No Netflix for Linux

Back when Netflix only rented DVD's I thought it was cool to get DVD's in the mail. However, the coolness whore off quick and I found better and quicker ways to get my content. About a year ago I looked at Netflix again because of their streaming service. I had read the rumors that Netflix was coming to Linux eventually and the idea of being able to legally stream movies and TV shows with no hassle perked my interest. So being a Linux user I dealt with the same BS all Linux users have had to deal with. Mostly trying to run Netflix in a Windows VM. It worked but it was a hassle. I was holding out for the native client that was rumored as being in development hoping that it would not take much longer.

I must have called Netflix 100 times complaining about no Linux support in hopes that my complaints, along with other Linux users complaints would give Netflix a reason to accelerate the development. I even started a call in protest on Google+ to try and get as many Linux users as possible to call in and complain.

I guess Netflix has decided that Linux users are not important enough to support. As reported today in a blog post the Director of Corporate Communications at Netflix, Joris Evers is quoted as saying "There are no plans to support Netflix on Linux,". So basically this means that the time I have been waiting is all for not.

This is not a technical problem. Its already been proven that Netflix can run under Linux. The best explanation that I have gotten is that this decision is mostly based on the fact that media companies don't want Linux users to be able to view their content in fear or better yet a misunderstanding of Open Source. These same media companies support laws like SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA claiming that nothing else will stop piracy when in fact they are the ones causing the piracy problems in the first place.

The only way that piracy will go down is if media companies allow access to their content.

A great article on forbes.com explains it best. "piracy is a service problem", The media companies are so afraid of the unknown that they have alienated themselves to an outdated distribution model. They do the same thing every time a technology comes out that would make their existing distribution model irrelevant. Then every time they finally start to use this new technology they end up making more money then they did before. Just look at itunes, this was a direct affect of Napster. The music industry claimed digital music would be the end of them and today its a billion dollar industry. Today the content industry is trying their best to put companies like Netflix out of business by charging them inflated amounts of money to have access to their content. Then they restrict the operating system we can view that content on.

I was thinking recently about the affect that Netflix has on piracy. Because of Netflix, people no longer have to pirate their content. Netflix is the answer to all the litigation that the media companies had gone though. However, they continue to fight it at every turn. Services like Netflix streaming have had a huge impact on piracy. Why would I download a movie that I have access to. That's like downloading a movie I already own. 

So why has the content industry decided that Linux is not a platform that they want their content distributed on. The last time I called Netflix to complain about not having Linux support I was told that because Linux does not support DRM there is no chance of ever getting support. However, this argument is completely false. There is no reason why a proprietary client could not provide the same protection that they currently have now. As a side note, what is this protection for. They claim it's to stop people from making illegal copy's of content. If this where true then why is this same content available on just about every torrent site out there. What's to stop me from just doing a screen record from any operating system. Do they think that Linux users are just going to give up their operating system so they can watch movies on their computer. I think the more likely answer is that we are just going to find another way to get the content we want.

Please take the time to call Netflix if your a Linux user. Let them know that  there is enough Linux users out there that it will make it worth there wile to make this happen.

 

Netflix customer support # - 1-866-716-0414

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