I'm using a different VPN and the status this morning is the same as it has been since January: I cannot access US Netflix content if I connect to the NYC, NJ or Chicago servers, but if I use the server at a location in the middle of the US (i.e. away from the border with Canada) I'm good to go. Since it is still working I don't really want to share the provider or the location that works.
I can understand the flow of this article and I actually agree with it and a lot of the comments too but it seems to me that it overlooks something that at least some of us like about the choice...
I'm not really overjoyed about the skinny bundle I have - I pay $25 for the mandatory channels and and additional $6 for the US networks, I get one DVR that I own connected to the service for free and my second DVR could be connected for an extra $15 (which I've chosen to not do). However, I get exactly the channels that I watch programming on - CBC, Global, CTV, Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC for a total of just over $30 per month plus taxes. I used to pay $90 per month to watch those channels and then I had a bunch of sports, news and reality TV channels that I never watched......EVER
For me, this is perfect (and there are a few other Canadians in this same position) - if I need to catch anything else there is the internet as everyone points out and it gives me peace of mind when I'm travelling for business that I won't get calls at all hours from my non technically inclined family members because as much as cord cutters boost that concept, it isn't easy for everyone to make this stuff work reliably all the time.
Also, unfortunately we don't have Google trying to install fibre in Canada so our ISP's have no incentive to improve connectivity. My connection might give me 60MBPS at 2am on a Tuesday when Jupiter is rising in Cancer or something like that, but trying to put an episode of Bones up on a 50" TV on a Sunday at 8pm at anything approaching even standard definition through XBMC is enough to try the patience of a buddist monk.
I'm with Shaw Satellite and I can tell you that the individual channel prices have gone up by around $1 per month so that is clearly attempting to profit, but the channel bundles have always been $6 to $8, so I guess you could probably conclude that most of the price you are referring to is due to the channel demands.
You can't be thinking about the same United States as I am. Lawsuits because coffee is too hot? Lawsuits over footwear choices? I could go on....Filing a lawsuit over increasing the risk of being hacked is almost sane in comparison...
Connecting to the internet via an unsecured AP at a hotel (which I do frequently) is nothing short of irresponsible and every time I've done a speed test using my VPN while at home, my 60Mb connection has been no slower than 55Mb so I can't complain about a slowdown there, since I don't need more than about 3Mb for SD and 5Mb for HD.
We've talked about this around our office a fair bit as our engineers travel around the world for business and want their Netflix in some form (we are based in Canada by the way).
The first problem I see with your suggestion is physical internet connections around the world... an example is China - if you stay in a major brand hotel in some locations they have agreements with the Chinese government to bypass parts of the Great Firewall (TM) and allow VPN usage so you can actually watch Netflix over there (its complicated politics and business). However, the major pipe back to North America goes to the LA area so that is the best location for VPN connectivity if you want to stream stuff. I've tried connecting to my Toronto VPN location from Taicang and the Netflix experience is almost unusable, whereas connecting to LA is tolerable.
...but that isn't really much different than your cable or satellite TV bill, if you have one - you don't really posess any of that programming either. I don't know what your situation is like, but my combined Internet and Netflix bill is less than my satellite bill - a service that I see going away in the next couple of months, once its warm enough to go outside and install an HD antenna in place of the dish....
Interestingly enough I was caught by this net last night. I'm in the US on business and was connecting to a US VPN node at my hotel, which I always do when on a network that could have security problems. Anyway, Netflix popped up the now annoying "oops you seem to be using a proxy - turn it off you bad boy" message. Took about 2 minutes of flipping between various servers offered up by my VPN service to find one that wasn't blocked.
I do wonder how long it will be before Netflix starts paying out millions in fees to lawyers to battle the inevitable lawsuits by American users who cannot access content they paid for, in their own country, unless they lower their personal security settings.
If the following is true: Conceivably, if the Copyright Office gets its way that might mean you'd still need to tell the Copyright Office every time you intended to use the work
What exactly is the process you go through to tell the Copyright office that you want to use the work? Would it be possible for people to application bomb the office with enough requests that it can't get any other work done?
I'm so happy to hear that I don't really want my global unlimited data plan from Verizon. I will remember that next time I'm on business in China (wait, that trip starts today) and I want to make a call back home and I'll remember the good old days when I was really happy to pay dollars per minute in extortionate roaming fees instead of a VOIP call that is free as part of my plan. I'll fondly look back on those days when I had to deal with the Great Firewall when using wifi in a cafe instead of simply calling up my Verizon data plan and bypassing the worst of the censorship. I think maybe I've been mistaken all this time. I should cancel this plan and join all the other happy users who have seen the light. But maybe I'll wait until this trip is over.......
I would think that a more reasonable test for copyright would be whether someone is still producing and selling a work. We have all these pro business people telling us all the time that "the market" (whatever that is) does the best job of determining whether something is economically viable...if business can't make money off something any more (or is unwilling to) and shows it by abandoning the work then perhaps that is the time to let the public domain have at it.
Actually, I was thinking that since I never had any trouble downloading torrents while I was living in China, I suggest that VPN people could change their protocols to make the traffic look like torrent traffic. This would bypass the blockage and as a bigger bonus, those accused of piracy by the MPAA and other criminal organisations could just smile sweetly and say "sorry, you must be mistaken I was simply connected to the secure tunnel to my place of work - your detection software must be broken".
It is actually pretty simple to use the legal (well mostly legal) routes. I use a Sony Reader and buy everything in ePub format. If it doesn't exist in that format, I wait or buy something else. The publication immediately gets its DRM removed upon download if it has such an evil thing. Now there is no way for Sony or Google or anyone else to delete my account and remove my legally purchased items from my possession. OK, so I'm probably going to go to Publishers H**l when I die (if such a thing exists) but in the interim I'm going to enjoy my reading the way I want.
No epub for my Sony reader either. Even if I had a US credit card to order the hard cover from Amazon, I'm sure that the censors here in China would stop it at the border. You really would think that a book available to a broader audience would have made more sense to kick off the book club
Chances are though that a large amount of the equipment any other supplier provides to fulfill this contract will be made in China (or have substantial portions made in China), so the back doors may be there anyway.
Your own article earlier in the day spoke to the appeal of the judges reduction of the Jammie Thomas jury award. At $80K per song, that drive would only need 63 songs on it to blow though the $5M if one were to plug it in and make it available via file sharing network.