Sony Pictures and other major players said that some members are actively lobbying for such a ban. Bush didn’t name any of the companies involved, but he confirmed to Cnet that “discussions†to block Australian access to the US version of Netflix “are happening nowâ€. If implemented, this would mean that all VPN users worldwide will no longer be able to access Netflix. That includes the millions of Americans who are paying for a legitimate account. They can still access Netflix, but would not be allowed to do so securely via a VPN. According to Bush the discussions to keep VPN users out are not tied to Netflix’s arrival in Australia. The distributors and other rightsholders argue that they are already being deprived of licensing fees, because some Aussies ignore local services such as Quickflix. “I know the discussions are being had…by the distributors in the United States with Netflix about Australians using VPNs to access content that they’re not licensed to access in Australia,†Bush said. “They’re requesting for it to be blocked now, not just when it comes to Australia,†he adds. While blocking VPNs would solve the problem for distributors, it creates a new one for VPN users in the United States. The same happened with Hulu a few months ago, when Hulu started to block visitors who access the site through a VPN service. This blockade also applies to hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens. Hulu’s blocklist was implemented a few months ago and currently covers the IP-ranges of all major VPN services. People who try to access the site through one of these IPs are not allowed to view any content on the site, and receive the following notice instead: “Based on your IP-address, we noticed that you are trying to access Hulu through an anonymous proxy tool. Hulu is not currently available outside the U.S. If you’re in the U.S. you’ll need to disable your anonymizer to access videos on Hulu.†It seems that VPNs are increasingly attracting the attention of copyright holders. Just a week ago BBC Worldwide argued that ISPs should monitor VPN users for excessive bandwidth use, assuming they would then be pirates. Considering the above we can expect the calls for VPN bans to increase in the near future.
  18. Unlike Comcast, Verizon is unable to quickly set up network connections to Netflix. It’s been 10 weeks since Verizon and Netflix struck a deal in which Netflix will pay the ISP for a direct connection to its network. Yet customers are still complaining about bad performance. The reason is that Verizon and Netflix haven’t set up enough connections to make much of a difference, and Verizon has said work may not be completed until the end of 2014. Instead of remaining quiet while they build out the necessary infrastructure, Netflix and Verizon have taken shots at one another. The latest comes from Verizon VP David Young, who wrote a blog post today that aims to dispel what he calls “the congestion myth.†“A few weeks ago, Verizon received an e-mail from a customer in Los Angeles asking why he was not getting a good experience watching Netflix on his 75Mbps FiOS connection,†Young wrote. “He was understandably confused by some of the misleading public accounts that inaccurately suggest widespread congestion that could affect Netflix traffic on Verizon’s network. Worse still were claims that Verizon is deliberately 'throttling' Netflix traffic. This customer wanted to know what was going on and why his performance wasn’t what he hoped. We, too, wanted to get to the bottom of the problem.†Young went on to say that there is “no congestion anywhere within the Verizon network†but that there is congestion in the links between Netflix’s transit providers and Verizon. Those links, of course, haven't*being upgraded because transit providers such as Cogent refused to pay Verizon to build out extra infrastructure. Instead, Netflix eventually agreed to pay for a direct connection, which should eliminate the transit providers' role in bringing traffic from Netflix to Verizon. Verizon's infrastructure squad moves slowly Netflix also*agreed to pay Comcast for a direct connection, and performance on that network improved almost immediately after the deal was announced. So why, 10 weeks after the Netflix/Verizon deal, is there still congestion at interconnection points? As we reported last month, Comcast was able to establish*the connections quickly because it spent months working with Netflix to prepare*the necessary infrastructure even before the companies*agreed to monetary terms. That includes a few hundred*10 Gigabit Ethernet ports spread across*10 carrier-neutral Internet exchange points. Compared to Comcast, Verizon’s infrastructure team was unprepared for the deal. In June, a Verizon statement said, “we will be incrementally rolling it out starting next month and progressing through the fourth quarter.