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September 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

In its European rollout, which began on Monday, Netflix is offering to its subscribers episodes of American TV shows that it does not offer to its U.S. subscribers, the Wall Street Journal observed today (Tuesday). Among the TV shows that it has acquired first-run rights to in Europe are CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, ABC’s Modern Family, FX’s Fargo, and Showtime’s Penny Dreadful. According to the Journal, most of the shows feature dubbed rather than subtitled content, a concession to local tastes, particularly in France and Germany. Meanwhile, an Australian streaming company, Quickflix, has accused Netflix of accepting subscriptions from Australians for its U.S. service through a "back door" — virtual private networks (VPNs). It estimates that 200,000 Australians are using VPNs — a system for tricking Internet services into thinking that users are located in the U.S. — to view shows that Quickflix has to pay rights fees to use. "If Netflix continues to filch revenues through allowing unauthorized access, Quickflix and other local services will not be as viable as they could be nor compete as vigorously as they could," Quickflix chief Stephen Langsford said in an open letter to Netflix chief Reed Hastings.