Sharing Netflix Password Could Make Jailhouse Rock

If you live in the state of Tennessee sharing your password to your music or movie access accounts could land you in jail after July 1. Tennessee governor Bill Haslam passed a bill making music and movie sharing illegal and to stop hackers from selling passwords in bulk.


The goal of the bill is aimed at stopping the billions of dollars lost in illegal music sharing. RIAA executive president of public policy Mitch Glazier told the AP that the bill is a necessary protective measure as digital technology evolves. He said the music industry has seen its domestic revenue fall from $15 billion to $7 billion in the past 10 years, reported.

The Recording Industry Association of America backed the bill and chose Tennessee because of the music traditions and revenues it raises in the state.

"It seems that most people sharing passwords within the same house, say between spouses, would be safe. However, if you're sharing your Netflix password with 10 of your friends, you may be getting more than a slap on the wrist soon," noted.

If people use less than $500 of services they would face a fine and up to a year in jail for a first offense. Over $500 and repeat offenses would be a felony.

How they will determine breaches will rely on getting access to usage records. What constitutes enough information to get a subpoena? Or would they need more than just a "hey judge there are teenagers in the house"?

How do the police counter, "but he borrowed my computer and used it"?

Interestingly, Netflix allows households to share access - but Tennessee only differentiates shared use under same roof.

So sharing Elvis music in Tennessee is now illegal and could make the jailhouse numbers rock. Sorry had to do it!

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.