28 votes

Netflix intensifies ‘VPN ban’ and targets residential IP-addresses too

65 comments

  1. arp242
    Link
    Ah yes, piracy: paying to access content but not in the way I want you to.

    These changes came after copyright holders repeatedly complained that ‘pirates’ were bypassing Netflix’s geographical restrictions.

    Ah yes, piracy: paying to access content but not in the way I want you to.

    33 votes
  2. [15]
    calm_bomb
    Link
    We're getting back to where we were before Netflix. Fragmentation and multiplication of streaming services are driving people back to piracy - myself included. Many people don't afford this. Also,...

    We're getting back to where we were before Netflix. Fragmentation and multiplication of streaming services are driving people back to piracy - myself included. Many people don't afford this. Also, many people (like me) don't like having 5+ apps to watch movies/TV series.

    Also, containerization/automation made piracy much easier - especially if you live in a country where no one gives a fuck about the law.

    23 votes
    1. [2]
      babypuncher
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      That's not where we were before Netflix. The old way was cable. One local company charged you out the ass for a bunch of channels, most of which you probably didn't want. If you wanted some extra...

      That's not where we were before Netflix. The old way was cable. One local company charged you out the ass for a bunch of channels, most of which you probably didn't want. If you wanted some extra premium channels, you had to get them in pricey bundles. Good luck subscribing to a premium channel for just a month or two, because cable companies love locking you into yearlong contracts in exchange for discounts.

      The new status quo has eliminated the cable company middleman and the bundling. Now you just subscribe to the channels you want and ignore the rest. We are absolutely in a better place today than we were 15 years ago.

      13 votes
      1. Akir
        Link Parent
        Exactly! And cable was usually somewhere between $40 and $80 a month! Every time I see people complaining about how many cheap choices they have I go a little bit crazier. The way we consume media...

        Exactly! And cable was usually somewhere between $40 and $80 a month! Every time I see people complaining about how many cheap choices they have I go a little bit crazier. The way we consume media is drastically better than it was before; we no longer have to pay to see advertisements for one, and we can now watch our choice of show whenever we want and at whatever pace we want. Before Netflix you had to buy a copy of those shows to do that, and that market was extremely exploitative, sometimes charging you $60 for a DVD with only 2-3 episodes on it. And that was only if they bothered publishing a DVD to begin with.

        And let's not forget that cable bundling is literally the thing that is making Fox News profit off of subscribers even if they don't watch it.

        7 votes
    2. Octofox
      Link Parent
      I think the modern day way is people just subscribe to one service at a time and rotate it around so you eventually get everything and still only pay for one.

      I think the modern day way is people just subscribe to one service at a time and rotate it around so you eventually get everything and still only pay for one.

      11 votes
    3. [10]
      stu2b50
      Link Parent
      Hot take, but I think this is a good thing. The prior state of "Netflix = streaming" was only possible because they had a monopoly over streaming due to being the first player. Not only do I think...

      Fragmentation and multiplication of streaming services

      Hot take, but I think this is a good thing. The prior state of "Netflix = streaming" was only possible because they had a monopoly over streaming due to being the first player. Not only do I think that this was fundamentally an impossible steady state, but it's also not a good one - monopolies tend not to be great in the long term.

      And it's not like we haven't gotten anything in the streaming wars. Think about all the amazing media content made for streaming platforms. All the netflix originals? Ted lasso? The mandalorian? Being able to watch blockbuster movies at the same time as their theatrical releases?

      That's all things the streaming companies had to do to COMPETE - if Netflix could sit on their laurels with a monopoly over streaming they wouldn't exist. Making movies and TV shows is expensive, complicated, and risky!

      10 votes
      1. [9]
        AugustusFerdinand
        Link Parent
        The counter-argument is that the streaming platforms compete with one another by getting exclusivity rights to various media, to the detriment of the user. It's as if every quarter of the year I'd...

        The counter-argument is that the streaming platforms compete with one another by getting exclusivity rights to various media, to the detriment of the user. It's as if every quarter of the year I'd have to run around to see which restaurants have license to serve chicken, when chicken should be available to any of them.

        In a perfect world, all 3rd party content would be available on all streaming services and the services themselves would have to differentiate by price, greater features, better UI/UX, and their own created content.

        15 votes
        1. [8]
          stu2b50
          Link Parent
          I wouldn’t say that’s apples to apples though. Chicken is a raw ingredient, movies are a finished product. In terms of finished food, that is the case: restaurants have their own dishes and you...

          I wouldn’t say that’s apples to apples though. Chicken is a raw ingredient, movies are a finished product. In terms of finished food, that is the case: restaurants have their own dishes and you have to run around to see which ones serve what.

