Earlier this week, changes to the UK’s Intellectual Property guidelines officially confirmed that the sharing of passwords on streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, Spotify, etc. was now categorically against the law. – Yep, those UK residents among you reading this who participate in ‘account sharing’ activities, you are now officially classified as criminals!
Before you start preparing your emergency bag though, the only ‘good’ news is that we sincerely doubt that the police will ever pursue, let alone take to court, a single case of Netflix account sharing. This has all the hallmarks of more of a ‘cementing of the legal facts’ move rather than representing any kind of new intent to pursue.
That doesn’t, of course, mean that Netflix isn’t going to continue to take proactive strides in order to attempt to bring the practice of account sharing to an end and following a report via BGR, information has leaked online suggesting that the streaming giant might be set to roll out terse new rules, and possibly even price increases, at some point in early 2023!
Following what has been considered successful trials in a number of central American countries, Netflix is reportedly set to start contacting users in North America who they believe, well, more accurately, know with a 99.5% certainty, that the account is being shared across multiple users.
The leak source has said that the main account holder will be contacted and advised that account sharing is against the Netflix terms of service and they now have, basically, three options. They can cease access to all third parties and retain use purely for themselves, they can pay an additional subscription fee of something believed to be around $3 to continue as they are, or, they can simply have their account suspended.
Although unclear when this is set to be introduced, the source has said that Netflix is planning to roll this out in North America at some point in early 2023 (think Q1) with Europe and the UK likely coming at some point shortly after.
Now you might be wondering how Netflix can identify account sharers. Well, in truth, this is actually a very simple process. Every time you log into Netflix, the IP address is noted (as well as the device name) which, to a rough extent, identifies your geographical location. If an account is getting consistently accessed from around 4 completely different locations, it doesn’t exactly take a genius to see that this is a group of people looking to cut costs by sharing access to one individual account.
And yes, I do think that this is what Netflix will specifically be looking for. So for those of you who maybe travel quite a lot for work and watch films during your downtime, I doubt you’re going to get flagged here.
In many respects though, it’s hard to know whether this is a move which is going to pay for Netflix or not. Given that they’ve lost over 2 million subscribers since the start of the year, you would potentially think they’d be a little more inclined to turn a blind eye to this sort of thing right now rather than risking losing more members.
What would you do though? Would you cancel the account or just pay the extra $3 per month? – Either way, this is a decision you may have to make (if you account share) within the next 3 months!
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