Netflix is ​​launching a major attack on password sharing very, very soon

Netflix is ​​launching a major attack on password sharing very, very soon

Netflix is ​​going to start charging users to share their passwords (Getty Images)

Netflix is ​​going to start charging users to share their passwords (Getty Images)

Netflix will not allow users to share their passwords with family and friends early next year.

The streaming giant is looking for ways to cut password sharing to stem the flow of disappearing subscribers as Covid-19 lockdowns eased.

A new validation system will be put in place that detects when users log in from outside the main account holder’s home. The system will require viewers to enter a validation code within 15 minutes.

Netflix will reportedly allow primary account holders to add up to two additional users who will not be served a validation code.

And those who share their passwords will apparently be asked to pay a little extra. In some countries this has been an additional $3 (£2.50), although it is not yet clear if this will be rolled out worldwide.

Netflix can simply force people to sign up for another account if it detects multiple logins outside of the primary address.

According to the company, over 100 million viewers tune in using passwords they’ve borrowed from friends and family.

In October, bosses at the company told investors: “We’ve landed on a well-thought-out approach to monetizing account sharing and we’ll start rolling this out more widely from early 2023.”

“After listening to consumer feedback, we’re going to offer sharers the ability to manage their devices more easily and create sub-accounts if they want to pay for family or friends.”

The Netflix logo appears on the TV screen in this illustration photo taken in Poland on July 16, 2020. On-Demand streaming services gained popularity and new subscribers during the coronavirus pandemic.  (Photo illustration by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Netflix will crack down on password sharing in 2023 (Credit: Getty)

Complicating things, at least in the UK, is the recent ruling by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) that sharing a Netflix password is actually illegal.

In guidance published last week, the IPO said: “Paste internet images on social media without permission, or access movies, TV shows or live sports events through Kodi boxes, hacked Fire Sticks or apps without paying a subscription is a copyright infringement and you may be committing a crime.’

The guidance had previously included a reference to password sharing, but the agency quickly removed it.

However, an IPO spokesperson confirmed the law and its guidance remained unchanged.

“There are a number of provisions in criminal and civil law that may apply in the case of password sharing where the intention is to allow a user to access copyrighted works without payment.

“These provisions may include breach of contract, fraud or secondary copyright infringement depending on the circumstances.”

But it is up to the streaming service provider to take action through the courts if necessary, the IPO said.

It remains to be seen what action Netflix will take when it comes to enforcing the new rules.

The company has changed its tune dramatically since joking on Twitter that “Love shares a password” as it rapidly expanded in the UK in 2017.

Disney+ does not allow users to share their password with other households, while Amazon Prime customers can share their account with one other person.

MORE: Sharing your Netflix account is now officially a criminal offence

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