For as amazing as Netflix is, the streaming service is about to get even better for subscribers who happen to live in the EU.
While not an official law just yet, lawmakers from the EU are reportedly putting the finishing touches on legislation that would, at long last, end some of the frustrating licensing restrictions that currently prevents subscribers in some EU countries from accessing certain content in neighboring countries.
Per the new law, media companies like Netflix will no longer be able to restrict access to content based on a user’s IP address.
While ostensibly a non-issue, thorny licensing issues have resulted in wildly varying media libraries across different countries.
While not an issue for most folks in the United States, this has presented some users in Europe with headaches upon discovering that programs they enjoyed in their home country can’t be viewed in a neighboring country.
The legislation may have an effect unique to Netflix accounts, since under certain deals Netflix allows a user to share their subscription with up to four other people, not all of whom need be resident in the origin country of the subscriber. Whether or not extra users based in other countries (particularly EU countries) will henceforth be directed to content from the subscriber’s own country is not clear.
The issue began to fulminate nearly a year ago, when Netflix began to maintain and enforce a blacklist of IP addresses associated with Virtual Private Network (VPN) providers, which prevented the relatively common practice of users accessing their home countries’ catalogues when visiting other countries.
If all goes according to plan, the revised regulations governing the aforementioned viewing restrictions will go into effect in early 2018.
As a final point, it’s worth noting that the new regulations will not result in different countries hosting the exact same library of content.