If you share your Netflix password or use someone else’s to access streaming services, you could be breaking copyright laws, according to a UK government agency. The news may come as another blow to the many people that password share (definitely not us though...), as Netflix announces they will be clamping down on the practice in early 2023.
According to a BBC report, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) said on Tuesday that password sharing breaks both criminal and civil laws regarding copyright, and that companies such as Netflix could take offenders to court should they wish. However, the company has never expressed this desire and the IPO has since removed the statement, though they made it clear to the BBC it is still correct.
"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," an IPO spokesperson said to the BBC.
"These provisions may include breach of contractual terms, fraud or secondary copyright infringement, depending on the circumstances."
The statement comes as Netflix prepares to bring in new measures to combat password sharing, in which a code could be provided to shared users that will be required before they can log in – these codes will likely come with an extra payment, currently at around $3 in countries that are trialing it, according to reports.