Bell Exec Urges Public To Shame Users Who 'Steal' Netflix Content Via VPNs

from the criminal-minds dept

A growing number of consumers use VPNs to access out-of-market Netflix content, quite often because Netflix has yet to reach their market --something that's less of an issue as Netflix pushes to launch in 200 markets internationally before the year's end. However, even in launched Netflix markets, customers often still use VPNs to access the broader U.S. Netflix catalog. For Netflix competitors, the solution to this is fairly obvious (offer better service, more content, and stop using geo-restrictive licensing as a weapon), but of course many companies would instead rather focus on vilifying VPN usage itself.

Before Netflix launched down under earlier this year, Australian broadcasters and Netflix competitors had pouting over VPN usage down to a science, disparaging VPN users as the very worst sort of criminals, while attacking Netflix for not doing more to thwart VPN users from accessing the service (even though Netflix has been more than agreeable on this front). Copyright holders, as you might expect, have also pushed for new laws banning VPN use entirely, believing that makes much more sense than just getting to work competing with Netflix.

The latest example of VPN shaming comes from Canada. While Netflix launched there back in 2010, many Canadians still use VPNs to access the U.S.'s broader catalog of content. Bell Canada of course offers its own Internet video service called CraveTV, and finds any efforts to look for better content elsewhere a travesty of the highest order. New Bell Media President Mary Ann Turcke told attendees of a telecom conference last week that she had to give her 15-year-old daughter a talking to for using VPNs (after said 15-year-old daughter presumably informed mom what a VPN even was):
"To her dismay, Turcke’s younger daughter told her she had been using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to disguise her location and access Netflix Inc.’s richer U.S. video library, which is otherwise off-limits to Canadian subscribers. "Mom, did you know that you can hack into U.S. Netflix and get sooo many more shows?” she recalled her 15-year-old daughter saying. A scolding lecture ensued, putting an end to the VPNing at the Turcke house. She says more conversations about what’s right and wrong should be had at dinner tables across Canada."
From there, Turcke (who is replacing Kevin Crull, fired from Bell after he refused to let regulators he disagreed with appear on television) proclaimed that society as a whole really needs to step up to the plate and start publicly shaming VPN users so they understand what they're doing is an atrocity of the highest order:
"It has to become socially unacceptable to admit to another human being that you are VPNing into U.S. Netflix," Turcke said in a keynote Wednesday at the Canadian Telecom Summit. “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." The industry can’t just rely on government and the broadcasting watchdog to police and solve this growing problem, she says. It’s up to ordinary people to tell their guilty friend, colleague or child that stealing is wrong."
Of course they wouldn't be "stealing" if companies like Bell were providing them with the content they want at the price consumers want it, something that fortunately doesn't entirely fly over Turcke's head:
"We, Bell Media, we, the industry, need to make our content more accessible. Just make it easy,” she said. “Viewers are demanding simplicity and they will seek it out."
Turcke should have just skipped to that conclusion without the lecture on morality.

Filed Under: copyright, geoblocks, mary ann turcke, sharing, stealing, vpn
Companies: bell canada, netflix


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2015 @ 1:38pm

    Oh please. No one is stealing anything from Netflix. Netflix does not give away movies for free. The real issue here is that the old gatekeepers want to keep their market segregated. Internet users are showing just how outmoded that idea is. As an internet user, they are a global citizen and it no longer makes sense to any one other than those who still run the vampire industries. Even there, they are still getting paid. So it's not about stealing and never was. A very misleading statement.

    Until the entertainment industries treat everyone equally and fairly as a customer, this will be an ongoing thing. About the most stupid thing they could do would be to ban VPNs because at least here they are getting paid. Cut that off and they will go to pirating.

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    • identicon
      andy, 9 Jun 2015 @ 2:23pm

      Re:

      I am actually convinced from their actions that the studios prefer people to pirate than pay for content, otherwise why would they even think of trying so lamely and with all the obvious lies to try their hardest to stop people paying for content.

      I wish someone brought this up in a court case and got a judge to really look at how the middlemen are preventing the whole industry from moving forward and encouraging piracy more than even attempting to give the consumer what they want at a fair price and not splintered into 27 different service to gain access to the content you want.

      It only takes one Judge to rule that sharing of copyright material is legal if there is no legal way to conveniently and fairly pay for content.

