Geolocked content no longer supported

I thought to repost it here for discussion; there's another copy in Feedback for PIA. 

PIA recently released a new policy about geo-locked content. It can be foundhere. For those who aren't really inclined to read the link it just means that you can't use the VPN to access netflix. Or anything else that could be considered violating a geolock. 

The way I read the policy that would also include geolocks which prevent people from accessing sites outside of their country. Of course I am thinking of places like China, UAE, and other such instances. 

After speaking with chat support I was instructed that this only applied to copyright as per US law. It is my understanding that the law applicable is the law where the person is resident. This would leave open the possibility of being unable to use the VPN to access perfectly lawful content in your own country if that content is protected by copyright in another country (goodby fair use doctrine). 

Also, the post makes references to "international laws," which they are abiding by. International laws generally don't apply to private actors like companies and really only to states. 

My reading of the situation is that PIA is using fictional laws in attempt to propagate a distinctly American notion of copyrights. Which is largely out of step with the rest of Western democracies. Their net also is much wider than they intimated to me via chat. 

I find this distincly disappointing. 
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Comments

  • Posts: 16
    It also uses that on their main page as a selling point. I believe their facebook page uses bypassing geolocked netflix as a prime selling point. 
  • DrVir said:
    It also uses that on their main page as a selling point. I believe their facebook
    DrVir said:
    It also uses that on their main page as a selling point. I believe their facebook page uses bypassing geolocked netflix as a prime selling point. 
    Pretty hypocritical to restrict something that is one of your main advertising points? International law? come on pia you can explain this away,cant you?
  • edited January 2016 Posts: 41
    Cant wait to see that genius TARVINCALLAS attempt to explain away this one.

    In order to comply with all local and international laws pertaining to content blocked by geographic region (more commonly known as "geo-locked content"), we are unable to render support or assistance in accessing restricted content via our service. We wish to sincerely apologize for the inconveneince this may cause, however this is necessary to comply with laws and regulations pertaining to the access of such content, to which we are bound; we appreciate your understanding in this matter. For inquiries pertaining to these laws and regulations, or our efforts to adhere to their mandates, feel free to contact legal@privateinternetaccess.com for further clarification.
    Post edited by TarvinCallas on
  • Posts: 16
    That means that adjudication of the agreement (tos) will be American Law, but that doesn't mean that individuals are bound by US Law on Copyright. 
  • Posts: 1,103
    I don't know why people think PIA is immune from the law. That's baffling.
  • Posts: 16
    I don't know why people think PIA is immune from the law. That's baffling.
    They're not. But a copyright suit is between the individual rights holder and the infringer. PIA is acting as a vigilante in this regard. 
  • edited January 2016 Posts: 16
    lrryie said:
    DrVir said:
    That means that adjudication of the agreement (tos) will be American Law, but that doesn't mean that individuals are bound by US Law on Copyright. 
    no, that's not what it means, it tells you plainly that if its an "action or proceeding arising out of or related to this Agreement" then U.S. law applies. Although a person in another country may not be bound by US Copyright law they, and companies, are also bound by international law. In addition if copyright infringement (copyright infringement is a violation of law no matter if its civil or criminal) happens and the VPN was used the legally binding Terms of Service apply and clearly state:

    "CONDUCT

    You agree to comply with all applicable laws and regulations in connection with use of this service. You must also agree that you nor any other user that you have provided access to will not engage in any of the following activities:

        .....
        Accessing the service to violate any laws at the local, state and federal level in the United States of America or the country/territory in which you reside. "

    Yes, the legally binding Terms of Service apply and bind you to U.S. law.
    That's not how it works at all. It binds you to US law insofar as adjudication of that agreement, but it doesn't bind you to the substantive aspects of another countries law.

