A UK government agency says sharing streaming platform passwords is illegal


Netflix logo on a TV screen and a hand with a remote pointing to the TV

Sharing passwords to your streaming service accounts is illegal according to the UK government’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO), The BBC reported. Sharing your account with others in your home is fine and doesn’t violate terms of service agreements, but sharing outside of your home is against the terms and the release says it’s also a violation of copyright protection.

Referring to the matter, the issue says:

“There are a variety of provisions in criminal and civil law that may apply in the case of sharing passwords when the intent is to allow the user to access copyrighted works free of charge.

These provisions may involve breach of contractual terms, fraud or secondary copyright infringement, depending on the circumstances.

When these instructions are given in civil law, the service provider will have to take steps through the courts if necessary.”

While you may be breaking the law by sharing accounts, the chances of actually being prosecuted don’t seem that high. In fact, Netflix said it’s going to roll out subaccounts where you pay a small fee of $2.99 ​​a month to share your account outside of your household.

The phenomenon of password sharing is quite high in the UK with a quarter of UK Netflix subscribers doing so. A high-profile person reported to have done so was Nadine Dorries, the former culture minister. She said she shares her account with her mother and children, and that they are not all under the same roof.

Netflix’s focus turned to password sharing this year as it saw a loss of subscribers in April for the first time in more than a decade. People’s cost of living is going up, meaning that Netflix subscriptions are one of the first things to be exempt and Netflix wants to limit this loss of subscribers.

source: BBC news


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