Is It Legal To Share A Netflix Account? - Sourajit Saha

Is It Legal To Share A Netflix Account?

Netflix is one of the most popular movie/TV Serial streaming apps around today. The subscriptions are not excessively high and the use of the app is pretty easy to understand and co-ordinate. There are hundreds of different movies, both new and old as well as serials from both the United Kingdom and the USA available to watch at your leisure, providing you have an internet connection and a device to watch the app from, you can watch Netflix anywhere at any time. But what are the legalities of sharing your Netflix account? This is a complex question, as with most things in the entertainment industry. So let us break it down for you:
Is It Legal To Share A Netflix Account?

Technically – according to Netflix and Entertainment Law:


Sharing your Netflix account is not allowed. Netflix does advise you that your account is for you and those who live in your household, you can have different profiles set up on one account so that each household member can personalize what they want to watch without effecting it every bodies watch list and you are also able to have the App on a few different smart devices. However, sharing from outside of your household is ‘against the rules’.


From the business side of Netflix, this is down to profit and subscription numbers. The more people subscribed, it ultimately comes down to them making more money since each account has to pay either a monthly or yearly subscription fee. It is also a point of having a more precise figure when it comes to people using their app on a daily basis.

From the security side of Netflix, this is also for your data protection, your account is paid for and your bank details and other personal details are shown on your account and although subscriptions can only be edited (upgraded) from the administrator account, other viewers can access your profile since it is not password protected. The only password needed is when you first log into the Netflix app

If you, for any reason wanted to stop the person having access to your Netflix account you would be unable to contact Netflix directly and arrange this. But rather you would have to either change your password – which would then kick all of the users out and when they try to open the app again it will ask them to log in once again with the new password, or you would have to download the app onto another device. 

Depending on the level of membership you have depends on how many devices you can have logged into one account, once you have reached the maximum when you are trying to log in again it will tell you that it is kicking one of the devices off of the list.

Off-Record 


Unofficially, Netflix or the CEO of Netflix doesn’t really care if you share your passwords log in providing you are not making a business out of their business. So, you can not or should not charge someone for using your account (i.e selling your password). Of course, they do not encourage password sharing (outside of your household) but they also do not punish for it. This is because generally, Netflix will anyway make their money. 

The theory is, that either way they will make money, since the more people who use Netflix the more ‘word of mouth’ advertising the company has. Let us say 3 people share an account and each of them 3 people tell another 3 people about a ‘Netflix Original’ serial or movie they have watched and recommended then each of the 3 people create a new account with a paid subscription – you see the profit accumulated is not really affected by profile sharing.

The only reason this would be likely to change is if, for any reason, Netflix’s bottom line starts to be affected but as you can see, the chances of this are pretty slim. However, with this being said it is important to remember that you will not receive support from Netflix should there be a problem that arises from sharing your Netflix account with someone outside of your own household.

Netflix tends to protect itself from the ‘over-sharing’ of your account by adding a restriction as to how many profiles can be created on each account and how many devices one account can be played from.

Conclusion:


Eventually, according to entertainment law, sharing your Netflix account is illegal but since the laws revolving around this are not so specific and are rarely imposed is it wrong? No. You are allowed to share your password amongst your household, you are allowed to have your account on more than one device, and who is to say that you are not there watching with your friend or using that other device? 

This is why, the laws are vague and confusing. On the flip side, we do not advise trying to cheat the system, since Netflix is lenient enough to allow profile sharing, we say respect that and keep it to a minimum and at the same time try to promote them as much as possible amongst your other friends and families so that they will make a paid subscription.

Don’t forget, if the profit of the company becomes affected, they will more than likely buckle down on the use of their streaming and enforce limitations, in turn forcing everyone who wants to watch Netflix to make an individual account. In 2018 Netflix did already add restrictions to individual accounts and the abilities to share which is why there are now a limited of number of profiles and devices allowed to be connected to one account. 


