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Users who share Netflix passwords in the UK risk criminal prosecution and possible prison time

The majority of us have been guilty of sharing our Netflix password with friends and family. Customers in the UK may soon be prohibited by law from doing so, though, which might affect their ability to use Netflix.

Netflix may choose to pursue customers who exchange passwords in the UK in accordance with the country’s piracy laws. It remains to be seen if Netflix goes the legal way to stop people from sharing passwords or whether it just starts charging such accounts more. This image was provided by Netflix.

The United Kingdom’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has warned that violating anti-piracy rules in England, Wales, and Scotland by giving out your Netflix login to people you don’t live with poses a criminal risk, even if they are friends or relatives.

According to a recent guideline provided by the IPO, exchanging passwords for streaming accounts may constitute “secondary copyright infringement.” Netflix has already said it would begin charging customers for password sharing in the first few months of the next year, as part of its stepped-up attempts to persuade rebellious members to pay up.

The IPO has released new guidelines this week, warning users that they may be breaking the law if they access movies, TV programmes, or live sports events using Kodi boxes, hacked Fire Sticks, or other applications without paying a subscription fee.

According to the IPO, the streaming giant has the right to sue if it feels it’s necessary, and any wrongdoers would be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Customers who disclose their credentials to non-household members will now be subject to harsher consequences from Netflix.

The streaming giant estimates that more than 100 million more homes were using the same account as one of the almost 222 million paying customers.

Wide-ranging adjustments are being made to how Netflix members may utilise the service. Netflix is cracking down on password sharing after introducing an ad-supported tier. The massive streaming service is also working to increase the variety and breadth of the content it offers.

Netflix just introduced a new “Profile Transfer” option that would allow users to transfer their personal profile from someone else’s account to a new one, making it simpler for consumers who have been using shared passwords to create their own account.

Recently, Netflix made an announcement that they will be partnering with Nike Training Club to create fitness-themed programming. Additionally, they’ve been heavily advertising their gaming service.

It remains to be seen if Netflix goes the legal way to clamp down on customers who share passwords or whether it opts to just penalise accounts by charging consumers more.