UK Government says, Netflix Password Sharing May be Illegal


A UK government agency says that sharing passwords for online streaming services like Netflix is illegal. According to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) of UK, the practice violated copyright regulations. Despite the fact that this is typically against the terms of service agreements, it is a common practice in the United Kingdom for individuals who do not live together to share their passwords for streaming services like Netflix.

Netflix never said that it would sue in such situations. Since then, the UK IPO has removed the mention of sharing passwords from its guidance on the website of UK government. A representative of UK government said that the lawful situation on secret phrase sharing had not changed, and have also not change the direction of the Initial public offering. UK IPO stated that sharing passwords was both a civil and a criminal offense.

According to Intellectual Property Office (IPO), there are a variety of provisions in criminal and civil law that may be applicable in the case of password sharing where the intent is to allow the users to access copyrighted content without payment. This was in reference to the practice of sharing passwords.

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The UK agency said that, depending on the circumstances, these provisions may include contract terms breach, fraud, or secondary copyright infringement, and the service providers would be responsible for taking action through the courts if required, where these provisions are provided in civil law.

None of the major streaming video providers in the UK would do this, according to the available evidence. Netflix said that it wanted to make it easy for individuals who borrowed accounts from others to set up their own, with transfer their profile into a new account, and also create subsidiary accounts for individuals to pay additional fees for family or friends. According to Netflix, these features would start to release more broadly in early 2023.


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