If you’re halfway through the Netflix Japan original series "Underwear," you might be in for some bad news. Netflix is cracking down on sites that let users view content not yet available in their country.
The change will affect subscribers traveling abroad, as well as users looking to expand their cinematic offerings to movies and shows licensed in foreign countries.
The announcement came in an official company blog post written by David Fullagar, Netflix's vice president for content delivery architecture. He said people would no longer be able to use proxies and virtual private networks to access Netflix content in other countries.
“In coming weeks, those using proxies and unblockers will only be able to access the service in the country where they currently are," wrote Fullagar.
In the past, users could use sites like HideMyAss and Hola to fool Netflix into thinking they were somewhere else. Netflix doesn’t have a universal library -- it hosts different content in different countries -- so pretending to be in, say, the U.K., would give users access to a huge amount of content that would otherwise be off-limits.
The new change could be particularly rough on users traveling abroad, but who want to access the content for which they pay a monthly fee.
When asked what subscribers should do when they go abroad, a spokeswoman for Netflix told The Huffington Post on Friday, “Regarding travel, we’d recommend accessing the catalog in the country where you are.”
The announcement comes only one week after Netflix expanded service to more than 130 countries, up from around 60. The company plans to continue expanding and has played down the significance of its crackdown on proxies, citing its ambitions to achieve near-global coverage in 2016.
“If all of our content were globally available,” Fullagar wrote, “there wouldn’t be a reason for members to use proxies or 'unblockers' to fool our systems.”
That might be true, but, until that happens, users hoping to trick Netflix into giving them more content are out of luck.
Also on HuffPost: 7 True Crime Docs To Watch On Netflix
Released in 1988, "The Thin Blue Line" examines the story of Randall Adams, a man convicted and sentenced to a life in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Similar to "Making a Murderer," the film highlights inconsistencies and unfollowed leads in the case and trial. This is an instance in which widespread outrage spurred by the film may have helped Adams' case: he was released about a year after the movie was shown.
Another chilling addition to ESPN's "30 for 30" series, this documentary shows the real-life "Foxcatcher
." The wealthy John du Pont opened up his 800-acre Foxcatcher Farm to wrestlers dreaming of Olympic gold, providing training facilities and free accommodations. However, anything that seems too good to be true likely is, as du Pont grows more paranoid to the point of committing murder.
At first, it seems like the town in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, simply has a bunch of bad kids on its hands -- until people began noticing teens were being given much harsher sentences than their minor crimes warranted. Soon, it's revealed that the judge behind these sentences, Mark A. Ciavarella
, has been accepting cash in exchange for doling out these sentences -- placing around 3,000 children in the juvenile justice system over his tenure.
Whitey Bulger may be a more familiar name nowadays thanks to Johnny Depp's turn as the infamous murderer and crime boss in 2015's "Black Mass." This documentary follows both Bulger's 2013 trial and the firmly rooted FBI corruption surrounding the gangster throughout his criminal career.
How difficult is it to be a public defender in some of the nation's poorest areas? This 2013 documentary answers that question by tracking the work of three young lawyers given this task. Though it doesn't surround a single criminal or crime like many films, it exposes the grueling schedule, fearsome odds and low pay faced by those in the position.
Get ready to be charmed by a jewel thief. For a taste of her character, we'll let the film's website
do the talking: "A glamorous 83-year-old, Doris Payne is as unapologetic today about the $2 million in jewels she’s stolen over a 60-year career as she was the day she stole her first carat." But its not all hijinks, as the filmmakers also take an eye to the circumstances in Payne's life that led her to choose crime.
What if we were still paying for all the mistakes we made in childhood? This documentary takes that question to an extreme level by examining whether a sentence of life without parole is justifiable for youth convicted of murder. It's an emotional look at the issues of prisoner rehabilitation, whether people truly change and the human capacity to forgive.