As the account holder, you can delete and change profiles however unless you change the security restrictions, once somebody knows your password you can not stop them from using the account. Watch and share responsibly and enjoy the great movie nights that Netflix can offer you from the comfort of your own home.
Netflix is one of the most popular movie/TV Serial streaming apps around today. The subscriptions are not excessively high and the use of the app is pretty easy to understand and co-ordinate. There are hundreds of different movies, both new and old as well as serials from both the United Kingdom and the USA available to watch at your leisure, providing you have an internet connection and a device to watch the app from, you can watch Netflix anywhere at any time. But what are the legalities of sharing your Netflix account? This is a complex question, as with most things in the entertainment industry. So let us break it down for you:
Is It Legal To Share A Netflix Account?

Technically – according to Netflix and Entertainment Law:


Sharing your Netflix account is not allowed. Netflix does advise you that your account is for you and those who live in your household, you can have different profiles set up on one account so that each household member can personalize what they want to watch without effecting it every bodies watch list and you are also able to have the App on a few different smart devices. However, sharing from outside of your household is ‘against the rules’.


From the business side of Netflix, this is down to profit and subscription numbers. The more people subscribed, it ultimately comes down to them making more money since each account has to pay either a monthly or yearly subscription fee. It is also a point of having a more precise figure when it comes to people using their app on a daily basis.

From the security side of Netflix, this is also for your data protection, your account is paid for and your bank details and other personal details are shown on your account and although subscriptions can only be edited (upgraded) from the administrator account, other viewers can access your profile since it is not password protected. The only password needed is when you first log into the Netflix app

If you, for any reason wanted to stop the person having access to your Netflix account you would be unable to contact Netflix directly and arrange this. But rather you would have to either change your password – which would then kick all of the users out and when they try to open the app again it will ask them to log in once again with the new password, or you would have to download the app onto another device. 

Depending on the level of membership you have depends on how many devices you can have logged into one account, once you have reached the maximum when you are trying to log in again it will tell you that it is kicking one of the devices off of the list.

Off-Record 


Unofficially, Netflix or the CEO of Netflix doesn’t really care if you share your passwords log in providing you are not making a business out of their business. So, you can not or should not charge someone for using your account (i.e selling your password). Of course, they do not encourage password sharing (outside of your household) but they also do not punish for it. This is because generally, Netflix will anyway make their money. 

The theory is, that either way they will make money, since the more people who use Netflix the more ‘word of mouth’ advertising the company has. Let us say 3 people share an account and each of them 3 people tell another 3 people about a ‘Netflix Original’ serial or movie they have watched and recommended then each of the 3 people create a new account with a paid subscription – you see the profit accumulated is not really affected by profile sharing.

The only reason this would be likely to change is if, for any reason, Netflix’s bottom line starts to be affected but as you can see, the chances of this are pretty slim. However, with this being said it is important to remember that you will not receive support from Netflix should there be a problem that arises from sharing your Netflix account with someone outside of your own household.

Netflix tends to protect itself from the ‘over-sharing’ of your account by adding a restriction as to how many profiles can be created on each account and how many devices one account can be played from.

Conclusion:


Eventually, according to entertainment law, sharing your Netflix account is illegal but since the laws revolving around this are not so specific and are rarely imposed is it wrong? No. You are allowed to share your password amongst your household, you are allowed to have your account on more than one device, and who is to say that you are not there watching with your friend or using that other device? 

This is why, the laws are vague and confusing. On the flip side, we do not advise trying to cheat the system, since Netflix is lenient enough to allow profile sharing, we say respect that and keep it to a minimum and at the same time try to promote them as much as possible amongst your other friends and families so that they will make a paid subscription.

Don’t forget, if the profit of the company becomes affected, they will more than likely buckle down on the use of their streaming and enforce limitations, in turn forcing everyone who wants to watch Netflix to make an individual account. In 2018 Netflix did already add restrictions to individual accounts and the abilities to share which is why there are now a limited of number of profiles and devices allowed to be connected to one account. 


As the account holder, you can delete and change profiles however unless you change the security restrictions, once somebody knows your password you can not stop them from using the account. Watch and share responsibly and enjoy the great movie nights that Netflix can offer you from the comfort of your own home.


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