          That would be more like if Tom Hanks could only be on Netflix or something.

          If Netflix gets to have exclusivity on the content they own, then there’s no reason NBC shouldn’t have the rights to put the Office on their own steaming service, no? The Office is not a public resource.

          7 votes
          1. [2]
            Thra11
            Link Parent
            Yeah but most restaurants are happy to sell you a single meal at a (hopefully) reasonable price. They don't force you to buy a monthly subscription for all the meals you can eat. I can eat at...

            restaurants have their own dishes and you have to run around to see which ones serve what.

            Yeah but most restaurants are happy to sell you a single meal at a (hopefully) reasonable price. They don't force you to buy a monthly subscription for all the meals you can eat. I can eat at multiple different restaurants in the same month, and I only pay for what I eat.

            5 votes
            1. cfabbro
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              That analogy kinda falls apart when you compare prices though. The monthly cost for each of those individual streaming service subscriptions, which typically have hundreds or thousands of...

              That analogy kinda falls apart when you compare prices though. The monthly cost for each of those individual streaming service subscriptions, which typically have hundreds or thousands of shows+movies, is less than what we used to pay to buy a single movie on DVD. So this current situation would be more like getting a month's worth of access to an all-you-can-eat buffet for less than what one meal used to cost.

              As a result, IMHO, we're still way better off now than we were back when physical media was still king, since it's way cheaper to pay for multiple streaming services than it was to buy just a handful of shows or movies per month. Yes, it sucks having to manage multiple monthly subscriptions, and bounce between the services to find what you want to watch... but that's a pretty minor inconvenience overall.

              That said, I have found myself pirating and using my VPN a lot more again lately since I don't even own a DVD player anymore, and a lot of the content I want to watch simply isn't available on any streaming services here in Canada. :/

              6 votes
          2. [5]
            AugustusFerdinand
            Link Parent
            True, but outside of insignificant differences a chicken sandwich is just a chicken sandwich. Having to run around, to find, and then pay a subscription fee to eat, a chicken sandwich is asinine....

            True, but outside of insignificant differences a chicken sandwich is just a chicken sandwich. Having to run around, to find, and then pay a subscription fee to eat, a chicken sandwich is asinine.

            Which is fine, let them set up a streaming service and compete with their wholly owned property. Every production company isn't going to have the capacity to do the same. Since NBC isn't a 3rd party, the agnostic distribution model wouldn't apply.

            2 votes
            1. [4]
              stu2b50
              Link Parent
              Eh, but there are differences. In the same vein, many TV shows are of the genre, and can be incredibly similar from a big overview, but execution is key. It’s be blasphemy to call an in n out...

              Eh, but there are differences. In the same vein, many TV shows are of the genre, and can be incredibly similar from a big overview, but execution is key. It’s be blasphemy to call an in n out burger the same as McDonald’s even though they’re both fast food and beef hamburgers.

              If you make a TV show, why shouldn’t you have the option to give whomever you want the broadcasting rights? You made it, after all. How would the alternative even work? Like you have two alternatives: broadcast it exclusively on your own platform or it becomes public domain?

              Or does the government like set a fair royalty rate for you and the streaming platform?

              Idk sometimes I’m mildly annoyed that a shop doesn’t sell their products on Amazon but I’d never say that Amazon should be able to sell all third party product suppliers, even though it’s be more convenient not to deal with their a la crate Shopify site.

              1 vote
              1. [3]
                AugustusFerdinand
                Link Parent
                I wouldn't call it blasphemy, they're both a shitty drive-thru burger. No one is saying make them public domain, just that exclusivity helps no one. Set a price you want for your program,...

                I wouldn't call it blasphemy, they're both a shitty drive-thru burger.

                No one is saying make them public domain, just that exclusivity helps no one. Set a price you want for your program, available to all services, whoever wants to carry it, pays it. Whoever thinks it's too high, won't. Simple as that.

                The same thing happens with items available at stores/Amazon. Manufacturer/wholesaler/distributor sets a price, retailers can opt to buy in or not.

                1 vote
                1. [2]
                  stu2b50
                  Link Parent
                  But there’s also nothing stopped a manufacturer from saying “hey, fuck Amazon, not going to sell there” if they wanted. And IMO there shouldn’t be - that’s your right as the manufacturer. As to...

                  But there’s also nothing stopped a manufacturer from saying “hey, fuck Amazon, not going to sell there” if they wanted. And IMO there shouldn’t be - that’s your right as the manufacturer.

                  As to benefit, there is a benefit - it means that streaming services can pay creators of 3rd party content extra money for exclusivity, which in turn allows them to make more work.

                  Or they can offer it to everyone. Up to them.