      No content creator has the right to lock their content away from anyone and then complain when people use whatever method necessary to gain access to that content.

      I just hope that the EU rules geo-locking is illegal and forces them to change , that will mess the middlemen around and ensure change , well at least a start to change.

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      • icon
        jupiterkansas (profile), 9 Jun 2015 @ 3:06pm

        Re: Re:

        The studios are just trying to protect middle man jobs that would go away if they fully embraced the internet.

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      • icon
        nasch (profile), 9 Jun 2015 @ 7:34pm

        Re: Re:

        It only takes one Judge to rule that sharing of copyright material is legal if there is no legal way to conveniently and fairly pay for content.

        Such a ruling would probably be overturned, because it would not be consistent with copyright law (in the US anyway).

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2015 @ 2:29pm

      Re:

      Who do you think gets the blank media taxes? If everything was availible in all markets, piracy would be way down. Then whomever is getting those taxes will be sad.

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    • identicon
      Pragmatic, 11 Jun 2015 @ 2:29am

      Re:

      This is what happens when you permit incumbents to treat its market engagement strategy as a property right. We need to do more to call them out on it.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2015 @ 1:39pm

    Guess her thought process is something like this:
    "Let's tell everyone how evil VPN's are. And naturally everyone will agree with me, since I am the CEO of a large media company, and therefore completely trustworthy."

    Add to that the fact that any number of Canadians that had never heard of VPN are now aware they can access more shows with a VPN and you have another shining example of old media stupidity.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2015 @ 1:42pm

    You know we're in crazy land when even paying for content is theft

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2015 @ 1:54pm

      Re:

      The real theft is that her company will not get their hands on the VPNs users money when and if they get the rights to distribute the content. Further those users may not pay for the content they have they rights to distribute because they are going to a source that does not have the right to distribute in Canada.

      /Maximalist logic

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2015 @ 2:10pm

      Re:

      "You know we're in crazy land when even paying for content is theft"

      Copyright is crazy.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2015 @ 3:05pm

        Re: Re:

        She must think she's Humpty Dumpty?

        'And only one for birthday presents, you know. There's glory for you!'

        'I don't know what you mean by "glory",' Alice said.

        Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. 'Of course you don't — till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'

        'But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument",' Alice objected.

        'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'

        'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

        'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master — that's all.'


        - Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

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    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 9 Jun 2015 @ 2:42pm

      Re:

      You've heard of High Court / Low Court, where the wealthy and powerful get off scot free for crimes that would put us little people in jail for a long time. Investment fraud, lying to Congress, etc.

      Apparently there's also High Market / Low Market. Corporations can move jobs overseas at will. They can buy goods and materials overseas. They bribe/lobby to have trade in services included in all the hot new international trade agreements.

      Consumers get the Low Market. Those who buy goods from second world countries and sell them in North America at second world prices, tend to find themselves in court. DVDs come region-coded to keep the markets separate. Canadians are blocked from watching Daily Show clips linked to on many web sites. And of course Canadians who pay for the American Netflix selection get declared thieves.

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  • icon
    Retsibsi (profile), 9 Jun 2015 @ 1:46pm

    When I first read this story I wondered if perhaps someone considered reporting this woman to child services. Calling a child a "thief" in public when the child clearly did everything legally (with the exception of breaching Netflix's terms and conditions as to geographical boundaries for content) can hardly be said to be a rational response... more child abuse.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2015 @ 2:11pm

      Re:

      I do have to wonder about the mother's moral compass based on the shenanigans at Bell -- what they've been doing isn't illegal, but it's not all that moral either. The fact that her 15 year old thought it was "hacking into US Netflix" speaks volumes as to what sort of morality has been taught in that house to this point.

      I guess the daughter didn't know the story of Bell ExpressVu and Canadian criminalization of viewing US satellite broadcasts.

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    • identicon
      PRMan, 9 Jun 2015 @ 2:14pm

      Re:

      Well, she DOES think public shaming is the proper response to bad behavior...

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      • icon
        ltlw0lf (profile), 9 Jun 2015 @ 3:52pm

        Re: Re:

        Well, she DOES think public shaming is the proper response to bad behavior...

