New Zealand ISP Offers Free VPN so Customers can Watch Netflix

New Zealand ISP Offers Free VPN so Customers can Watch Netflix

Slingshot ISP New Zealand 310x

Kiwi ISP Slingshot offers free Virtual Private Network service to its Netflix-craving customers.

Live in America? Your access to Netflix is rarely an issue -- unless you're a Verizon customer, at least. But those of you outside the U.S. of A. might have a harder time getting to House of Cards or Orange is the New Black. It all depends on where you hang your hat, I suppose.

Well our Kiwi friends in the Southern Hemisphere now have a workaround at their disposal, it seems. New Zealand ISP Slingshot is now offerings its customers a free VPN (Virtual Private Network), which will make accessing the service a less painful experience.

Slingshot's Global Mode was initially meant to offer visiting US and UK residents a way to access sites otherwise unavailable to New Zealanders, including Netflix (there's no NZ version of Netflix at the moment). The service also allowed users to access Hulu, Amazon Prime, and other video streaming services.

But Slingshot head honcho Taryn Hamilton just told the New Zealand Herald that the VPN is now open to any customer who wants it, with no strings attached.

"No beating around the bush. This is to watch Netflix, this is to watch BBC iPlayer, this is to watch Hulu, this is to watch Amazon Prime," said Hamilton. "This is basically going to enable that to happen...any Slingshot customer by default if they type in Netflix, it will work. If they type in Hulu it will work."

Opening the flood gates might have some adverse effects down the line, depending on how Netflix and local broadcast rights holders react. But for now? Slingshot users...you are free!!!

Source: NZ Herald via Engadget

Permalink

What's that noise, its the sound of incoming injunctions. You can't be that bright to state openly the purpose is to get round area restrictions.

Oh look, a program that allows people to watch content easily and if used correctly could be used to dramatically cut down on piracy.

I give it one week before it gets killed by big companies who always complain about piracy but do nothing to help people watch stuff easily and legally.

So are the FBI going to dream up an excuse to ram raid these guys or what?

Meanwhile in Australia: Harg, blarg, blarg, buy Foxtel or Rupert will stop sending me the squishy babies that taste so nice. -Tony, Prime Minister

If it wasn't for the earthquakes and the accent I'd be more inclined to make the move, they're a lot nicer to Indie developers over there.

MrHide-Patten:
Meanwhile in Australia: Harg, blarg, blarg, buy Foxtel or Rupert will stop sending me the squishy babies that taste so nice. -Tony, Prime Minister

If it wasn't for the earthquakes and the accent I'd be more inclined to make the move, they're a lot nicer to Indie developers over there.

dude just bite the bullet and do it xd , i kid you not if your an Australian citizen you can just show up there with your passport and you get all the rights and responsibility's of an NZ citizen $600 bucks for the ticket and your gold.

and just you know i wana say a swear word here but its not even worth that... just foxtell >.> NO BAD FOXTEL *hits with switch* ofcourse your alternatives would be optus tv or the telstra box and NEITHER work because the internet is too slow.

Irridium:
Oh look, a program that allows people to watch content easily and if used correctly could be used to dramatically cut down on piracy.

I give it one week before it gets killed by big companies who always complain about piracy but do nothing to help people watch stuff easily and legally.

QFT.

Still, I reckon Netflix probably won't be part of it, since they're against companies trying to stop people watching them. And at least New Zealand have this option. Tony Abbott is a copyright apologist and maximalist in the pocket of the US entertainment industry, and the higher enforcement probably won't mean we actually get Game of Thrones at the same time as anyone else, like you'd expect from a reasonable industry.

fix-the-spade:
So are the FBI going to dream up an excuse to ram raid these guys or what?

Did you know that the FBI only has jurisdiction in the U.S?

Yeah, the FBI can dream anything they want but at the end of the day those guys are 4,600 miles out of the FBI's jurisdiction.

Hmm... I may have to consider changing my ISP from Woosh.

Nobody likes region-locking, whether it be console games or internet services. It does nothing but grief potential customers.

TheLastFeeder:

fix-the-spade:
So are the FBI going to dream up an excuse to ram raid these guys or what?