                  2 votes
                  1. AugustusFerdinand
                    Link Parent
                    Fair point, but the reality is they don't say sell-everywhere-except-Amazon and instead to exclusivity deals that are detrimental to the consumer. I'd say it could be argued that something...

                    Fair point, but the reality is they don't say sell-everywhere-except-Amazon and instead to exclusivity deals that are detrimental to the consumer.

                    I'd say it could be argued that something intangible like streaming could end up paying creators/studios more if widely available than the amount they're likely to get for exclusive rights for a period of time. Being that it's not reality, we're unlikely to ever be able to find out.

    4. calm_bomb
      Link Parent
      A reply to explain what I meant: If you're not in US and don't use a VPN (and you can see what they're doing right now about it), then you don't have all the shows. I pay (almost) the same amount...

      A reply to explain what I meant:

      If you're not in US and don't use a VPN (and you can see what they're doing right now about it), then you don't have all the shows. I pay (almost) the same amount for my subscription as an american, but I'm in Romania, so I'm not able to watch all the catalog. For example, I really wanted to see "Z.Z. Top - That Little Ol' Band from Texas", but it's not available for me, so I pirated it.

      Also, Disney, Hulu and other services are not available universally, so you're out of luck if you're not in the "correct" country.

      So, yeah, there's competition (in some parts of the world), but we're still not "there" and still people go to pirating because even if they want to pay they can't.

      3 votes
  3. [5]
    vord
    Link
    Is it really too much to ask to be able to access all Netflix content without having to resort to technical trickery? I used a VPN a bit from US to UK netflix, and there was a great variety of...

    Is it really too much to ask to be able to access all Netflix content without having to resort to technical trickery?

    I used a VPN a bit from US to UK netflix, and there was a great variety of British programming I had no idea existed.

    Region locking content was always dumb and annoying, but it's getting even moreso.

    Any media execs listening: You are not curbing pirates by having Netflix block VPNs. Piracy is an international affair, and customers whom used VPNs to get to content (legitimately IMHO) are now just as likely to go get that content from a pirated source instead.

    Everyone just wants pay a reasonable monthly fee for simple to access ad-free content. Streaming services are collapsing on both those fronts while piracy is looking nicer and nicer

    17 votes
    1. JXM
      Link Parent
      I'm sure Netflix would love to have worldwide rights to all the content they show, but content production companies love to slice and dice rights for different counties to maximize revenue.

      I'm sure Netflix would love to have worldwide rights to all the content they show, but content production companies love to slice and dice rights for different counties to maximize revenue.

      12 votes
    2. [2]
      Apos
      Link Parent
      One thing that's annoying with region locking is that some content might be available, but not all languages will be there. In Canada for example, there's a lot of content that won't have the...

      One thing that's annoying with region locking is that some content might be available, but not all languages will be there. In Canada for example, there's a lot of content that won't have the French language available. I went to Mexico a while ago and they had French on some of the content I remembered that didn't have it.

      8 votes
      1. Tardigrade
        Link Parent
        This is one of the most annoying things about it. I just wanna learn a language better and I know they have the dub or subtitles in another language but I can't get them without a vpn or piracy.

        This is one of the most annoying things about it. I just wanna learn a language better and I know they have the dub or subtitles in another language but I can't get them without a vpn or piracy.

        6 votes
    3. babypuncher
      Link Parent
      Probably, actually. A singular global Netflix library would likely be considerably smaller than the sum of their current regional libraries. Local content would probably be the first on the...

      Is it really too much to ask to be able to access all Netflix content without having to resort to technical trickery?

      Probably, actually. A singular global Netflix library would likely be considerably smaller than the sum of their current regional libraries. Local content would probably be the first on the chopping block, leading to further homogenization of culture portrayed in media.

      6 votes
  4. [3]
    Eric_the_Cerise
    Link
    A retrospective ... I used Netflix, very happily, for many years back when they physically mailed you actual, physical DVDs of the movies & TV series. It was very nearly a perfect service;...

    A retrospective ... I used Netflix, very happily, for many years back when they physically mailed you actual, physical DVDs of the movies & TV series. It was very nearly a perfect service; anything you could complain about (scratched/lost DVDs, lost mailers, mailing times, yada), Netflix had a solution for it, and usually a pretty good one.

    Literally the only problem with it was that you could only have 3 or 4 (or 5) DVDs in hand at one time, so you had to plan and schedule what you wanted to see in advance, no instant gratification. That's what streaming was supposed to solve.

    But apart from the "right now" availability, right from the start, it was always an inferior service ... they never had nearly the selection in streaming as in DVDs, the things that were available randomly got removed, then added back a month later, then removed again a month after that, etc.

