As Illegal Netflix Takes Off Foxtel Gives Up Despite Heavy Lobbying

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Australian movie and TV copyright holders, including Foxtel, have given up trying to persuade US streaming giant Netflix to bar Australians, according to an Australian newspaper report.

The Australian’s owner, the Rupert Murdoch-controlled News Corp., is a 50 percent owner of Foxtel, which claims to have been financially affected by the thousands of Aussies absconding to the US-based Netflix. 

That’s understandable, given the difference in fees: US$7.90 a month for Netflix, against as much as 10 times that for Foxtel.

Netflix is not licensed to supply its online content to Australia, but it is not unlawful for Aussies to subscribe if the US company will allow it, or is willing to turn a blind eye to where its subscriptions are coming from.

The Australian has estimated that Netflix has between 50,000 and 200,000 subscribers in the local market.

Foxtel, which is launching another movie-streaming service, Presto, this week, said Netflix in the past had taken measures to stop unlicensed use of its content and there was no reason this could not occur again.

“At the very least they could make it much more difficult to get around the system than they do,” Foxtel director of corporate affairs Bruce Meagher told the newspaper.

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