        I think public shaming is the correct response for when you use copyright as a sword to abuse your customers because they weren't lucky enough to be born somewhere else. Now only if public shaming of this nut would result in her finding herself on the unemployment line and the company facing stiff competition that gets them out of the morality industry and back in the providing your customer what your customer pays you for market.

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    • identicon
      Kronomex, 9 Jun 2015 @ 4:02pm

      Re:

      It smacks of sour grapes on Turcke's part that the daughter wanted something better than Bell's, no doubt, pale crappy imitation of Netflix. I'm also betting that mummy is monitoring her daughters PC, laptop and other devices 24 hours a day to make sure she doesn't use the evil VPN again. What a nice mother.

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    • icon
      BernardoVerda (profile), 10 Jun 2015 @ 9:41pm

      Just wait...

      A year from now, we'll hear from her (Ms Turke, the elder) again, blaming modern technology and the internet for the fact that her daughter doesn't talk to her mother about anything she's doing, any more.

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    • identicon
      kog999, 11 Jun 2015 @ 12:52pm

      Re:

      that was clearly a made up story created for the express purpose of furthering her view point. I'm sure it never actually happened.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 12 Jun 2015 @ 12:12am

      Re:

      "(with the exception of breaching Netflix's terms and conditions as to geographical boundaries for content)"

      Just noticed this - they didn't breach them. In fact, Netflix's T&Cs specify geographical locations as follows;

      "You may view a movie or TV show through the Netflix service primarily within the country in which you have established your account and only in geographic locations where we offer our service and have licensed such movie or TV show. The content that may be available to watch will vary by geographic location. Netflix will use technologies to verify your geographic location."

      So, moving geographical location is allowed (they'll only adjust what you can access), and the location is determined by IP (I don't see anything that says you can't use a VPN or other technology to change this without changing your physical location).

      As ever, the only this being breached is the dated and unworkable licencing system designed by the studios, that insists some people receive far inferior service to others - and then they act surprised when the people they're screwing over try to get value for money (lower content ranges do not equal lower prices, in fact on a straight currency conversion, people outside the US are paying a higher charge).

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  • identicon
    Lord Binky, 9 Jun 2015 @ 1:51pm

    It's at the point where it's sad now...

    Bell media, you are one of the bad guys and this is making you look incompetent.

    If you weren't bad guys, you wouldn't calling the action of paying a delivery company in a different country to send you something that the delivery company isn't being allowed to sell in your country as stealing.

    Importing from other places in the world is not stealing, if it's anything it's smuggling. Trying to make that morally wrong is going to be one hell of a challenge too.

    What's being smuggled isn't a banned item, it's just something the "owner" of doesn't like being sold in your country. The same logic to make that morally wrong is the same logic that would make it morally wrong to use flour to bake a cake when the farmer the grew the wheat it was made from demands it is not made into cakes. Why? Well, he happens to have a monopoly on cakes shops in the area.

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  • icon
    DB (profile), 9 Jun 2015 @ 1:52pm

    Businesses want to choose in a global labor market, but they don't want 'their' customers to have unmediated access to the global services marketplace.

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    • identicon
      Zonker, 9 Jun 2015 @ 3:21pm

      Re:

      If the public were to actually be represented in the negotiations of these "free trade" agreements, then instead of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) we could have Consumer-State Dispute Settlement (CSDS) clauses where the consumer has the sovereign authority to be able to buy any goods or services available among their choice of member nations at that nation's prices. Then we might be able to call them free trade agreements and actually mean it.

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    • icon
      Coyne Tibbets (profile), 14 Jun 2015 @ 12:21pm

      Re:

      You didn't think "free market" meant "free" for anyone but the corporations, did you?

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  • identicon
    Chris Brand, 9 Jun 2015 @ 2:05pm

    Is there even a contact issue here ?

    Netflix has the right to distribute the content to an IP address in the US, which it's doing.
    The VPN provider is just a service provider, moving bits from one place to another at the request of the user.
    The user paid Netflix for the right to stream content they provide.
    All seems perfectly legal and above board to me.

    If your business model is based on restricting who you sell things to (or on selling the same thing to people in different places for different prices) for that matter), chances are you're going to have problems.

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    • icon
      nasch (profile), 9 Jun 2015 @ 7:40pm

      Re: Is there even a contact issue here ?

      Netflix has the right to distribute the content to an IP address in the US, which it's doing.

      They probably have the right to distribute it to a *person* in the US.

