Legal experts in Australia finally agreed that it would be a futile gesture to make VPN use with streaming services illegal. Many users in Australia use a VPN to access content libraries outside of their geo-restrictions. As an example, an Australian might use a VPN to get access to the larger United States library. A VPN makes this easy by changing your IP address actually to look like you’re living in a new location.
Using a VPN to access Netflix and bypass the dreaded “Netflix Proxy Error” has been controversial. Many VPN websites have been targetted by Paypal or cut off entirely–while many VPN sites themselves simply have given up in the copyright fight so that their services just don’t work with Netflix any longer. Many users are experiencing issues with VPN providers since Netflix has blacklisted VPN IP addresses. Which VPNs still work for Netflix?
But now, Pym’s Technology Lawyers special counsel Andrew Calvin has pointed out the futility of the gesture. “In many ways, it’s like peeking through a window to watch a movie without a ticket. It’s rude, but not illegal in Australia,” he said.
The copyright act in Australia is more concerned with copying, reproducing, performing publicly, and adapting works. In short, streaming something you’re not meant to stream is not illegal, but downloading something is.
Not only have Australian lawyers realized that streaming with a VPN couldn’t be illegal, but they’ve also realized that it would simply be too hard to enforce in the first place–that it would be a waste of time and money for businesses or TV and film studios to pursue. Research from Essential Media found that up to 16% of Australians used a VPN. Now, this number should only increase.