For years VPNs have promoted their services as a way to watch content from outside their home market. The practice has been to use a VPN to make it look like you live in a part of the world where the NFL offers streaming of games even though you live in the United States in an area that doesn’t offer that service.
The NFL has started to use DMCA takedown notices to Google to remove guides and services that promote access to NFL games using a VPN. This comes from a report from TorrentFreak, which spotted the DMCA takedown notices the NFL recently sent Google.
Cracking down on VPNs to get around geo blocks is not new. Yet this does seem to signal that the NFL may be joining other streaming services in starting to pay attention to VPNs as a serious issue.
The issue for NFL and other services is that they sell rights to different owners in different countries. In the United States, the NFL may have sold rights to CBS, for example, but in the UK a different TV network will have the rights. The NFL and others argue that VPNs hurt the rights of the content owners that paid to show their content.
Netflix most famously announced plans to crack down on VPNs a few years ago. Since that announcement it has been a constant back and forth between Netflix and VPN providers as Netflix tries to stop them from accessing their content.
The question now is will the NFL have better luck than Netflix in stopping VPNs.
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