Sharing your Netflix account is now officially a criminal offense

Sharing your Netflix account is now officially a criminal offense

A woman at home in London watching the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's controversial documentary airing on Netflix.  Harry & Meghan - a six-part docu-series - hit the streaming giant at 8am in the UK on Thursday, as the royal family steeled themselves for the revelations in the first three episodes.  Photo date: Thursday 8 December 2022. PA photo.  See PA story ROYAL Sussex.  Image credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The IPO has published guidance this week saying password sharing is illegal (Credit: PA)

If you are one of the many, many who share their Netflix password – you are breaking the law.

According to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), sharing passwords for streaming accounts can constitute “secondary copyright infringement”.

Passing login details to family and friends is, let’s face it, pretty common despite Netflix’s terms that say “people who don’t live in your household must use their own account”.

In guidance published this week, the IPO said: “Paste internet images on social media without permission, or access movies, TV shows or live sporting 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.

Couple watching TV

Although it’s against the law, it will be up to the streaming services to enforce it (Credit: Getty Images/Caiaimage)

Netflix has already started cracking down on customers who share their accounts with people they don’t live with. The streaming giant, which has lost subscribers to competition and rising inflation, launched a crackdown in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru against people who share passwords and is considering expanding the scheme.

The company has also introduced a new cheaper ad-supported tier costing £4.99 a month to attract customers.

Netflix has changed its tune since it joked 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.

FILE - The Netflix logo is pictured on a remote control in Portland, Ore., Aug. 13, 2020. Netflix said Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, that it plans to build a state-of-the-art production facility on a former Army base at the Jersey Shore that will cost more than $900 million , and create thousands of jobs.  (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

If you share your Netflix password, you’re breaking the law (Credit: AP)

Jake Moore, Global Cyber ​​Security Advisor at ESET, said: “It’s never a good idea to share passwords because it can compromise the security of your accounts and personal information.

“When you share a password, you give someone else access to your account and any sensitive information that may be associated with it, such as financial information, personal documents and other sensitive data. Furthermore, many people still use the same password for multiple accounts, potentially putting those accounts at risk of compromise as well.

“It’s always best to keep passwords private and to use unique, strong passwords for each of your accounts. To help generate good passwords, a password manager can be used to create a unique, random password and remember it for you.’

MORE: From Disney+ to Netflix: These are the best streaming deals for 2023

MORE: How to watch Elf this Christmas: is it on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video?

See also  A LastPass breach has password lessons for us all

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *