News: New Law Makes Netflix Password Sharing Illegal

New Law Makes Netflix Password Sharing Illegal

Have you been sharing your Netflix password with your friends? How about Rhapsody or Hulu Plus? If you get caught sharing your online subscription accounts, you could be slapped with a fine and even imprisoned.

New Law Makes Netflix Password Sharing Illegal

The bill was recently passed in the state of Tennessee, making it illegal to share your password for online "entertainment subscription services" on or after July 1st. Pushed by recording industry officials, the bill was signed by Gov. Bill Haslam and ostensibly designed to stop hackers from stealing and selling passwords in bulk, but it could also target individuals who share their password with family and friends.

Tennessee is the first state to address Internet delivery entertainment in its legislation. It expands the current theft-of-cable laws with Senate Bill 1659 and its subsequent amendment, which states that stealing $500 or less of entertainment is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,500.

New Law Makes Netflix Password Sharing Illegal

Sure, laws like this should be in place for thieves, but it's a hefty penalty for sharing your passwords with family. Maybe someday the other forty-nine states will enact this kind of law, until then... stay away from the "Volunteer State".

Photo by Tarter Time Photography, Keith Allison

11 Comments

Reading stuff like this makes my brain stop functioning. I think the internet term is called "my brain is full of f--k". If they don't want entertainment shared, then maybe they should have better security and verification features? Google and bank websites have some very good verification features when you login, so there should be no excuse. Instead, they pass on their responsibility down to the consumer.

Are businesses exempt? Because there is all kinds of password sharing going on in order to work efficiently with other coworkers. If for example, a business streams Pandora for their visitors in the lobby, then more than 1 person would have to know the password.

"Maybe someday the other forty-nine states will enact this kind of law".....
Seriously, why would you want this? You are just wanting to be more limited. JD is right they better have better security.
They are all in this. One day, we wont be able to do anything without being convicted for breaking some stupid law.

Hmm... I guess that "Maybe someday..." sentence didn't turn out the way I wanted. I believe it's a ridiculous law. It's fine for cracking down on thieves who make a living selling passwords in bulk, but other than that, it's BS. I meant that sentence as a warning that it will probably eventually be passed in other states as well. Didn't quite work though.

Np. In general, people who think like this make me mad.
Sry

Next year they will probably be raising taxes to pay for the overcrowded jails. Maybe they will start using the webcam on your computer to spy on you to make sure that only one person is in the room watching the movie at a time... that's different right?

Overcrowded jails probably won't happen. They're probably only hunting the big offenders, because it's a waste of police and judicial resources. They have better things to be doing. Only if these companies begin reporting their users will the police being to take action. But these companies would face serious scrutiny from their users if they started turning them in. Not good business.

Nice article. The Entertainment industry is not satisfied with the Billions of dollars it gets. It wants to make sure that every penny is squeezed out of every single person.

The bright side is that for every encroachment by the BIG Corporations there are hundred freebies popping up.

I live outside of the USA and its frustrating, especially with companies like hulu and netfilx that won't allow ANY of their content to be streamed outside of US Borders or Territories regardless if you are a US citizen or not!

I'm a freaking TAX Payer ... but that doesn't count.

Honestly, I think the Entertainment Industry charges way too much for their own good. In Today's economy? Want to stop Piracy? A message to them... Make it more affordable. Stop gouging people at the Box Office and DVD sales and make online content available to EVERYONE regardless of location for a very cheap price.

I disagree with everyone...it's pirating, plain & simple. what part of this don't you understand? do you also think it's OK to steal music & videos? IT'S STEALING!

We never said stealing is good. Where did we say that?
All we are saying is that this is bull#$%@ that they are enacting such measures to control our use and wants.

one more thing - I agree that it's probably aimed at the big guys, not your average Joe

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