Foxtel & Apple Heavies HBO To Cut Off OZ Game Of Thrones Fans
ChannelNews was told over the weekend that Foxtel management had discussed with HBO the issue of geo blocking and how they could work together to stop the pirating of Game of Thrones.
We were also told that Apple who have the rights to HBO but hsave not launched the service in Australia has also requested that Australian consumers are blocked from getting access to the service.
Fred Harding an Australian who was using a VPN service to access the HBO service said “I think that its is Apple behind it, I paid with a gift card for HBO on an Apple Itune US site, but HBO somehow found out”.
We have also been told by two separate movie studios who are major suppliers to Foxtel that thousands of Australians have moved from the Foxtel premium product that costs over $135 a months to Foxtel programs that cost $65 a month following the launching of Netflix in Australia.
This say insiders will seriously affect Foxtel revenues this year.
Emails sent by HBO to Australian consumers who are using geo blocking to mask their Australian IP address say “It has come to our attention that you may have signed up for and viewed video content on the HBO NOW streaming service from outside of the authorised service area (the United States, including D.C. and certain US territories),”
HBO has indicated that they will cut Australian consumers accessing their service off by Tuesday April 21st.
Fairfax Media said that those who have received the email so far say they either used Getflix, Unlock.us or Unotelly to access HBO Now.
The way that Australians have been identified is through the use of an Australian credit card to pay for the service.
A Foxtel spokesman said. “This action has been taken by them to preserve that model. It is not specific to Australia. They do however regularly communicate with Foxtel about their plans.”
Those in Australia who were using HBO Now were paying HBO $US14.99 per month plus the cost of using geo-blocking circumvention tools like Getflix or Unblock.us, which cost about $5 per month, bringing the total to about $20. It allowed them access to high-definition Game of Thrones.
Meanwhile, Foxtel Play is charging Australians $30 per month to access Game of Thrones, but is only offering it in standard-definition.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, has previously said that the Australian Copyright Act does not make it illegal to use such tools as geo blocking services to access overseas content.
“While content providers often have in place international commercial arrangements to protect copyright in different countries or regions, which can result in ‘geo-blocking’, circumventing this is not illegal under the Copyright Act,” he states on his website.