    And what's much, much worse, the actual website used to have many excellent tools for finding Good Stuff to watch, a wide variety of search tools, and truly (uncannily) clever AI recommender system, opportunity for community feedback on titles (pros and cons) ...

    And year after year I watched Netflix change its service for the worse ... rather than fixing the limitations inherent in instant streaming (perhaps unfixable, given modern copyright laws), they instead kept degrading and obfuscating and flat-out deleting all the excellent features the site used to have ... in order to hide the limitations of streaming.

    It was like, the minute they crushed the competition (aka, Blockbuster), and became a de facto monopoly, they quit trying to please the consumers and started trying to please the media producers.

    ( ... and get off my lawn)

    14 votes
    1. HotPants
      Link Parent
      Dvd.com ( formerly netflix.com, formerly Qwikster, formerly netflix.com) still exists. The library is not as extensive but it far exceeds any streaming service, and the recommendation algorithm is...

      Dvd.com ( formerly netflix.com, formerly Qwikster, formerly netflix.com) still exists. The library is not as extensive but it far exceeds any streaming service, and the recommendation algorithm is still great.

      8 votes
    2. Akir
      Link Parent
      Honestly, that's one of the two things I'm truely upset at Netflix for. That recommendation algorithm was so good. The other thing is all of the shows they killed off too early.

      Honestly, that's one of the two things I'm truely upset at Netflix for. That recommendation algorithm was so good.

      The other thing is all of the shows they killed off too early.

      7 votes
  5. [11]
    Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    So... if I connect to Netflix via my landline internet service, it'll block content from me? That's a bit rude. Here in Australia, we have a country-wide government-built landline internet network...

    So... if I connect to Netflix via my landline internet service, it'll block content from me? That's a bit rude.

    Here in Australia, we have a country-wide government-built landline internet network (National Broadband Network, or NBN as it's commonly known), which many people use. This policy is going to affect a lot of Aussies.

    9 votes
    1. [10]
      mrbig
      Link Parent
      From what I can gather, if you don't use a VPN, there probably won't be any changes for you.

      From what I can gather, if you don't use a VPN, there probably won't be any changes for you.

      1 vote
      1. [9]
        Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent

        Over the past 24 hours alone, there were multiple reports from people who are suffering “missing title” issues. None of these appear to use a VPN.

        12 votes
        1. [6]
          heady
          Link Parent
          Some Australian ISPs are using CGNAT which means you are possibly sharing an ip with multiple VPN users.

          Some Australian ISPs are using CGNAT which means you are possibly sharing an ip with multiple VPN users.

          2 votes
          1. Algernon_Asimov
            Link Parent
            I'm not talking about me. I'm not having this problem. I assume Netflix hasn't started doing this in Australia yet. I'm just extrapolating from the examples in this article, and figuring that a...

            I'm not talking about me. I'm not having this problem. I assume Netflix hasn't started doing this in Australia yet.

            I'm just extrapolating from the examples in this article, and figuring that a lot of Aussie users would be blocked by this protocal if and when Netflix rolls this out to Australia.

            4 votes
          2. [4]
            frostycakes
            Link Parent
            Netflix supports IPv6 though, so CGNAT shouldn't be an issue unless it's some lazy ISP that hasn't enabled v6 despite being so low on v4 addresses that they had to go the CGNAT route.

            Netflix supports IPv6 though, so CGNAT shouldn't be an issue unless it's some lazy ISP that hasn't enabled v6 despite being so low on v4 addresses that they had to go the CGNAT route.

            3 votes
            1. [3]
              Diff
              Link Parent
              I've lived in a few different cities under a few more ISPs and I have yet to experience the taste of IPv6 on my tongue. I think the kind of "do as little as possible to keep dragging ourselves...

              I've lived in a few different cities under a few more ISPs and I have yet to experience the taste of IPv6 on my tongue. I think the kind of "do as little as possible to keep dragging ourselves along" attitude you're talking about is the dominant attitude in the industry.

              4 votes
              1. Deimos
                Link Parent
                I've accidentally broken the IPv6 setup on Tildes a couple times, and it's always been the same one user who tells me it's not working, nobody else even seems to notice. It's still such a tiny...

                I've accidentally broken the IPv6 setup on Tildes a couple times, and it's always been the same one user who tells me it's not working, nobody else even seems to notice. It's still such a tiny portion of traffic.

                5 votes
              2. frostycakes
                Link Parent
                People are nothing if not lazy when we can get away with it, I guess. I just have to wonder (as a layperson, so I don't have that great of an idea just how involved it all is) at what point this...