    Also, I want to point out that merely accessing the VPN is illegal in some countries, and yet PIA still provides support for them (see: China, UAE).  
    Post edited by DrVir on
  • Posts: 4,013
    DrVir said:
    I don't know why people think PIA is immune from the law. That's baffling.
    They're not. But a copyright suit is between the individual rights holder and the infringer. PIA is acting as a vigilante in this regard. 
    This is not always true. The world is a very complex place.
  • edited January 2016 Posts: 4,013
    Disable DNS Leak Protection in the PIA client and use your own "Smart DNS" to do what you want.

    PIA is just saying they cannot legally get away with doing this step for you.

    *Edit* I object to you impersonating me UBob. Furthermore you are plainly wrong about how this is being done. I am not going to educate you since you do not read, and cannot understand anything.
    Post edited by OmniNegro on
  • edited January 2016 Posts: 342
    I'm so glad my subscription runs out in 56 days. I'll say good riddance to this place. In the past year, PIA has gone to complete crap, in my not so humble opinion.
    Post edited by Khariz on
  • Posts: 4,013
    UBob, stop impersonating me. Say your bullshit on an account that does not dirty my good name up.
  • edited January 2016 Posts: 297
     I'm hoping this is correct, that PIA is saying they won't be assisting people through support tickets or the forum on how to access geo-blocked content, that they'll have to figure it out on their own if they want to do so....it could be interpreted this way as well, which just means the statement was CYA on PIA's part, if that is all this is, it's blown out of the water, overreaction to nothing
    Post edited by moshbeast on
  • Posts: 4,013
    @moshbeast
    First of all, you OS, browser and applications can all leak. The VPN helps quite a bit, but there are always ways around any precaution.

    The easiest way to determine what nation a user is in for a service is also the one most likely to have huge numbers of false results. That is a simple ping. Do this from any three servers not at the same location and you can narrow down the geolocation to within a few meters. But congested networks, and all manner of other things can cause this to show drastically different results.

    So most geo-locked content sellers are not going to resort to this. Instead they opt for something that looks like it will work, but has almost no chance of locking out customers in the right areas. The good news is that these "solutions" are pathetic. If you know what you are doing, they will never mess with you.

    Without spoiling the means they are actually using, or how easy it is to counter, here is a free application to get past the Netflix geolock.
    https://www.smartflix.io/

    I have not tried it since I do not use Netflix. But there are plenty of such fixes for the problem.
  • Pia shouldn't care about what its users are doing as they advertise their service that way. They advertise the vpn service as a way around geo restriction. this whole thing stinks of monitoring.
  • Airvpn and vikingvpn don't care about it,, they assist their customers with geo unblocking. geo unblocking is one of the main points of using a vpn
  • edited January 2016 Posts: 297
    Oh quit trying to stir the pot Robert, you're mad now cause when you actually re-read the statement, you realized it's just a CYA addendum like irryie said...PIA's in the US, their service may be able to allow people to access geo-blocked content, but they can't brag that they're helping people do it...I mean cmon, it's legal-ease is all...there is a stipulation in their TOS that they don't condone file sharing either, but I have a sneaking suspicion a few people might be using it for that as well :).,,plus trust me, we all know this as fact, if PIA was monitoring its users and who they are, your account would've been terminated a long time ago for all the stuff you pull
    Post edited by moshbeast on
  • edited January 2016 Posts: 601
    DrVir said:
    For those who aren't really inclined to read the link it just means that you can't use the VPN to access netflix.
    False. PIA doesn't monitor what you or anyone else uses their vpn service for, so you therefore are free to do whatever you want. You are no more restricted on the geoblocking thing than you are in using PIA to bittorrent download copyrighted material. I think everyone gets that. So why are you trying to make something over a non-issue?

    PIA is merely stating that they can't lend their "support" for circumvention of geo-blocking, anymore than can they lend their support for downloading copyrighted movies via bittorrent. Basically the same issue -- PIA won't lend their technical support for violating copyrights, or in the case of Netflix national licensing restrictions. If you want to do so than you're on your own -- don't fill out a support ticket and ask for their help.