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 9 Jun 2015 @ 11:57pm

        Re: Re: Is there even a contact issue here ?

        No, an IP address can mean several people or several devices, and Netflix accounts generally allow you to stream to 2 devices simultaneously (which can have different IPs). They don't know if each device has one person or a room full of people sat in front of it, nor do they need to.

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        • icon
          nasch (profile), 10 Jun 2015 @ 10:38am

          Re: Re: Re: Is there even a contact issue here ?

          They don't know if each device has one person or a room full of people sat in front of it, nor do they need to.

          I mean they can distribute content to an account holder ('s household), not that there's only one person in the room. My point is that it seems unlikely Netflix's contracts with studios specifies distribution in terms of where the IP address is located. I could be wrong though.

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 10 Jun 2015 @ 12:43pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Is there even a contact issue here ?

            "I mean they can distribute content to an account holder ('s household), not that there's only one person in the room."

            Still not correct, as far as I'm aware. I couldn't find anything concrete in Netflix's T&Cs, but I know that a while ago I accidentally left a friend's PC logged in when I visited the UK, and he used it at the same time I was streaming something (when physically in Spain, VPNed into the US).

            They may have changed it, but I've definitely seen it stream to 2 completely different external IPs at the same time.

            "My point is that it seems unlikely Netflix's contracts with studios specifies distribution in terms of where the IP address is located"

            Why unlikely? The entire studio distribution business model is based around parcelling content off to different regions. It's not unusual for a film to have many different distributors, each of which is limited to a small geographical market for their rights.

            What's a more logical explanation for why Netflix's catalogue varies so wildly between regions, yet they themselves have no problem with you moving between them when you're travelling?

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            • icon
              nasch (profile), 10 Jun 2015 @ 1:23pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is there even a contact issue here ?

              They may have changed it, but I've definitely seen it stream to 2 completely different external IPs at the same time.

              That would tend to support my position.

              Why unlikely? The entire studio distribution business model is based around parcelling content off to different regions.

              Just a hunch really, it just doesn't sound like MPAA studios to get down to the level of IP addresses when writing contracts. It seems more likely to me that they specify restrictions in terms of subscribers. Certainly if they had any awareness at all about VPNs, they wouldn't have left such an enormous hole in the contract as specifying nothing more than the location of the destination IP address.

              What's a more logical explanation for why Netflix's catalogue varies so wildly between regions, yet they themselves have no problem with you moving between them when you're travelling?

              The former is because of their agreements with studios. I'm not sure about the latter. Do you mean it's easy for a US Netflix subscriber to access US Netflix content from a different country without using a VPN? Because that isn't what I've heard, but I have little personal experience.

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              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 10 Jun 2015 @ 11:16pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is there even a contact issue here ?

                "That would tend to support my position."

                Hmmm... OK I may have misunderstood what you were getting at then. Apologies.

                "Just a hunch really, it just doesn't sound like MPAA studios to get down to the level of IP addresses when writing contracts"

                They wouldn't normally. IPs are, however, the way that streaming services geolocate the customer and determine which licenced content to offer. It's not unlikely that the studios would try and force their way further into this by trying to demand that VPNed connection are disallowed or other tactics to try and control on an IP level. Again, their entire distribution model gravitates around regional restrictions, so if IP addresses are what determines regions going forward, that's where they want to get involved.

                "The former is because of their agreements with studios. I'm not sure about the latter"

                I'd say the latter is because Netflix's basic model is consumer-oriented rather than studio-oriented. Which is to say the "loophole" exploited by VPNs is there to account for the fact that a portion of Netflix's customer base is not eternally bound to the nation where they were first spawned. Anyone who's travelled to any degree knows how annoying it can be to suddenly be blocked from accessing the things you've paid for because you're standing on the wrong patch of dirt. Netflix's response is to ease things for the customer, the studios would demand that people buy another subscription for the new country.

                "Do you mean it's easy for a US Netflix subscriber to access US Netflix content from a different country without using a VPN?"

                No, I mean that if you happen to cross the Canadian border (for example), many other services would simply show you a message saying your account isn't valid there. Netflix simply show you the content that's available to you in Canada until such time as you return home (or go to a different country, in which case they show you that country's selection). Remember, the studios have a long history of trying to make it illegal to use a DVD purchased in a different region, so it's hardly unlikely that they'll try similar things with streaming services where they not only have the ultimate veto power over their content but much finer granular control over location.

