The UK government has confirmed that citizens who share passwords for streaming services can now face criminal charges. According to the website Torrentfreak, the British Intellectual Property Office’s (IPO) piracy guidelines have changed, and password sharers are now considered copyright infringers.
“Piracy is a major problem for the creative industries,” the updated guide states. Copyright laws are violated when you post internet pictures to social media, share passwords for streaming services, and access the latest movies, TV shows, or live sports events without paying for a subscription. You are not only breaking the law but also preventing someone from making a living from their hard work.”
The ban on sharing passwords is new, and it’s a concern for the millions of people who share passwords for streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime with family members. The IPO stated in a statement that perpetrators could face criminal charges.
The IPO outlines several criminal and civil law provisions that may apply in sharing passwords. “Depending on the circumstances, these provisions could include breach of contract terms, fraud, or secondary copyright infringement,” it adds.
Netflix is focusing on its terms of service to ensure users agree not to share passwords with those who are not subscribed and that users do not access content from other geographic locations. According to the company, passwords may not be shared with individuals outside the household but do not define a precise household classification.