Netflix has become one of the main forces for DRM in the world, a driver behind the W3C's dangerous, web-scale DRM project, and now they've announced that their app will no longer run on rooted/bootloader unlocked Android devices, because these devices can run code that overrides Google Widevine DRM (Widevine doesn't work well under the best of circumstances, and it harbored unpatched, showstopper bugs since its very inception).
It's not remarkable that Netflix wants to do this, but it is remarkable that they can: after all, what does it mean to have a rooted device if you can't instruct that device to pretend not to be rooted when code that views you as its adversary tries to figure out its operating environment?
Netflix has long been wary of the Android platform over root and piracy concerns, so much so that it took years for the service to come to Android at all. Blocking rooted devices makes a certain amount of sense from its point of view, even if the vast majority of root users aren't using it for anything nefarious, but blocking phones simply because the bootloader is unlocked is going to cause a lot of headaches. Unlocking the bootloader on a phone will cause it to fail the SafetyNet check for Google Play, even if the phone's software hasn't actually been modified, and can be needed for processes like flashing sideloaded updates and even flashing the Android O Developer Preview.
Netflix no longer works on rooted or bootloader-unlocked Android phones
[Ara Wagoner/Android Central]
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