The United Kingdom’s government has issued new guidance warning people that they could face jail time if they share their password for a streaming service such as Netflix.
The country’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) announced on Dec. 19 that “accessing… apps without paying a subscription is an infringement of copyright and you may be committing a crime.”
The IPO made the statement in an announcement about its joint campaign with Meta, warning people to avoid pirated and counterfeit goods online.
“Piracy is a major issue for the entertainment and creative industries,” the IPO said on its website, according to Newsweek. “Pasting internet images into your social media without permission, or accessing films, tv series or live sports events through Kodi boxes, hacked Fire Sticks or apps without paying a subscription is an infringement of copyright and you may be committing a crime.”
A spokeswoman clarified that “copyright law remains unchanged,” and told Newsweek that 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.”
“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,” the spokeswoman said.
The law applies to all streaming services, not just Netflix. In addition to legal troubles, your account may be removed if you break the company’s terms of service.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: BLOOMBERG
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