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Have you and a buddy been sharing a Netflix account? Does your girlfriend log in using your information so she can watch Drop Dead Diva? Have you been letting your crew hop on your Rhapsody account so they can check out that phat new 50 Cent joint? Well, if you been doing any of these things, or sharing your password to any other subscription-based media service, you could be sent to jail. No joke.
A bill was recently passed in the state of Tennessee making it illegal to share your password for these services with anyone. Not your wife, or brother, or mother, or neighbor, or homeless guy on the street. You share, you pay. According to Poetzerofilm.com, the original bill had first offenders only receiving misdemeanor charges, but repeat offenders would be charged with a felony crime. It sounds absurd, and we aren’t the only ones who think so. The state government in TN has since downgraded secondary offenses to misdemeanors as well, but you will still be serving some jail time and shelling out big bucks in fines.
It’s not stated in the article what exactly sparked the legislation, but they presume it has something to do with Tennessee’s huge music scene in an attempt to protect the artists from hackers looking to steal their art. Legislators also stated that the bill is to protect the users from themselves, basically, since if too many people start sharing accounts fewer people are subscribing and the companies running these services will need to upcharge just to make their money back. I don’t buy that so much as protecting the artists, but that point is valid as long as people en masse are giving out their subscription codes.
For now this bill has only reached Tennessee, but every law has got to start somewhere. If you’re sharing your Netflix account be warned. Although the lawmen aren’t going to hunt you all down, if the subscription service files a complaint against you, the fine folks in blue will come knocking and you’ll find yourself in a barred apartment with a nasty hole in your wallet just because you wanted Billy Bob to check out that new episode of River Monsters.
The legislation seems a little silly and more than a little waste of time considering Netflix seems to be doing just fine, but nonetheless the law has been passed to be careful with your passwords. They might land you in jail.
Think this new Netflix law is ridiculous and want to do something about it? Click here to send a message to Tennessee governor Bill Haslem, expressing your concerns.