UK-based customers of popular streaming sites such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus have been warned that password sharing and thus “accessing… without paying a subscription” may be illegal.
The UK Intellectual Property Office (“IPO”) published the “Meta counterfeit and piracy campaign” guidance on 19 December 2022 which stated:
Piracy is a major issue for the entertainment and creative industries. Pasting internet images into your social media, password sharing on streaming services and accessing the latest films, TV series or live sports events through Kodi boxes, fire sticks or Apps without paying a subscription all break copyright law. Not only are you breaking the law but stopping someone earning a living from their hard work.”
The guidance has now been amended to remove the explicit mention of password sharing on streaming services. However, Netflix recently announced there will be a crackdown on those who password share amongst different households. Reports suggest this could be through charging users a higher fee. The guidance comes as a stark reminder to those considering piracy, whether intentional or not and portrays the importance of ensuring content is accessed legally. That guidance can be found here.
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