                Again, the VPN thing is just allowing you to access the services you would have if you were travelling, without you actually having to go anywhere. The reaction to the change in location on Netflix's end just happens to be the same whether or not you physically travel.

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        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 11 Jun 2015 @ 7:47am

          Re: Re: Re: Is there even a contact issue here ?

          "Netflix accounts generally allow you to stream to 2 devices simultaneously"

          Netflix allows me to use five devices simultaneously.

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          • icon
            nasch (profile), 11 Jun 2015 @ 9:00am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Is there even a contact issue here ?

            Netflix allows me to use five devices simultaneously.

            Which means they allow you to stream to two devices simultaneously. ;-) How many depends on your account.

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 12 Jun 2015 @ 12:05am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Is there even a contact issue here ?

            There's multiple subscription levels, and that's one of them. The standard subscription is for 2 devices.

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  • identicon
    AnonCow, 9 Jun 2015 @ 2:07pm

    Ironically, I live in the U.S. and use a VPN with a Canadian endpoint so I can't access Netflix....

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2015 @ 2:08pm

    Any one else notice that Ms. Turcke just admitted to her minor child committing what she would seek to make a crime, and that as the parent of said minor child, she would be responsible for said criminality? I wonder; what Bell would think of one of their executives being responsible for such a crime?

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 9 Jun 2015 @ 2:08pm

    "Why am I paying again if this is how I'm treated?"

    She should be rather careful there with that argument, as it's one I could see backfiring badly.

    I know if I was going out of my way to pay for something, paying extra in fact, and yet someone still insisted that what I was doing was no different than regular piracy, I would not exactly be too thrilled with the treatment, and I'm sure I wouldn't be the only one to feel like that.

    If they're going to treat me like a pirate, claim that I, a paying customer, are no different than someone that doesn't pay at all, then I'd start to wonder if I wasn't wasting my money when I could go another route. Why pay if you're going to be treated as though you hadn't after all?

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  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 9 Jun 2015 @ 2:13pm

    What's next for this deviant juvenile?! Going to another country, buying a book and bringing it back home?! Her evil knows no bounds.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2015 @ 2:22pm

    >What's next for this deviant juvenile?! Going to another country, buying a book and bringing it back home?

    Did this mother know you could go to a place where you could get movies and TV shows without paying ANYTHING AT ALL? Yes, music too.

    In corporate boardrooms it's probably called a "doubleplusungood EastAsian crimescene". In honest communities they use the word "library".

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  • icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), 9 Jun 2015 @ 2:22pm

    Since the invention of the DVD, regional restrictions have been the major driver of piracy worldwide, all in an effort to keep media costs high in developed countries.

    The #1 thing studios can do to stop piracy is end regional restrictions on their content, but they won't because their contracts (and the bulk of their middle men business) relies on regional restrictions.

    The victims are the people around the world that simply want to watch a movie or listen to some music - one that maybe got a lot of press six months ago but because they don't live in the United States they still can't see it, even though they share the same world wide web that we do.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 10 Jun 2015 @ 12:04am

      Re:

      "Since the invention of the DVD, regional restrictions have been the major driver of piracy worldwide"

      Actually, it's worth mentioning that it was a major driver even in the VHS days. It's just that other than artifical home release windows, most of the reasons for such restrictions were of a natural technological nature (PAL vs NTSC vs SECAM having been developed separately before home video was invented) or a clear logistics issue.

      Starting with DVD, restrictions were clearly artificial, so consumers are far less likely to accept them. Especially now, where it's possible to change region without leaving your sofa and see exactly how poor your service is compared to other countries.

      "they share the same world wide web that we do"

      For some reason, these companies love to use the world wide web to reduce their costs and increase their profits, but seem utterly clueless as to what the first 2 words actually mean. They're probably the people who also mock "global warming" because a tiny portion of the US is cold on a particular day, forgetting wheat the first word refers to.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2015 @ 3:13pm

      Re:

      I like this quote from the article:
      "This seems to confirm that the European Commission does not intend to force distributors to offer a single licence for the whole of Europe, but will require that Europeans can access material they have paid for, wherever they are in the EU, without encountering geo-blocking."

