Netflix Users in the United Kingdom could land up in hot water for password sharing. BBC shared that UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) announced sharing the password of any streaming service including Netflix will be considered an infringement of copyright law.
IPO stated that in the case of password sharing where the intent is to allow a user to access copyright-protected works without payment, a variety of provisions in criminal and civil law may apply. Depending on the circumstances, these clauses may include breach of contract, fraud, or secondary copyright infringement. These provisions are provided in civil law, it is up to the service provider to take legal action if necessary.
Netflix has been working on controlling password sharing by users for many years. Netflix claimed that 222 million households around the globe have subscribed to the platform and ‘100 million additional households’ are accessing the service through password sharing.
Netflix does offer shared accounts with separate profiles but they can be shared only with people under the same roof. In a statement released in March, Netflix said that multiple profiles have been hugely popular but created confusion at the same time. The accounts meant to be shared within households are being shared between households. This practice causes huge monetary losses and impacts our ability to invest in great new shows and films.
IPO wrote on its website that piracy is a significant problem in the entertainment and creative sectors. Pasting images and videos into social media without authorization, or watching films, TV shows, or live sports events through hacked Fire Sticks, Kodi boxes, or apps without a subscription, is a breach of copyright and may constitute a felony.
The law applies to all streaming services including Amazon Prime, Netflix, Apple TV+, Disney+, and HBO Max.