Share passwords to streaming sites like Netflix is illegal according to a government organization.
The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) stated on Tuesday that the practice violated copyright laws.
It is commonplace to find it common in UK for those who don’t live together to share their passwords for streaming services however this is usually contrary to the terms of service agreements.
Netflix has never stated that it would pursue any legal action in such instances.
The IPO has removed references to sharing passwords in its guidance on the official website. However, a spokesperson has confirmed the legality of password sharing has not changed, nor has the IPO’s advice.
It also stated that sharing passwords was both a civil and criminal issue.
“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,” it added.
“These clauses could include breaches of contractual provisions or fraud, as well as secondary copyright infringements, based on the specific 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.”
There is no evidence that suggests that any major stream video providers in the UK would be doing this.
Netflix announced that it was looking it to “make it easy” for those who have borrowed accounts to establish their own and move their account into an account of their own in addition to set up “sub-accounts” for people to spend more money on family or friends.
It also said that it will begin rolling these out “more broadly” in early 2023.
The BBC has also contacted streaming service providers Amazon and Disney to seek their opinions.