      Oh if only Canada had such common sense then Bell's business model would go the way of the buggy whip...

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2015 @ 2:36pm

    "Mom, did you know that you can hack into U.S. Netflix and get sooo many more shows?”

    Using a VPN is hacking now? I can't resist:

    "The Turcke, that cracked the Netflix d-base?"

    "That was a long time ago."

    "Jesus."

    "What?"

    "I just thought you were a guy."

    "Most guys do."

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    • icon
      tqk (profile), 9 Jun 2015 @ 4:04pm

      Re:

      Ah, jeez. All she wanted was to watch a few goofy sitcoms, and now she's labeled for life another misfit Mitnick clone? Poor kid. Divorce your mother. Run away!

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    • identicon
      Joe K, 9 Jun 2015 @ 7:30pm

      Re:

      Using a VPN is hacking now?


      From the speaker's perspective, yes. Even basic literacy is threatening. Always has been, always will be:

      We are speaking here about the time when the Church went
      out in its full force and ruled that it was unnecessary for its
      citizens to learn to read or to write, because the priest could tell
      them anyway everything they needed to know. The Church understood what
      it would mean for them to lose their control. Then came the printing
      press.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2015 @ 2:40pm

    Now that she has confessed to her daughters stealing I hope she enjoys the MAFIAA suing her daughter for $150,000 per copyright infringement. /sarcasm

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  • icon
    Mike Shore (profile), 9 Jun 2015 @ 2:49pm

    Stealing?

    Anyone who compares infringement to stealing instantly loses the argument, along with their credibility. Godwin's Law deserves a new corollary.

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    • icon
      nasch (profile), 9 Jun 2015 @ 7:44pm

      Re: Stealing?

      Anyone who compares infringement to stealing instantly loses the argument, along with their credibility.

      I don't even see how this is copyright infringement. Terms of service violation maybe, but that would be about it.

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  • identicon
    A Non-Mouse, 9 Jun 2015 @ 2:50pm

    Socially unacceptable

    "It has to become socially unacceptable to admit to another human being that you are VPNing into U.S. Netflix," Turcke said...

    The real message that Turcke failed to receive from her daughter is that it's ALREADY socially unacceptable for 'U.S. Netflix' to be different from 'Canada Netflix'. Borders don't exist on the internet. Learn to accept that and this all gets much easier!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2015 @ 3:03pm

    Norways answer

    "We are now offering services that are both better and more user-friendly than illegal platforms" quote from Marte Thorsby of IFPI.

    Bell only needs to worry if their product is inferior to what VPN offers users - oh wait!! that is EXACTLY what Turcke is saying. Bell (and Telus) have an inferior product and she wants Canadians to be forced to buy it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2015 @ 3:44pm

    Theft

    Paying for content is stealing? Wow. I hope Mary Ann Turcke has a good chiropractor. Sticking your head so far up your ass can't be good for your posture.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JP Jones (profile), 9 Jun 2015 @ 5:41pm

    How is this in any way a moral issue? Do people even know what "morals" are anymore? Since when is "doing something I don't want you to do for my own selfish reasons" a moral violation?

    Here's a fundamental flaw in copyright discussions. You can't discuss morals without discussing intent. Intent is core to moral action. We all instinctively know this. That's why burning a house down intentionally is considered arson and doing it accidentally is, at most, negligence, with significantly different potential punishments.

    The problem is that we've forgotten about intent. I'm not talking about intent to "steal" movies via copyright infringement. I'm talking about the intent of copyright in the first place. Why does copyright exist at all?

    First of all, it's not a "natural right." There is no natural right to own what you create, in fact the entire concept of property implies the opposite. If I create a chair, then sell you the chair, I no longer own that chair. It's yours, and you can do whatever you want with it.

    Likewise, if I tell a joke, and you tell your friends that joke too, no natural right has been violated, even if I thought up the joke. Ideas are inherently meant to be shared; this is also known as "education" or "communication." The whole purpose of communication is transferring ideas to other people, otherwise it would have no function.

    That's what gets me about the copyright discussion. We've created laws around copyright protections...that's not really up for debate. But what is the point of those laws?

    Think of other laws. We have laws against corporate fraud. Why? To protect the public from abuse. We have laws against jaywalking. Why? To prevent people from getting hit by cars. There's a purpose and intent behind laws, even if sometimes that purpose is to make people richer or if the law doesn't actually accomplish its purpose.

