Urgent warning issued to Irish Netflix and Amazon Prime users over fears they may be breaking the law
IRISH users of the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime have been warned to “read the Ts&Cs” amid fears they could be breaking the law by sharing passwords.
The UK’s Intellectual Property Office has warned streaming service account holders who share passwords for the likes of Disney+ are breaking copyright law and could be subject to both civil and criminal action.
As many as 100 million global Netflix users are believed to be able to access it for free by sharing passwords
Asked by the Irish Sun to clarify its advice to Irish users of such a service, the Department of Enterprise warned users to read the terms and conditions when subscribing.
A spokesperson said: “Copyright law in Ireland is set out in the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 (as amended) and all persons should ensure that they are aware of and comply with their obligations.
“When it comes to streaming services, it is important that individuals pay close attention to the terms and conditions of those services when subscribing.
“The obligations of the ‘Account Holder’ are clearly set out in these terms and conditions.”
The IPO reaffirmed its stance earlier this week in a post on avoiding piracy and counterfeit goods online.
It said: “Pasting internet images on social media without permission, or accessing 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 commit a crime. “
While previous guidance on password sharing was removed, the IPO confirmed that guidance remained unchanged.
A spokesperson said: “There are a number of criminal and civil law provisions 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.”
It is up to the streaming service provider to take action through the courts if necessary, the IPO said.
Streaming pioneer Netflix has already begun cracking down on customers who share their accounts with people they don’t live with, and next year it will introduce additional fees for users who do so.
It’s a far cry from their 2017 Twitter joke that “Love shares a password,” as it quickly spread.