                People are nothing if not lazy when we can get away with it, I guess. I just have to wonder (as a layperson, so I don't have that great of an idea just how involved it all is) at what point this house of hacked-together systems to keep v4-only networks alive becomes more work than just doing the work to enable both already.

                2 votes
        2. [2]
          mrbig
          Link Parent
          Sure, it can happen. It's just not very likely from what I can gather.

          Sure, it can happen. It's just not very likely from what I can gather.

          1 vote
          1. Algernon_Asimov
            Link Parent
            It seems to be the common use case, based on the article you posted. Netflix is trying to block people using VPNs, by blocking all residential IPs. They're not being picky about which residential...

            It seems to be the common use case, based on the article you posted. Netflix is trying to block people using VPNs, by blocking all residential IPs. They're not being picky about which residential IPs they're blocking; anyone using a landline internet connection seems to be getting caught by this.

            4 votes
  6. TheJorro
    Link
    The real problem here is regional distribution. It's ancient garbage and should be thrown out with the trash. It's ridiculous that Netflix is going so far with protecting it, sure, but it's the...

    The real problem here is regional distribution. It's ancient garbage and should be thrown out with the trash. It's ridiculous that Netflix is going so far with protecting it, sure, but it's the fundamental concept that is the problem.

    Here in Canada, we can't just get HBO Max. We have to pay for Bell Media's Crave service, and then get HBO Max as an additional add-on on top of it. On top of that, it uses Crave's distribution service which is terrible in comparison to other streaming services. No surround sound on some devices, 1080p max, limited bandwidth, and more. Wehn watching dark shows is awful on that service the picture is always distractingly grainy. We're effectively paying twice the price for worse content.

    And all because HBO signed a stupid regional distribution agreement with Bell Media. Why? It's not just them either, the BBC pulled their content off of Canadian Netflix and put it on Crave too. These telecom companies, frequently rated the most expensive in the world, exercise their extorted billions to stranglehold adjacent industries here.

    Streaming services may have shown that we don't need cable, but the internet should have also shown that regional blocking isn't needed either. If the rise in VPN workarounds didn't send that message, then piracy it is. A resurgence of that will definitely send some alarm bells ringing.

    9 votes
  7. [19]
    Grzmot
    Link
    That's why I cancelled Netflix and set up a Usenet access point which has automated my downloads. It's literally better than streaming, and it's cheaper. If someone gave me that legally, I'd take...

    That's why I cancelled Netflix and set up a Usenet access point which has automated my downloads. It's literally better than streaming, and it's cheaper. If someone gave me that legally, I'd take it.

    I don't get why video streaming can't be like music streaming where everything is everywhere and you choose the service that fits you best

    5 votes
    1. [8]
      Eabryt
      Link Parent
      Probably the same reason musicians make pretty much 0 money from streaming.

      I don't get why video streaming can't be like music streaming where everything is everywhere and you choose the service that fits you best

      Probably the same reason musicians make pretty much 0 money from streaming.

      6 votes
      1. [7]
        Octofox
        Link Parent
        They don't make 0 money. The problem is that the bar has been lowered so far that anyone with a laptop can publish stuff on the same platform as full time artists and make some money. The pie has...

        They don't make 0 money. The problem is that the bar has been lowered so far that anyone with a laptop can publish stuff on the same platform as full time artists and make some money. The pie has been sliced thinner but there are far more slices now. But since we still have an ample supply of new music, clearly musicians are making enough money.

        6 votes
        1. [6]
          Eabryt
          Link Parent
          I said pretty much 0. Spotify pays on average $0.004 per stream, Apple pays $0.007, and Amazon pays $0.00402 I am not arguing we shouldn't have video streaming like music streaming. I'm just...

          I said pretty much 0.

          Spotify pays on average $0.004 per stream, Apple pays $0.007, and Amazon pays $0.00402

          I am not arguing we shouldn't have video streaming like music streaming. I'm just saying that is probably part of the reason the companies that own the media is hesitant in just releasing it everywhere.

          8 votes
          1. [4]
            JXM
            Link Parent
            Another thing to consider is that music production costs are basically zero when compared to the massive costs involved in producing a mainstream movie or TV show, so the economics of that...

            Another thing to consider is that music production costs are basically zero when compared to the massive costs involved in producing a mainstream movie or TV show, so the economics of that industry might not be a good match.

