If you’re one of the many people who share your Netflix account, you’re breaking the law, effective immediately.
According to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), password sharing for streaming accounts can amount to “secondary copyright infringement”.
Passing on login details to family and friends is, let’s face it, pretty common, despite Netflix’s terms that “people who don’t live in your household will have to use their own account”.
An IPO spokesperson confirmed the law, and its guidance remained unchanged.
Netflix plays hardball
“There are a number of provisions in criminal and civil law that may be applicable to password sharing where the intent 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,” according to the IPO.
But it is up to the streaming service provider to take action through the courts if necessary, the IPO said.
Netflix has already begun restricting customers who share their accounts with people they don’t live with. The streaming giant, which has lost subscribers amid competition and rising inflation, has begun a crackdown in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru against people who share passwords and is considering expanding the scheme.
The company also introduced a new cheaper tier, backed by advertisements, to attract customers.
For reference, Disney+ does not allow users to share their password with other households, while Amazon Prime customers can share their account with another person.
Jake Moore, Global Cyber Security Advisor at ESET, said, “Sharing passwords is never a good idea as it can compromise the security of accounts and personal information.”
“When you share a password, you are granting 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. In addition, many people still use the same password for multiple accounts, which could also put those accounts at risk.”