Did you know that the FBI only has jurisdiction in the U.S?

Yeah, the FBI can dream anything they want but at the end of the day those guys are 4,600 miles out of the FBI's jurisdiction.

Didn't stop them from ramming down Kim Dotcom's door and putting pressure on the NZ Prime Minister to let em get away with it.

OT: Meanwhile in Australia, we're still subject to Foxtel if we want to watch things on time. A ripoff service that forces us to pay for shit channels with shit shows that we'd only watch if we were complete shitheads. Foxtel can piss off, and so can our British PM.

And the bastards wonder why we have such high piracy rates. It's not just because we say "mate" a lot you know.

I remmeber my old ISP used to have its own FPT servers we could share. for "Totally legit" reasons of course! Shut these down now though.

This is good. if companies are so backwards as to limit thier content to some areas we need people to fix that themselves. of course our law does not support common sense, so i guess this wont last.

albino boo:
What's that noise, its the sound of incoming injunctions. You can't be that bright to state openly the purpose is to get round area restrictions.

Then those injunctions should have shown up over a year ago when Slingshot first introduced Global mode.

In-fact region-locking (for DVD's at least) can be legally bypassed here due to copyright law.

Irridium:
Oh look, a program that allows people to watch content easily and if used correctly could be used to dramatically cut down on piracy.

I give it one week before it gets killed by big companies who always complain about piracy but do nothing to help people watch stuff easily and legally.

As I've already stated, this isn't new for Slingshot.

Ed130 The Vanguard:

albino boo:
What's that noise, its the sound of incoming injunctions. You can't be that bright to state openly the purpose is to get round area restrictions.

Then those injunctions should have shown up over a year ago when Slingshot first introduced Global mode.

In-fact region-locking (for DVD's at least) can be legally bypassed here due to copyright law.

Irridium:
Oh look, a program that allows people to watch content easily and if used correctly could be used to dramatically cut down on piracy.

I give it one week before it gets killed by big companies who always complain about piracy but do nothing to help people watch stuff easily and legally.

As I've already stated, this isn't new for Slingshot.

The difference is that the Tamilyn has stated the intent is to avoid region locking and therefore there is now a case.

It's difficult to feel a huge amount of sympathy for companies that want to prevent people from using and paying for a legitimate service rendered illegitimate only by its location. I know media companies like to howl about the importance of controlled releases and maintaining control of their intellectual property and so on, but this isn't remotely comparable to child pornography or drug trafficking or even simple media piracy, other uses VPNs have been put to.

Hopefully by virtue of being in New Zealand (hello, Kim Dotcom) interested parties won't bother trying to work through the web of jurisdiction. Failing that, I hope whatever agencies might be responsible for enforcement will frankly tell companies that might be interested in action that they have higher priorities stretching well into the next decade.

TheLastFeeder:
Did you know that the FBI only has jurisdiction in the U.S?

Go tell that to Kimdotcom, I'm sure it was a very reassuring thought when he had a rifle pressed against the back of his head.

Slingshot CEO, Tayrn Hamilton:

"This is just enabling people to consume those services if they want to," he said "Kiwis deserve to watch the same stuff that guys in the States do and at the same price."

This sense of entitlement doesn't really work with the BBC iPlayer (and wanting something isn't the same as deserving it).

It's free for all UK TV License holders because that's how the BBC is funded and how it can continue to make content without advertisements and corporate sponsorship.

People in New Zealand don't have a right to watch BBC programming for free. They're not citizens of the United Kingdom and they're not License payers and don't contribute to funding of the BBC, so why do they deserve to have free access to BBC content which people in Britain have to pay for?

It's one thing to use a VPN to trick a content provider into letting you purchase content, but to use a VPN to deceive a content provider into giving you access to content that you've falsely claimed you're entitled to and that you've paid for is outright fraud.

albino boo:
The difference is that the Tamilyn has stated the intent is to avoid region locking and therefore there is now a case.

Region locking content is not covered by copyright law. There is no law protecting film/tv companies segmenting and controlling markets in this manner. Also, in Australia and New Zealand, region locking is itself illegal...no DVD player for example can be sold unless it's either region-free or includes instructions on making it so.

