Netflix has been cracking down on users who share passwords with their families and friends, an activity that most of us have been guilty of. However, patrons of Netflix in the UK might not be able to do that anymore by law.
The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) in the United Kingdom has said that sharing Netflix passwords with users who don’t live together, whether they are a part of your family or not, could invite criminal charges against such users based on the anti-piracy laws they have in England, Wales and Scottland.
Password sharing for streaming accounts may constitute “secondary copyright infringement,” according to a new advisory published by the IPO. As part of its intensified efforts to get renegade members to pay up, Netflix has already stated that it would begin charging users for password sharing early in the following year.
This week, the IPO issued instructions: “Accessing movies, TV shows, or live sports events using Kodi boxes, hacked Fire Sticks, or apps without paying a subscription is a breach of copyright, and you may be committing a crime.”
The streaming juggernaut is free to file a lawsuit if necessary, according to the IPO, after which all perpetrators will be prosecuted until the full extent of the law.
Customers who share their passwords with people they don’t live with will now face stricter penalties from Netflix. The streaming giant estimated that while it has nearly 222 million households paying for its service, accounts are shared with more than 100 million other households not paying for the television streaming service.
Netflix is making sweeping changes in how it allows users on its platform. After unveiling a new ad-supported tier for users, Netflix is going after users who share passwords. The streaming giant is also trying to expand and broaden the scope of its programming.
To make it easier for customers using shared passwords to get their account, Netflix rolled out a new “Profile Transfer” feature that will let users migrate their profile from someone else’s account to a new one.
As for new programming, Netflix announced earlier this week that they would get into programming content based on fitness and collaborate with Nike Training Club. They have also been pushing their gaming service quite a bit.
What will be interesting to see is whether Netflix pursues the legal route to crack down on users who share passwords or penalize accounts by charging users extra.