†At the time, Verizon and Netflix had set up a test connection in Dallas and*were working on setting up peering connections in 13 cities. The connections apparently aren't ready yet, and Young today blamed Netflix for continuing to send*traffic over congested links. It’s customary for Verizon to “negotiate reasonable commercial arrangements with transit providers or content providers to ensure a level of capacity that accommodates their volume of traffic," he wrote. “Such arrangements have been common practice for content delivery networks in the Internet ecosystem for many years, and Netflix is fully capable of taking the necessary and customary steps to ensure that its connections match its traffic volumes." That’s true as far as it goes, but the statement doesn’t mention that Netflix already capitulated to Verizon's terms more*than 10 weeks ago. We asked Verizon spokespeople today how much progress has been made setting up the connections but the company declined comment. Young’s blog post didn’t shed any light on when significant numbers of customers can start seeing improvements. “We are working aggressively with Netflix to establish new, direct connections from Netflix to Verizon’s network,†Young wrote. “The benefit of these direct connections will be two-fold. First, Verizon customers who use Netflix will have a significantly improved experience as Netflix traffic flows over non-congested links. Early tests indicate that this is the case. The other benefit will be that the congestion that we are seeing today on those links between these middleman networks and our L.A. border router will likely go away once the huge volume of Netflix traffic is routed more efficiently. This will improve performance for any other traffic that is currently being affected over those connections.†Netflix has tried to rally customers to its cause, telling people who experience streaming trouble that “The Verizon network is crowded right now.†Today, the company repeated its call for rules that prevent ISPs from charging interconnection fees to content companies. “We'd like to thank Verizon for laying out the issue so nicely,†a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement sent to Ars. “Congestion at the interconnection point is controlled by ISPs like Verizon. When Verizon fails to upgrade those interconnections, consumers get a lousy experience despite paying for more than enough bandwidth to enjoy high-quality Netflix video. That's why Netflix is calling for strong net neutrality that covers the interconnection needed for consumers to get the quality of Internet they pay for.†Netflix did not offer any update on when the peering links with Verizon will be established.
  19. Android: Movie streaming service Popcorn Time has had some trouble staying in business (for obvious reasons), but an unofficial client from Time4Popcorn makes it possible to access the service on Android.P The service works by downloading torrents in the background while you watch. As with any service like this, both legal films as well as illegal, copyrighted movies show up, so it's up to you to decide how you use it.P Update: As has been pointed out by a couple members of the community, this app is not associated with the original Popcorn Time developers (an issue you can read more abouthere). This app uses some server-side code and, as with any app, it's possible that it could be updated with malicious code in the future. As of right now, nothing unsafe has been found in the app's code.P Any time you install an app like this, there are going to be security concerns (for more reasons than usual). If you're not sure an app is trustworthy, don't use it. If you're not sure about Time4Popcorn, you can find a list of alternative Popcorn Time clients here.
  20. Gee, do you think that Netflix publicly coming out against the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger has struck a nerve with Comcast? Within hours of Netflix declaring its opposition to the proposed $45 billion merger, Comcast came out with a statement that accused Netflix of relying on “inaccurate claims and arguments†to make its case. In particular, Comcast accused Netflix of conflating net neutrality issues with the kinds of peering agreements that Comcast recently reached with Netflix to ensure higher streaming quality over Comcast’s network. The cable giant then went on to tout its own commitment to the “open Internet†by declaring that “there has been no company that has had a stronger commitment to openness of the Internet than Comcast and we are the only ISP in the country that is currently legally bound by the FCC’s vacated Net Neutrality rules.†Of course, Comcast got in big trouble back in 2008 when the FCC found that it was throttling peer-to-peer applications such as BitTorrent without even explaining its traffic management policies to its customers or to regulators. What’s more, the only reason Comcast is bound by any net neutrality rules is because it had to swallow them as a precondition for its merger with NBC going through. Once those conditions expire, Comcast will be free to throttle its competitors’ traffic to its heart’s content, especially since the FCC’s net neutrality restrictions were overturned by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia earlier this year.