New IP guidelines are making freeloaders panic: Log in to Netflix with a friend’s password? You risk prison.
Do you share the password with friends and family? Netflix is soon preparing to evict you (or at least, evict freeloaders), while UK authorities may go a little further: charge you with fraud.
The British Government has published new guidelines on intellectual property. There is obviously talk of rules to combat computer piracy, as well as the definition of concepts such as fair use. But there is a paragraph that has attracted the attention of the media: the one dedicated to sharing passwords to access VOD platforms, such as Netflix and Disney+.
An extremely common practice which, moreover, has been tacitly accepted for years by the same platforms, which have made sharing subscriptions one of their strong points to steal ground from Sky and traditional PPV television.
For the UK government, watching Netflix using a friend’s password is the same as pirating a movie using torrents. It is always a matter of latch use: the user is not paying for the service he uses and is also violating the terms and conditions of the service .
The guidelines go on to explain that free-wheeling users could even be prosecuted for the crime of fraud, because they would be maliciously violating the terms of the contract, creating economic damage to the company providing the service. In short, it goes to the criminal.
For the moment, Italians can sleep, if not peacefully, at least without the nightmare of prison: Netflix has already announced that starting from 2023 it will fight the practice of sharing passwords, but there are no criminal consequences for those who, up to now, took advantage of the flexibility of the service.