The closest thing is a US specific law, the DMCA, which makes it illegal to "bypass technical restrictions" (except for jailbreaking phones). But that doesn't affect NZ or AUS.

Further, VPNs are completely legal, commonly used, available to anyone and everyone online who wants to use such a service.

I don't think there is any question over legality here. At worst, it may be against some rules/EULAs, not in breach of any law. Considering how darned easy it is to change/mask IP addresses online and that there's no issue of legality involved, IP restrictions IMO are inane. When I want to watch something IP restricted, I just fire up Tor Browser and choose the appropriate country as my "exit node". Job done.

KingsGambit:

albino boo:
The difference is that the Tamilyn has stated the intent is to avoid region locking and therefore there is now a case.

Region locking content is not covered by copyright law. There is no law protecting film/tv companies segmenting and controlling markets in this manner. Also, in Australia and New Zealand, region locking is itself illegal...no DVD player for example can be sold unless it's either region-free or includes instructions on making it so.

The closest thing is a US specific law, the DMCA, which makes it illegal to "bypass technical restrictions" (except for jailbreaking phones). But that doesn't affect NZ or AUS.

Further, VPNs are completely legal, commonly used, available to anyone and everyone online who wants to use such a service.

I don't think there is any question over legality here. At worst, it may be against some rules/EULAs, not in breach of any law. Considering how darned easy it is to change/mask IP addresses online and that there's no issue of legality involved, IP restrictions IMO are inane. When I want to watch something IP restricted, I just fire up Tor Browser and choose the appropriate country as my "exit node". Job done.

Its is covered by copyright law by in this case the netflix et al don't own the rights to stream content in New Zealand. As a regular traveler I can tell that netflix and amazon's content varies country by country for that very reason. Showing something in a country that they don't own the rights too is a violation of copyright. Publicly stating that the intent of your vpn is to violate that copyright is asking for lawsuit. If the CEO had kept his mouth shut it would very much harder for the rights holder to come after him.

albino boo:
Its is covered by copyright law by in this case the netflix et al don't own the rights to stream content in New Zealand. As a regular traveler I can tell that netflix and amazon's content varies country by country for that very reason. Showing something in a country that they don't own the rights too is a violation of copyright. Publicly stating that the intent of your vpn is to violate that copyright is asking for lawsuit. If the CEO had kept his mouth shut it would very much harder for the rights holder to come after him.

This is *not* covered in copyright law. There is absolutely nothing in copyright law in the US, UK or NZ that protects, permits or even deals with region locking content. There is no issue of copyright infringement here. Further, as mentioned, in NZ and AUS region restrictions themselves are illegal.

To reiterate, no copyright is being violated or infringed. A "region restriction" is being bypassed. Region restrictions have nothing to do with and are not protected by copyright law.

KingsGambit:

albino boo:
Its is covered by copyright law by in this case the netflix et al don't own the rights to stream content in New Zealand. As a regular traveler I can tell that netflix and amazon's content varies country by country for that very reason. Showing something in a country that they don't own the rights too is a violation of copyright. Publicly stating that the intent of your vpn is to violate that copyright is asking for lawsuit. If the CEO had kept his mouth shut it would very much harder for the rights holder to come after him.

This is *not* covered in copyright law. There is absolutely nothing in copyright law in the US, UK or NZ that protects, permits or even deals with region locking content. There is no issue of copyright infringement here. Further, as mentioned, in NZ and AUS region restrictions themselves are illegal.

To reiterate, no copyright is being violated or infringed. A "region restriction" is being bypassed. Region restrictions have nothing to do with and are not protected by copyright law.

The rights holder has sold the rights to stream content specific providers in certain countries only. Just the same way the rights holder sells the rights to terrestrial broadcast the same content. If tv channel buys the rights to broadcast a programme in New Zealand it can not broadcast that show in Australia without buying the rights to broadcast in Australia. If your contention was true anyone a could make terrestrial broadcast of any programme in New Zealand without violating copyright. You are just plain wrong. Just because something is online does not make it different to any other method of distribution.

Well I'm happy to see that someone cares about their customers. Good on you Slingshot (if that's right?) I'm happy to see someone put their customers' experience first.

 

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