    So what's the purpose of copyright? It depends on your country, of course, but in the U.S. we have it in pretty plain language; "to promote the Progress of Science and the Useful Arts..."

    So if the morals behind a law are in the intent, not the effect, how is copyright infringement immoral? Illegal, sure, but immoral? Are pirates really causing less art to be created? If you believe they are, and many people do, can you prove it?

    I ask this because all the evidence I see is the opposite. Creators create even without monetary incentive and plenty of "copyright" industries exist with little to no copyright protections. In fact, the main beneficiaries I see from copyright are distributers/publishers, who don't create anything, and lawyers, who don't create anything. What exactly are artists gaining?

    So if the intent of copyright is to encourage the creation of intellectual works, and copyright law is at best not affecting the creation of intellectual works, and at worst actively harming those efforts, what moral imperative is there to follow copyright law? If someone made a law that I need to tip my hat to a statue of Walt Disney, and I refuse to do so, have I committed a moral crime, or just broken a stupid rule?

    There's nothing immoral about using a VPN to access information, or to pirate, or any other copying. It's illegal, sure, but I have absolutely no moral imperative to obey your imaginary rights to my copy of something you created. It doesn't make sense in practice, similar to how, after looking for traffic on an empty street, most people will cross the street outside of a crosswalk. Have they broken the law? Sure. Have they done something morally wrong? Only the most bizarre rule-mongers or fanatics would say so.

    That's what I see when people go on and on about piracy and VPNs. A bunch of adults complaining about jaywalkers and calling it trespassing on government property and reckless endangerment.

    Sorry if I roll my eyes and keep walking.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Simple, 9 Jun 2015 @ 5:54pm

    They pay, they steal.

    They don't pay, they don't steal.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Zem, 9 Jun 2015 @ 6:29pm

    Betcha Mary Ann forces her daughter to listen to music on a Zune.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Steve, 9 Jun 2015 @ 7:11pm

    As big media knows that the real battle will be against VPNs, the first shots will be fired from the Morality Cannon.
    Just like saying "God is on our side", this will then legitimise everything they ask for later.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Almost Anonymous (profile), 10 Jun 2015 @ 9:22am

      Re:

      And the funniest thing about this is that businesses, including "big media", are amoral by definition. The only true goal of any for-profit business is to amass wealth. If it is a publicly traded business, then they have a fiduciary responsibility to their share-holders to amass wealth as efficiently as possible; if the business does not, the responsible management can be sued.

      Notice that morality, and indeed even legality, don't come into that equation! Legality is usually an accepted factor, because it is easier, in the long run, to amass wealth when the business follows the law (or at least most of the laws). However, as we all know, even legality is often tossed by the wayside.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2015 @ 7:13pm

    No doubt that excludes any executives from his company that are caught stealing from other services

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2015 @ 8:19pm

    Netflix should seriously get some kind of prize for encouraging VPN usage across the world. EFF, please get on that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    techflaws (profile), 9 Jun 2015 @ 10:20pm

    You know, globalization is only good for companies, not for customers. Seriously though, did she really think that point would fly?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    PaulT (profile), 10 Jun 2015 @ 12:10am

    No defense from the usual morons? Shame. I *really* want a reason why it's "stealing" to pay a premium to access content that's not available legally. Just someone to try and justify it.

    "A scolding lecture ensued, putting an end to the VPNing at the Turcke house"

    In other words - Turcke berated her children into accepting a lower value subscription. Good corporate citizen, when fed a shit sandwich, lap it up gladly without question, don't you dare look at the steak offered to your neighbour!

    Out of interest, I wonder if she'd have the same reaction if her children physically stepped across the border and access content that way. If not, what's the difference?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Violynne (profile), 10 Jun 2015 @ 3:12am

    Turcke should be shaming the content providers who go out of their way to price gouge Canadians for the exact same content provided in the US.

    Instead, we see another executive who is clearly incapable of relating to the people.

    The day companies start enforcing non-VPN connections is the day I stop being their customer.

    Perhaps then, they'll get the point.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 10 Jun 2015 @ 6:09am

      Re:

      "content providers who go out of their way to price gouge Canadians for the exact same content provided in the US."