    Where I do object to this new policy statement is it appears that PIA was just looking for an easy way out of having to respond to the numerous complaints from customers who have found that geoblocking circumvention no longer works for them. I've had the same thing happen myself with accessing BBC iPlayer. It used to work for me when I'd connect to UK London or UK Southampton. Now it doesn't. However, I understand enough about how the game is played to know it's not PIA's fault. They got blacklisted by BBC. With the lack of IPv4 addresses there may not be anything PIA can do about it. But too many other PIA customers are too naive to understand that.

    I believe this new policy reflects PIA looking for an easy excuse, rather than having to explain, over and over again, the technical limitations of the service they offer. Instead, they chose the easy way out with a policy statement that says they won't "support" geoblocking circumvention. Indeed, when it comes to being blacklisted (as many vpns have found themselves to be) there is little they can do to "support" geoblocking circumvention. They certainly can't make any guarantees because what may work today can easily get blacklisted tomorrow. Sure, you can jump ship and go to another vpn, and maybe that special site you want to access will work today. But don't be surprised if in a week or two that other vpn also finds itself blacklisted from the site you're trying to access.

    Therefore, from a marketing and legal standpoint, "Enjoy unrestricted access even when you are abroad! Stream iPlayer by BBC..." etc. is over-broad and potentially misleading.

    However, I in no way agree with the idiot Robert Lazar and his sock puppets (4chanfan, _Omninegro_, Marco_Wollank, TiffanyNichols, et al) who believes this in any way has something to do with CISA and "monitoring."
    Post edited by tomeworm on
  • Posts: 4,013
    the problem is, pia lends technical support to users who have torrent and torrent client problems. so the excuse they are using for the geo blocking doesn't make sense.
    I have written a qBittorrent guide here on these forums. But you know I do not condone nor support the theft of copy-written material via any means. To you these must be contradictory. But let me fill in the part you are missing.

    I use Linux.

    For anyone else this would be more than enough explanation. But I have to presume you need some details. Fine.

    Linux is not Windows. Linux is free as in freedom and even as in free beer. You do not have to pay to use any good copy of Linux. You only need to get a copy. Since you are not paying for it, the server costs would come out of the developers pocket. Instead I and many other Linux users grabs a copy of whatever versions of Linux I want off of Torrents.

    So you see? Torrents have legitimate and very legal uses too. Just because someone can steal stuff via a torrent, that does not mean they must. So torrents will remain supported.
  • Posts: 4,013
    PIA-Paula said:
    The only thing Linux is good for is backtrack it is easy to do hacking and cracking with that system
    You joined on January 8th and the one and only thread you visit is here. Thanks for continuing to be obvious robert_lazar.

    And you are quite wrong about Linux. Linux is the backbone of the entire Internet, and even the cell phone you rely on for half your posts here.
  • Posts: 4,013
    Roberts's PHONE used android by google not luinux. Linux makes hacking easy using backtrack. you can easily crack wifi passwords with it
    Android is Linux. Period.
    "Android is a mobile operating system (OS) currently developed by Google, based on the Linux kernel and designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets."

    That is the very first line of the Wikipedia page. And you just again confirmed that account is used by robert_lazar.
  • I really don't understand the problem people are having with this policy.

    The way it reads to me is; there are laws in place, PIA is bound by these laws, PIA will not help you break these laws. What's the problem? Now, nowhere does it say that you won't be able to use PIA's service to break these laws all it says is that they won't be supporting and assisting you in doing so. If you decide to break these laws do you need PIA's permission to do so? Do they have to help you to do so and in fact become your accomplice?

    I just don't get it. What are people expecting? Is it at all rational for any PIA user to expect PIA to assist that user in doing something illegal?

    Comparing this situation to PIA's position on torrenting is just stupid. BitTorrent is a communications protocol, it's perfectly legal, why wouldn't they offer support and assistance with it.
  • Posts: 117

    I really don't understand the problem people are having with this policy.

