US-based streaming service Hulu is cracking down on international users trying to access its site, putting a block on users trying to stream content via VPN.
According to reports from file-sharing and copyright news website TorrentFreak, Hulu quietly made the move to block VPN users from streaming content from its site last week. Those attempting to access the site through an IP address associated with some VPN providers are met with the following error message:
Based on your IP address, we noticed you are trying to access Hulu through an anonymous proxy tool. Hulu is not currently available outside the U.S. If you're in the U.S., you'll need to disable your anonymizer to access videos on Hulu.
The message is a change from the standard error displayed to those attempting to access Hulu from overseas without a VPN, which advises "currently our video library can only be streamed within the United States".
CNET Australia was able to access Hulu using a Chrome browser extension; however, TorrentFreak reports that popular services such as VikingVPN and TorGuard were caught by Hulu's new virtual barriers.
Geoblocking has long been an issue affecting Australian internet users keen on watching TV shows and other content fresh out of the United States. By subscribing to a VPN or DNS service, Australians could access streaming services such as Hulu and Netflix while sidestepping the geoblocks.
However, this practice has also drawn the ire of local Australian networks and content providers, with one network executive recently telling The Australian that US studios should take up the issue with the likes of Netflix "because they're not getting paid".