Many people who don't live in the US use clever get-arounds to access the latest shows and movies on Netflix, which houses its biggest online content library in the States, where users also get first-look at many of its popular shows.
But one such get-around, an un-blocker called ViperDNS which tricks websites into thinking a user has come from a different region, has started hijacking users' American Netflix apps with ads.
Instead of seeing the Netflix logo on their PS4s, or the marketing image for "American Horror Story" inside the Apple US Netflix app, users are being presented with text ads that state "to continue streaming US Netflix for free please visit ViperDNS.com."
Users have been complaining on Twitter and on Reddit that it is hampering their user experience. For some it just makes the apps look ugly, but for others, it is stopping them viewing American Netflix at all. Some people feared their devices, or Netflix, had been hacked.
"If they want to continue having free access to US Netflix they just need to sign up at our website and reboot their device(s). If they don't want to use our service anymore simply removing our DNS servers from their device(s) and rebooting it will restore their regular Netflix."
Business Insider has contacted Netflix for comment and we will update this article once we hear back.
Of course, Netflix doesn't encourage use of DNS (domain name system) blockers like ViperDNS or VPNs (virtual private networks) like Hola (which was recently hijacked and used as a giant "botnet" to attack a website.) The TV and movie industry is still archaic — in spite of the fact that the internet breaks down international boundaries — and platforms and broadcasters must pay and negotiate different contracts for each individual country they plan to broadcast content in.
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.
They later go on to say:
You also agree not to: circumvent, remove, alter, deactivate, degrade or thwart any of the content protections in the Netflix service; use any robot, spider, scraper or other automated means to access the Netflix service.
Reddit user CrypticCraig claimed back in April that a Netflix employee on the support team wrote via email: "Netflix opposes the use of VPNs."
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