NEWS… BUT NOT AS YOU KNOW IT
If you’re one of the many, many people that share their Netflix password – you’re breaking the law.
According to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) password sharing for streaming accounts may amount to ‘secondary copyright infringement’.
Passing over log-in details to family and friends is, let’s face it, pretty common despite Netflix’s terms stating ‘people who do not live in your household will need to use their own account’.
In guidance published this week, the IPO said: ‘Pasting internet images into your social media without permission, or accessing films, tv series or live sports events through Kodi boxes, hacked Fire Sticks or apps without paying a subscription is an infringement of copyright and you may be committing a crime.’
The guidance had earlier 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 range of provisions in criminal and civil law which may be applicable in the case of password sharing where the intent is to allow a user to access copyright protected works without payment.
‘These provisions may include breach of contractual terms, fraud or secondary copyright infringement depending on the circumstances.’
But it’s up to the streaming service provider to take action through the courts if required, the IPO said.
Netflix has already started to clamp down on customers sharing their accounts with people they do not live with. The streaming giant, which has lost subscribers amid competition and rising inflation, started a crackdown in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru on people sharing 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 joking on Twitter that ‘Love is sharing a password’ as it was quickly expanding 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.
Jake Moore, Global Cyber Security Advisor at ESET, said: ‘Sharing passwords is never a good idea because it can compromise the security of your accounts and personal information.
‘When you share a password, you are giving 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 are still using the same password for multiple accounts which could potentially put those accounts at risk of compromise as well.
‘It is always best to keep passwords private and to use unique, strong passwords for each of your accounts. For help generating good passwords a password manager can be used to make a unique, random password as well as remember it for you.’
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