Apr 212015

Pay TV service HBO is threatening to cut off paying customers of its Now service if they are outside the US.

HBO has started to crack down on paying customers who access the HBO Now service from outside the United States.

Subscribers from countries including Canada, the UK, Germany and Australia who use VPNs and other unblocking tools are now being threatened with account terminations. HBO has sent emails to people around the world it has detected are using software tools to watch HBO Now shows.

HBO said it took the action because it only has the right to broadcast shows in the US and to people living in the country.

Unless they were flagged by mistake, HBO will terminate the accounts of affected subscribers within days and without the option of a refund.

Earlier this year, Netflix started to take action against some VPN users and changed how its Android app worked in a bid to thwart some of those using software tools to defeat region locks.

Netflix boss Reed Hastings said earlier this week that VPN users were “less bad” than pirates because they were at least paying for the service. His comments came during press interviews discussing the company’s financial results.

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