            9 votes
            1. [3]
              Pistos
              Link Parent
              Well..... that depends. Yes, it's basically zero to open your phone app or GarageBand on your Mac, and press the Record button. However, a lot goes into a standard-quality track that is worthy of...

              music production costs are basically zero

              Well..... that depends. Yes, it's basically zero to open your phone app or GarageBand on your Mac, and press the Record button. However, a lot goes into a standard-quality track that is worthy of being competitive on Spotify, iTunes, etc. Even setting aside the time and effort involved in a band or singers actually practicing the song to get good, there are costs like:

              • hiring musicians (if necessary)
              • paying a music producer to make an instrumental track (for a solo singer artist) -- this can be anywhere from 1k to 2k USD, or more
              • paying for studio time (or buying equipment to get the same kind of quality, like soundproofing, good mic and pop filter)
              • paying for editing, mastering, and/or post-production to do things like autotuning, high and lo pass filtering, taking care of hiss, crackles, fixing minor performance mistakes, EQ, effects (e.g. reverb), compression, normalization, balancing tracks (multiple vocalists, multiple instrumentalists)
              • distribution costs are low, but still non-zero (services like DistroKid and CDBaby)

              I would agree though that all these costs are probably generally lower compared with the usual amount spent to produce a good TV show or movie.

              3 votes
              1. [2]
                JXM
                Link Parent
                I take your point. I was speaking relatively. A quick (and admittedly unscientific) search says that the Michael Jackson album Invincible is the most expensive album of all time at a production...

                I take your point. I was speaking relatively. A quick (and admittedly unscientific) search says that the Michael Jackson album Invincible is the most expensive album of all time at a production cost of $30 million.

                The most expensive film ever made is hard to determine due to Hollywood accounting, but Avatar reportedly cost over $500 million.

                So we're talking completely different orders of magnitude here.

                2 votes
                1. Pistos
                  Link Parent
                  Yep, yep. I acknowledge that your point is about it being a relative comparison.

                  Yep, yep. I acknowledge that your point is about it being a relative comparison.

                  1 vote
          2. NomadicCoder
            Link Parent
            Considering that in the old days I used to buy one tape or CD per year, maybe two, on average, and now pay $10 per month, I'd say that on the whole I'm spending way more on music than I ever did...

            Considering that in the old days I used to buy one tape or CD per year, maybe two, on average, and now pay $10 per month, I'd say that on the whole I'm spending way more on music than I ever did before, and I suspect that's true of a lot of people. Almost everybody has a subscription now. Yeah, the streaming services are getting a cut, but so did the music stores before.

            4 votes
    2. [2]
      babypuncher
      Link Parent
      Because a "Spotify for movies and TV" would cost a hell of a lot more than $10/mo. TV shows can cost millions of dollars per episode to produce. Music production costs almost nothing, and the...

      Because a "Spotify for movies and TV" would cost a hell of a lot more than $10/mo. TV shows can cost millions of dollars per episode to produce. Music production costs almost nothing, and the people who actually make the music usually make most of their money from concerts and merch sales rather than streaming revenue. The economics are entirely different.

      4 votes
      1. AugustusFerdinand
        Link Parent
        Which is where we're fast approaching with the numerous streaming services that would require individual subscriptions to get to a spotify-esque level.

        Because a "Spotify for movies and TV" would cost a hell of a lot more than $10/mo.

        Which is where we're fast approaching with the numerous streaming services that would require individual subscriptions to get to a spotify-esque level.

        1 vote
    3. [8]
      hungariantoast
      Link Parent
      If someone preferred to self-host, Sonarr and Radarr and Lidarr (and others) are all pretty cool for automatically downloading shows, movies, music, etc. Personally I don't use them, my connection...

      If someone preferred to self-host, Sonarr and Radarr and Lidarr (and others) are all pretty cool for automatically downloading shows, movies, music, etc.

      Personally I don't use them, my connection is fast enough that if I want to watch the latest episode of a show, I can go grab a torrent, start it, get up to get some water, and it's usually done by the time I come back.

      For people without fast connections though, or who just really want their computer to work for them, these programs are awesome.

      4 votes
      1. [7]
        Grzmot
        Link Parent
        Especially for public torrents, you're still relying on something being popular to be able to download it. Also files from the usenet are higher in quality. Lots of subpar 1080p films around in...

        Especially for public torrents, you're still relying on something being popular to be able to download it. Also files from the usenet are higher in quality. Lots of subpar 1080p films around in torrents with file size of like 3GB that reduce the bitrate down so hard you're basically watching Minecraft.

        The automation aspect of sonarr and the like are fucking great. I wouldn't be able to go back. I don't quite get your speed argument though. Usenet is a server-client connection, your speed will basically always max out. Additionally to that, torrents get their shit from the usenet, so we have it first.

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          hungariantoast
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Okay, there are some things in this comment that I just have to address. Sorry Torrents only require one seeder to work. Torrents typically retain seeders for years. People who continue to seed...

          Okay, there are some things in this comment that I just have to address. Sorry

          Torrents only require one seeder to work. Torrents typically retain seeders for years. People who continue to seed torrents for years (like me) typically have a server seeding 24/7 and/or fantastic upload bandwidth.

