I say this because in the article they quoted the paragraph in Netflix’s terms of use section 4.2:

4.2. The Netflix service and any content accessed through the service are for your personal and non-commercial use only and may not be shared with individuals beyond your household. During your Netflix membership we grant you a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access the Netflix service and Netflix content. Except for the foregoing, no right, title or interest shall be transferred to you. You agree not to use the service for public performances.

They way this is written is open to interpretation with regards to what ‘personal use’ means and what is considered ‘members of the household’. If you invite someone else over for Netflix and chill - would that be a violation of this section? It might be “obvious” that it would not be a violation of the terms, but 4.2 was used in the argument, and from that perspective I would say that Netflix and chill falls within the same gray area as password sharing.

The original article has been updated though, it now states that the Intellectual Property Office has modified its advice and removed the password sharing mention.

I googled for the definition of “personal use”, and the popular interpretation seems to mean use that is e.g. non-commercial and non-research. So if you’re personally watching a video with a friend, that’s personal, but not if you ask for money.

Seems if the agreement doesn’t define the term, the popular definitions would be the intepretation chosen by the judge. Clearly nobody is going to be trialed for fraud if they share a video that way in the first place, though.

Nevertheless what the IPO says about password sharing, is it still not illegal under the U.S. Computer Fraud and Abuse Act? Other countries probably have similar stipulations.


Ah - I see. Netflix and chill remains legal then!

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