By Matthew Roscoe •
Published: 25 Dec 2022 • 20:30
Netflix password sharing set to be axed as UK government plans crackdown. Image: Sergio Photone/Shuttestock.com
Sharing your Netflix password is against the law, according to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), a UK government agency.
Speaking earlier this week, a spokesperson for the IPO said although there is no guidance written on the UK government website with regards to password sharing, the act is still illegal and the IPO’s stance has not changed.
“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,” the spokesperson told the BBC.
“These provisions may include breach of contractual terms, fraud or secondary copyright infringement, depending on the circumstances.
“Where these provisions are provided in civil law, it would be up to the service provider to take action through the courts if required.”
No streaming service has spoken out against password sharing, as reported by BBC News.
Regarding potential criminal action against individuals caught sharing passwords on these streaming services by the IPO, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) did not rule out potential action.
A spokesperson told the BBC: “Any decision to charge someone for sharing passwords for streaming services would be looked at on a case-by-case basis, with due consideration of the individual context and facts of each case.
“As with all cases, if they are referred to the CPS by an investigator for a charging decision, our duty is to bring prosecutions where there is sufficient evidence to do so and when a prosecution is required in the public interest.”
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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