          Contrast this to Usenet servers... just outright deleting files after a few years... Torrents are the more resilient option.

          It's not perfect of course. I've been trying to get a quality copy of "The Liberator" for the past few months and no one seems to be seeding a completed file. 🤷‍♂️

          Usenet does not have a monopoly on quality. Certain Usenet servers might accept less variety of quality in the files they host, instead prioritizing only high quality releases. That makes sense given their centralized nature and storage and bandwidth costs, but quality releases are absolutely not exclusive to Usenet. Even public torrent trackers like RARBG and Nyaa have just as high quality files available (4K, X265, HDR, etc).

          Those small 1080p files you mentioned exist because they are a good mix of quality and size for a lot of people around the world with slow internet speeds. With the rise of X265 encoding they have become less popular, but they exist and are often found on torrent trackers, in addition to high quality releases, because there is genuine "demand" for them (as much as you can have "demand" in pirate space).

          Finally, torrent trackers do not exclusively get their releases from Usenet. There is no release pipeline for this stuff. Scene groups produce files, sometimes not even meant to be shared outside private chat networks, and then those files get uploaded to topsites and trackers based on the preference of the first uploader, which might even be another scene group.

          And besides, even if torrent trackers did "get their shit" from Usenet, does that really matter when public trackers like RARBG still put out releases the same day the media drops on Netflix? That would mean Usenet gets a... fifteen minute head start?

          The most important thing I want to say here though is that there isn't a competition between Usenet servers and torrent trackers. They're just two different technologies approaching file distribution in different ways, with their own sets of pros and cons.

          For instance, and like you mentioned, Usenet's centralized nature means you aren't reliant on the upload speed of your peers, but rather a central server, for fast downloads. That generally works out pretty well for Usenet.

          4 votes
          1. cfabbro
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Hard disagree there. 3000 day (8.2 year) binary retention is pretty common even amongst the lowest tier providers these days, with many of the higher end providers offering upwards of 4599+ days...

            Contrast this to Usenet servers... just outright deleting files after a few years... Torrents are the more resilient option.

            Hard disagree there. 3000 day (8.2 year) binary retention is pretty common even amongst the lowest tier providers these days, with many of the higher end providers offering upwards of 4599+ days (12.6 years) now. And that retention generally applies to every binary uploaded to Usenet in those providers standard 110k+ supported newsgroups. So in my experience, the overall shelf-life on Usenet binaries, especially for more obscure/unpopular content (which generally withers rapidly via torrent due to lack of interest and willing seeders), is waaaaay longer than on comparable torrents.

            Everything else you said about the Scene and release group system is correct though. Usenet is absolutely not the source of most torrent content. Topsite FTPs are usually where it all starts trickling down from, and from there it typically filters down to the private, monetized/ratio-based trading FTPs and IRC servers (where I used to be active), and then finally on to the more publicly accessible places like Torrent sites, Usenet, public IRC servers/channels with XDCC bots (which I used to run), Etc.

            A lot more release groups skip the middle-steps these days though, and instead go from topsites directly to torrents now... so Usenet is actually a step behind on certain releases. Not that it really matters though, since as you said, the time between stuff becoming available on all the various distribution networks is pretty slim.

            2 votes
        2. [4]
          hungariantoast
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          To be honest not really sure what you're getting at with this comment 🤔 The programs I mentioned above work with both torrent trackers and Usenet servers And my "speed argument" wasn't an...

          To be honest not really sure what you're getting at with this comment 🤔

          The programs I mentioned above work with both torrent trackers and Usenet servers

          And my "speed argument" wasn't an argument, I was just humble bragging that I have a fast internet connection 🙂 (by US standards anyways. It's not something wild like symmetric 25 gig)

          2 votes
          1. [3]
            Grzmot
            Link Parent
            I just didn't get the fast internet connection argument is all.

            I just didn't get the fast internet connection argument is all.

            2 votes
            1. [2]
              Diff
              Link Parent
              "No need to download ahead of time when the internet's fast enough to download entire files on demand"

              "No need to download ahead of time when the internet's fast enough to download entire files on demand"

              4 votes
              1. hungariantoast
                Link Parent
                Yeah this. And especially because qBittorrent (and probably other clients) can be set to download files sequentially, you don't even need to wait for them to finish before you start watching your...

                Yeah this. And especially because qBittorrent (and probably other clients) can be set to download files sequentially, you don't even need to wait for them to finish before you start watching your movie or show.

