Sharing your Netflix password may be a crime
Giving your password to people who aren't members of your household could get you charged with a crime in Tennessee.
The Web Entertainment Theft Bill, which the lawmakers hope other states adopt, is a move to thwart hackers from selling passwords in bulk, but might also raise issues for subscribers who share their accounts with friends.
The law, signed by Gov. Bill Haslam and slated to go into effect next month, states that pirating $500 or less of entertainment from these subscription services will constitute a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of $2,500; thefts worth more than $500 will constitute a felony with harsher penalties.
The law permits download services that believe they are being hacked to go to law enforcement authorities and press charges.
Fortunately, families that share one account shouldn't be worried.
"What becomes not legal is if you send your user name and password to all your friends so they can get free subscriptions," Rep. Gerald McCormick, the bill's sponsor, told The Associated Press. Post continues after video.
Like leaving a restaurant without paying
For its part, Netflix says it supports the bill since it reinforces similar tenets in its user agreement.
"Netflix supports any efforts to stave off piracy," Steve Swasey, vice president of corporate communications, told MainStreet.
"It's a household account," Swasey said. "It's clearly not intended for use in multiple households."
The bill expands on an existing law by adding "entertainment subscription service" to the list of services protected by law. The same law also prosecutes people for stealing cable TV or leaving restaurants without paying.
Such laws exist in other states, but Tennessee is the first state to include popular subscription services in its mandate.
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Uh...no. It's nothing like dining and dashing. It's the equivalent to buying ONE meal and sharing it with your 5 friends.
The whole point of the Netflix/Amazon Prime/Youtube/Hulu video streaming is that I can watch the movies on my laptop/tablet/TV anywhere I have broadband internet access. I travel a lot for my job and it is nice to be able to choose from a huge list of movies. How do they even plan to enforce this law?
If she watches Netflix on all of her devices, the IP address is locked into Netflix. Under this law, any idiotic Netflix employee will contact law enforcement for an investigation and to refer for prosecution. Problem is such complaint by Netflix can land them into a major civil lawsuit of filing a false police report.
I would love to be the first to challenge Netflix. HEY!!! I bet Netflix will quickly settle and the payout would definitely pay my daughter's entire college education at an ivy league college, dorm fees, food and expenses, and extra change to buy luxury tech products.
What's next... misinterpreting this law to add sharing my mascara a crime??? OMG! OMG! OMG! My friend used my mascara!!! Estee Lauder is going to call the police on me!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
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