Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Netflix Goes Abroad! But Not Too Far: Streaming Service Coming To Canada.

Netflix is finally taking its Web streaming service outside the U.S. But it’s not taking it very far: The subscription offering will be available in Canada this fall, the company announced today.

This fulfills CEO Reed Hastings’s promise that the company would head outside of America in 2010, but it’s going to disappoint a lot of folks who assumed that meant Europe. I’ve double-checked with Netflix (NFLX) spokesman Steve Swasey, who confirms that the Canada move will be the extent of the company’s international forays this year.

Still, it’s expansion, right? It’s also worth noting that Canadian customers will be able to subscribe to the Web offering but still won’t be able to get Netflix DVDs via the mail. It’s the first time that Netflix has offered a streaming-only service.

Netflix’ release doesn’t have many other specifics, like price, the size of the catalog that the company will offer, or the exact date it will be available. But I have been able to ferret out one other detail: The service won’t be of any use to American subscribers who visit their neighbors up north. Blame licensing restrictions, per usual.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work