Many Canadians subscribe to VPNs (virtual private networks) - i.e. a server with a location in another country, usually the US - as a means of accessing content in that jurisdiction. So far example, you may subscribe to Netflix in Canada but with the same user ID and password, access US Netflix (with more and better content) simply by adjusting your computer settings to a US proxy server.
Yesterday Netflix announced that it would be cracking down on Canadian subscribers who do this. Articles I read in the Globe and CBC variously described the practice as "illegal" or at least a legal "grey area." I dont really think it is much of a grey area.
There are three ways it could be illegal: breach of contract (i.e. breaching your terms of service); copyright infringement in Canada; or copyright infringment in the US.
As to the terms of service, here is what they say about this:
"You may view a movie or TV show through the Netflix service primarily within the country in which you have established your account and only in geographic locations where we offer our service and have licensed such movie or TV show. The content that may be available to watch will vary by geographic location. Netflix will use technologies to verify your geographic location."
This does not come close to prohibiting the use of VPNs to access content in another jurisdiction.
Canadian copyright law characterizes the streaming of content over the internet as "communicating a work to the public by telecommunication" - an exclusive right of the copyright holder. But so far courts have interpreted this to mean a right of upload; the right has not been interpreted to have any bearing on the viewing of streamed content. Moreover, streaming is not copying (so our Supreme Court has ruled) and so there is no issue of infringement of the reproduction right or with respect to illegal parallel imports (since this only applies to "tangible objects.")
As to US copyright law, well the rights have been paid for in that jurisdiction and so it is hard to fathom how viewing content through a server in the US could ever implicate its copyright law,
So enjoy your US Netflix guilt free.