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Sharing Passwords for Netflix, HBO Go, and Hulu is Now a Federal Crime

posted: 07/12/16
by: Ashley Vazquez

A photo posted by Chris (@chriss2755) on

If you're still using your cousin's old roommate's password to access Netflix, it might be time to get your own account. A recent court ruling determined that "going through the back door and accessing the computer through a third party" is considered a felony due to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Now before you rush to make a new account, it's important to note that the specific case, United States v. David Nosal, had nothing to do with streaming services.

The court ruled that David Nosal had used his former employer's password to access information after he no longer worked there. He was ordered to pay $827,983.25 in restitution and sentenced to prison time.

This sets a precedent that technically makes sharing passwords to access streaming services illegal.

In the past, Netflix and HBO Go's CEO's have both admitted that they're totally cool with password sharing, so it's unlikely that this new ruling will affect the average binge-watcher.

However, if these companies decide to change their minds in the future and crack down on password sharing, this ruling establishes that they're totally in the right to.