      Except... that's not the issue here. The issue is that they're *not* offering the exact same content to Canadians as they do in the US. The VPN usage is not to access cheaper prices (in fact VPN users often pay more), it's to access the greater range of content on offer.

      "The day companies start enforcing non-VPN connections is the day I stop being their customer. Perhaps then, they'll get the point."

      Define "they". If you mean Netflix, it's unlikely that any Canadian provider will be able to match the US Netflix range of content, for the exact same reason why Netflix Canada aren't able to provide it (regional licencing). Cancelling your Netflix subscription won't send the message to the content owners that they need to work out their dated business model and offer the same content to everyone, yet that's the point you need to get across.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2015 @ 7:02am

    Ship 'em all to a foreign country...

    Ship all people who are against VPNs to a foreign country and have them use their internet. Before long, they are going to complain that they can't understand a thing in their own language.

    Renewing anything in a foreign country is pretty much an impossibility because: a) the renewal site is in a foreign language; b) the currency is in a foreign currency and doesn't necessarily translate to your normal currency; and c) these foreign countries add extra charges that your normal currency doesn't have.

    VPNs are a saving grace to those of us who live in foreign lands.

    And, no, I do not use Netflix.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 10 Jun 2015 @ 7:44am

      Re: Ship 'em all to a foreign country...

      "Ship all people who are against VPNs to a foreign country and have them use their internet."

      Cool, I'm in need of another holiday. I've already spent time in 4 countries this year that have a better Netflix range than my country of residence, which do you want me to go to next?

      "Renewing anything in a foreign country is pretty much an impossibility"

      *glances at my setup*

      Weird, I pay for Hulu in US$, Netflix in GBP and my VPN in CA$ and my bank account is in EUR, yet I access all those services fine.

      "a) the renewal site is in a foreign language"

      Cool, I speak 2 languages and know how to use various tools to communicate on a basic level in most others, at least enough to perform a simple financial transaction. Which one do you want me to use?

      Also, did you not notice that the article is referring to English speaking countries? How much of a language problem is your average Canadian going to have in the US?

      "b) the currency is in a foreign currency and doesn't necessarily translate to your normal currency"

      Erm... yes it does. How do you think bureau de changes and foreign exchange markets work. You're not so sheltered that you've never been to a place that uses a foreign currency, surely, or do you have a specific weird currency pairing in mind?

      "c) these foreign countries add extra charges that your normal currency doesn't have."

      ...and if I'm fine with those charges for the extra content I get in return? Not a problem.

      "And, no, I do not use Netflix."

      Well, you don't travel, don't educate yourself (at least not with regard to how language and currency work) or watch Netflix through a VPN.

      What do you do, other than randomly whining about how other access the content they pay for?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 10 Jun 2015 @ 7:51am

      Re: Ship 'em all to a foreign country...

      "VPNs are a saving grace to those of us who live in foreign lands."

      Oh, I missed this one...

      It might surprise you, but *everybody* lives in foreign lands, depending on your point of view. A VPN benefits a person in the US trying to access UK or Japanese content as much as it benefits a Brit trying to access stuff in the US.

      They're a saving grace to anyone who has their access to the content they wish to pay for blocked by artificial hurdles.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2015 @ 5:38pm

        Re: Re: Ship 'em all to a foreign country...

        I don't get it; isn't the original poster saying he's against people who are against VPNs? Why the response?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2015 @ 8:03am

    Stealing

    So that's why the Netflix catalog is dwindling. The Canadians are stealing it all!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 10 Jun 2015 @ 8:39am

    I'll shame Turcke instead

    I'll shame Mary Ann Turcke instead, for publicly saying patently ridiculous things.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 10 Jun 2015 @ 1:20pm

      Re: I'll shame Turcke instead

      Joke's on you, people like that are incapable of feeling shame. No ability to feel shame makes blatantly misleading or flat out wrong statements possible to say without batting an eye.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Alfie, 23 Jul 2015 @ 7:41am

    Something tells me Netflix are powerful enough to dictate their own terms.

    In other news - here is a list of services to unblock it https://www.bestvpnz.com/best-vpn-smart-dns-services-for-netflix/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 23 Jul 2015 @ 8:26am

      Re:

      Something tells me Netflix are powerful enough to dictate their own terms.

      If that were true, I think they would have a lot more movies available for streaming.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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