Sharing passwords for online streaming services including Netflix is now considered illegal, according to the United Kingdom government agency, Intellectual Property Office (IPO), which concluded on Tuesday that sharing passwords breaches copyright law.
After an economic meltdown in early 2022, Netflix had decided to take certain measures to recoup the lost revenue, including the system of cracking down on the system of password sharing and introducing ad-supported content that will not only help increase the average revenue per customer but also bring down the cost to $6.99 a month.
While Netflix did not say that password sharing would be subject to legal action, the IPO announced the aforementioned policy. Although they have removed the statement from their website, a spokesperson confirms that their position on this remains the same and they consider password sharing a criminal and civil matter.
They told BBC, “These provisions may include breach of contractual terms, fraud or secondary copyright infringement, depending on the circumstances.”
The streaming services in question would have the liberty to take legal action through courts if required.
In early 2022, Netflix said that they would introduce new features that will allow subscribers to “add sub-accounts for up to two people they don’t live with” for an extra amount. The extra features will let subscribers transfer miscellaneous profile information, including personalised recommendations, viewing history and further features into the Extra Member sub-account or a new account. The features will currently be tested in Chile, Costa Rica and Peru.
Netflix has decided to “understand the utility of these two features for members in these three countries before making changes anywhere else in the world.” The new features will supposedly be “useful” for existing users and also help Netflix in producing better content.