    The way it reads to me is; there are laws in place, PIA is bound by these laws, PIA will not help you break these laws. What's the problem? Now, nowhere does it say that you won't be able to use PIA's service to break these laws all it says is that they won't be supporting and assisting you in doing so. If you decide to break these laws do you need PIA's permission to do so? Do they have to help you to do so and in fact become your accomplice?

    I just don't get it. What are people expecting? Is it at all rational for any PIA user to expect PIA to assist that user in doing something illegal?

    Comparing this situation to PIA's position on torrenting is just stupid. BitTorrent is a communications protocol, it's perfectly legal, why wouldn't they offer support and assistance with it.

    No one is complaining. Only poor old Robbie who got shafted by PIA and the feds.
  • p0904696 said:
    i cant believe the idiots on this subject who state that PIA are doing nothing wrong, quite the contrary. if they are in anyway allowing geoblocking/locking then this is at least false advertising, possibly breach of contract. they[like nearly all VPN's] advertise "watch bbc, netflix"etc.etc
    Are you serious? How is it up to PIA to allow or disallow geolocking/blocking, it's not up to them. No one is asking PIA for permission. What's wrong with you?
  • edited January 2016 Posts: 1,103
    i cant believe the idiots on this subject who state that PIA are doing nothing wrong, quite the contrary. if they are in anyway allowing geoblocking/locking then this is at least false advertising, possibly breach of contract. they[like nearly all VPN's] advertise "watch bbc, netflix"etc.etc
    It's not at all false advertising, as using the VPN still gives you the ability to view geo-locked content, they are just no longer going to be assisting users in achieving this. It's really not that hard to understand.
    Post edited by catcher749 on
  • it's not hard to understand, do not advertise that you will be able to watch program's from outside your geographical location. weather it's the result of the broadcaster or the vpn.
    as a postscript  i have found out that uninstalling and reinstalling PIA seems to allow access again. 
  • p0904696 said:
    it's not hard to understand, do not advertise that you will be able to watch program's from outside your geographical location. weather it's the result of the broadcaster or the vpn.
    as a postscript  i have found out that uninstalling and reinstalling PIA seems to allow access again. 
    Okay, you're just clueless on this whole subject. Got it.
  • I signed up today so this has come as a surprise to me as most reviews are form before this change. 

    I live in the UK and want to access blocked torrent sites, does this fall under the "Geo Locked Content" non support, or can i still get around these blockes with PIA?
  • edited January 2016 Posts: 601

    whhisskey said:
    I signed up today so this has come as a surprise to me as most reviews are form before this change. 

    I live in the UK and want to access blocked torrent sites, does this fall under the "Geo Locked Content" non support, or can i still get around these blockes with PIA?
    Using a vpn service, PIA or otherwise, should give no trouble circumventing your blocked torrent sites. However you'll definitely want to have DNS leak protection enabled in the PIA app since most UK gov't mandated site blocking is done at the DNS level.
    Post edited by tomeworm on
  • tomeworm said:

    whhisskey said:
    I signed up today so this has come as a surprise to me as most reviews are form before this change. 

    I live in the UK and want to access blocked torrent sites, does this fall under the "Geo Locked Content" non support, or can i still get around these blockes with PIA?
    Using a vpn service, PIA or otherwise, should give no trouble circumventing your blocked torrent sites. However you'll definitely want to have DNS leak protection enabled in the PIA app since most UK gov't mandated site blocking is done at the DNS level.
    working beautifully now thanks
  • Please forgive my lack of understanding regarding all this.  I have read through this thread and to be honest most of it has gone over my head.

    I have PIA and all i use it for is the following.

    I live in the UK, and i want to watch all the football on NBCSN.  I have paid for an account but to be able to access NBCSN i have to connect to the US EAST server to be able to log on. 

    Does this mean that i will no longer be able to do this anymore? when does it come into place? as it was working fine on Wednesday.

    Sorry if its a basic question and its probably been answered in this thread but like i say im not really a techy person.
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