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# 141393 11-Mar-2014 12:37
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Quiet an interesting take on this...

Using services such as virtual private networks (VPNs) or a DNS-based “un-blocker” such as UnoTelly to access Netflix, Spotify, and other online content services from South Africa is copyright infringement. This is according to Nicholas Hall from Michalsons Attorneys, who was answering MyBroadband’s questions about bypassing region restrictions put in place by online content services such as Netflix. The problem isn’t that you are fooling these services into believing that you are from the United States. Using a tool such as UnoTelly or a VPN is perfectly legal so long as you use them for legal purposes, Hall said. However, it is illegal to access content outside the region that it has been licensed for, Hall said.

This is because you are using copyrighted material outside the terms of its license, which is copyright infringement. Or, in the vernacular, “piracy”.


“Having the capability to access Netflix’s content doesn’t equate to permission to access it. If you lack permission to access the Netflix content you lack a license to access that content and unlicensed or unauthorised access to the Netflix content is copyright infringement,” Jacobson said. “In legal terms, this is tantamount to torrenting the content,” he added.


When Hall was asked whether it would be accurate to say that SA law regards bypassing region locks and simply downloading a movie using BitTorrent or Usenet as the same offence, Hall said that different sections of the Copyright Act apply. “Strictly speaking it isn’t the same offence, but it amounts to the same thing,” Hall said. Hall explained that such infringement isn’t criminal, but added that rights holders could sue offenders if they wanted to, though he doesn’t believe they would.

The services themselves could also hold you in breach of contract as circumventing their region restrictions is against their terms of service, but Hall said that they are unlikely to take action.


“To my mind the party that would be most interested in taking action are the broadcasters in South Africa, namely StarSat (neé TopTV) and MultiChoice,” Hall said.


http://mybroadband.co.za/news/internet/98330-netflix-hulu-streaming-illegal-in-sa.html


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  # 1002753 11-Mar-2014 13:00
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I guess at the end of the day it comes down, as often, to money. 

Is the cost of taking action likely to result in more money than it is worth. 

As the article says the legal rights holder in the country concerned could take action, or studio of such who licensed the content in the first place, but the best targets from a 'they have money and might pay' point of view would be ISPs or NetFlix and Co. These guys have the least culpability. The rights holder could take action against individuals but while culpability would be higher ability to pay would be lower. 

In the end it just isn't worth it for anybody. 

The real pity is that it also isn't worth it to build a better content distribution system. 




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  # 1002783 11-Mar-2014 13:38
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So the irony is that you can pay for it and its still piracy.

That said it would be pretty poor if you were prosecuted over paying for and viewing content - but not impossible.




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  # 1002789 11-Mar-2014 13:55
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robjg63: So the irony is that you can pay for it and its still piracy.

That said it would be pretty poor if you were prosecuted over paying for and viewing content - but not impossible.

 

There used to be plenty of Russian where you pay for the music on the cheap, but they didn't actually have the rights to sell it to you.

 

Streaming Netflix from a country outside of those allowed by Netflix T&C is essentially the same, as the content creators did not agree for Netflix to distribute their content in New Zealand, or any other country 
Netflix doesn't operate in.  Netflix doesn't have the right to show content in NZ, thus tries to stop you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  # 1002794 11-Mar-2014 14:03
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macuser:
Netflix doesn't operate in.  Netflix doesn't have the right to show content in NZ, thus tries to stop you.


A part of the 'problem' is that Netflix doesn't try to hard to stop you as you are still paying them.






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  # 1002820 11-Mar-2014 14:36
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macuser:
robjg63: So the irony is that you can pay for it and its still piracy.

That said it would be pretty poor if you were prosecuted over paying for and viewing content - but not impossible.
There used to be plenty of Russian where you pay for the music on the cheap, but they didn't actually have the rights to sell it to you. Streaming Netflix from a country outside of those allowed by Netflix T&C is essentially the same, as the content creators did not agree for Netflix to distribute their content in New Zealand, or any other country 
Netflix doesn't operate in.  Netflix doesn't have the right to show content in NZ, thus tries to stop you.                  


Actually, due to an inconsistency in Russian law, they did have the rights to sell it to you.  If you're interested, read up on it.  AllOfMP3's arguments are actually quite persuasive, though ultimately futile.

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  # 1002866 11-Mar-2014 16:06
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Prosecuting someone for this would be counter productive for the license holders. It would take away a revenue stream and make a lot of people go back to torrenting again.

The license holders (movie companies & co) do get paid when you watch something on Netflix in New Zealand, even though you are circumventing the geo-block they have put on the service. They get paid as if you were an american viewer (or any other region you decide to want to belong to when you use Unblock-us or other such services).

The issue here is that the license holders would like to be able to have different prices for different regions, and therefor they don't want "global access".




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  # 1002879 11-Mar-2014 16:13
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jarledb: 

The issue here is that the license holders would like to be able to have different prices for different regions, and therefor they don't want "global access".


There was a lot of writing back in the day when this issue related to the music industry that the issue isn't the creator getting paid. 

The issue is really about control and the right of 'the industry' to exert that control. Or to think of it another way there are a vast amount of 'middle men' between us and the content creator. If they were not clipping the ticket on the way past they would have to get real jobs. 




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