Appeals Court States Sharing Netflix Passwords Might Be Illegal

“Netflix and chill” may no longer be a thing for those who don’t actually have a Netflix account.

It’s no surprise that people share the million dollar franchise, but Netflix is now cracking down. Sharing a Netflix password may be a criminal act, according to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals… or so we thought. Just last week, the circuit issued a ruling that declares password sharing without authorization is a crime that can be prosecuted under the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Fortune reports. That’s right, a person sharing their Netflix password may think they’re just spreading the love, but they’re actually committing a crime.

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Password sharing without authorization is a crime that can be prosecuted under the U.S. Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Sharing is not caring when it comes to Netflix. Under Netflix’s terms of use, it states that your account only allows the primary account owner to have “exclusive control,” and the variety points out that Netflix customers can assign up to five different profiles to members of the family to have their own personalized experience and watch lists.

Now, you may not actually go to jail right away just because you couldn’t help catching yourself up on the new season of Orange is The New Black. In fact, recent reports are calling this whole thing no big deal.

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The issue sparked headlines during the the case of United States vs. David Nosal affirming that he knowingly stole trade secrets by accessing a protected computer “without authorization” in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and in violation of the Economic Espionage Act. Reports are defending that, video streaming sites have nothing to do with the case. Either way, the case has sparked major attention to those who skim pass the “terms of use,” which is a lot of us.

So the next time you think about lending a helping hand, or a password… think again.

Tags: Netflix