                And I know I'm still bragging here, but can I just gush for a second about how nice symmetric internet speeds are? I've got symmetric gigabit at my new place and it's amazing. I've never lived anywhere that didn't have trash upload speeds, regardless of how good the download was. It's so nice being able to download an episode of a show, watch it, and then once it's over already have a 1:1 seed ratio because your upload speed isn't garbage.

                1 vote
  8. nothis
    Link
    Seriously, fuck you Netflix! We just upgraded Netflix to the second price tier so my girlfriend's parents could watch in parallel, just as they price-hiked everything in my country. Now we stay in...

    Seriously, fuck you Netflix!

    We just upgraded Netflix to the second price tier so my girlfriend's parents could watch in parallel, just as they price-hiked everything in my country. Now we stay in a different city for 3 days and want to watch Netflix and nearly everything not produced by Netflix themselves is no longer available because it's running over my phone's IP address instead of our home internet. Same country and everything.

    I get that they limit how many people can watch at the same time. I also kinda sorta get geo-blocking for licensing reason. But this is within the same country! What bullshit. I hope this is just some initial bug but it seems like they're very deliberately accept collateral damage, here.

    For what it's worth, this short episode reminded me that piracy options are alive and well, thanks Netflix!

    5 votes
  9. guts
    Link
    Same old and piracy has always been the best alternative to streaming services, and is so much easier with the maturity of Plex, Jellyfin, torrent, Usenet, etc. A featured seedbox/VPS with Plex...

    Same old and piracy has always been the best alternative to streaming services, and is so much easier with the maturity of Plex, Jellyfin, torrent, Usenet, etc. A featured seedbox/VPS with Plex Pass /Jellyfin can make you the best local streaming service of your choice.

    2 votes
  10. [8]
    streblo
    Link
    Does netflix block IPs from datacenters? If not, you could easily setup your own vpn and use that to access whatever you want.

    Does netflix block IPs from datacenters? If not, you could easily setup your own vpn and use that to access whatever you want.

    1. [7]
      Muffin
      Link Parent
      Easily? Color me intrigued. What would the steps be?

      Easily? Color me intrigued. What would the steps be?

      1. [2]
        aditya
        Link Parent
        I'm not certain about Netflix blocking IPs from datacenters, but for someone who's reasonably technically inclined, tools like algo [1] make it almost trivial to set up a personal VPN. I've used...

        I'm not certain about Netflix blocking IPs from datacenters, but for someone who's reasonably technically inclined, tools like algo [1] make it almost trivial to set up a personal VPN. I've used it with Digital Ocean in the past.

        [1] https://github.com/trailofbits/algo

        4 votes
        1. Muffin
          Link Parent
          Thank you and pArSeC and streblo for taking the time to answer!

          Thank you and pArSeC and streblo for taking the time to answer!

          1 vote
      2. [3]
        pArSeC
        Link Parent
        Setting up an actual VPN wouldn't be super easy, but you could literally just spin up a server, SSH into it with a dynamic port forward (ssh -D 8080 my.server.address), and point your browser to...

        Setting up an actual VPN wouldn't be super easy, but you could literally just spin up a server, SSH into it with a dynamic port forward (ssh -D 8080 my.server.address), and point your browser to use 'localhost:8080' as a socks proxy. That would take less than 5 minutes, and you'd be tunneling your web traffic via the remote server's IP.

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          streblo
          Link Parent
          Wireguard is pretty quick to setup and has the benefit of allowing you to (if the datacenter is unblocked) watch Netflix on your phone. It requires a little linux knowledge but honestly if you...

          Wireguard is pretty quick to setup and has the benefit of allowing you to (if the datacenter is unblocked) watch Netflix on your phone. It requires a little linux knowledge but honestly if you just follow a beginner level guide it should be pretty painless. This is from Google and it looks fine to me: https://www.smarthomebeginner.com/linux-wireguard-vpn-server-setup/

          1 vote
          1. pArSeC
            Link Parent
            I didn't say setting up a VPN would be difficult; I said it wouldn't be super easy.

            I didn't say setting up a VPN would be difficult; I said it wouldn't be super easy.

      3. streblo
        Link Parent
        Replied to another comment but there are lots of guides on Google for setting up a Wireguard server. It's a pretty quick affair and much simpler than setting up something like OpenVPN. So once you...

        Replied to another comment but there are lots of guides on Google for setting up a Wireguard server. It's a pretty quick affair and much simpler than setting up something like OpenVPN. So once you have rented a linux box from somewhere just ssh into it and follow the guide to setup your server. Then configure your client for your phone or desktop PC which if you're on windows should have a GUI with it.

        However, as there isn't much reason to allow access to Netflix from datacenters I wouldn't be surprised if the large ones are already blocked. I'm sure there are smaller providers unblocked however.

        2 votes