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  (Source: digitaltrends.com)
Tennessee lawmakers have passed a measure backed by the RIAA that could ban the sharing of Netflix passwords

For years, the recording industry has attempted to save itself by combating illegal downloading of music and movies in an effort to increase CD and DVD sales. It's no secret that subscription services like Netflix are a thorn in their sides, offering movie rentals for one low monthly price. But now, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the U.S. state of Tennessee are taking these efforts to revive DVD sales to a whole new level by proposing a new law that could ban the sharing of Netflix passwords.

Netflix is an on-demand video streaming and video rental-by-mail company that launched its subscription service in 1999. The user base grew quickly, reporting 23.6 million subscribers worldwide this year. In addition, Netflix has Hollywood executives shaking in their boots, and even pushed Blockbuster into bankruptcy.

While Netflix continues to grow as far as audience and content goes, the movie rental and streaming giant may encounter some problems in the state of Tennessee. Tennessee lawmakers have passed a new bill that would make it illegal to share passwords for Netflix, Rhapsody or other similar services amongst friends. 

The bill is awaiting the governor's approval, and if passed, could put sharers of Netflix accounts in jail. According to one report, stealing $500 or less of entertainment would be a misdemeanor, and would land a person in jail for up to one year with a $2,500 fine.

The RIAA is backing Tennessee's bill in an effort to stop hackers who sell passwords, and say that Netflix password pooling falls into that category. Bill Ramsey, a Nashville lawyer, noted that those who share subscriptions within the same household would not likely be apart of the ban, as small-scale violations like that would be difficult to identify. But when one password exceeds about 10 people, that's when "a prosecutor might look and say, 'Hey, you knew it was stealing.'"

This definitely isn't the RIAA's first attempt to get its share. After battling filesharing service LimeWire in federal court over copyright infringement claims, the RIAA won $105 million, and many doubted its intent to share with recording artists, who were supposedly the ones to benefit from the case. According to a report released a couple weeks ago, the RIAA may distribute some of the settlement money to artists, and while it may pocket a large sum of the loot, it never said it would give artists nothing at all.

But many agree that this new measure is wandering into the zone of ridiculousness, and are wondering where the RIAA will draw the line. What about lending a friend a CD? Or a DVD box set? When will it be enough?



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RE: Er...
By The Raven on 6/2/2011 4:55:57 PM , Rating: 2
I checked the EULA. The bolded is all I could find... but it kind of looks out of place being buried in a paragraph about protecting your identity.
quote:
Account Access; Identity Protection

In order to provide you with ease of access to your account and to help administer the Netflix service, Netflix implements technology that enables us to recognize you as the account holder and provide you with direct access to your account without requiring you to retype any password or other user identification when you revisit the Netflix service. You are responsible for updating and maintaining the truth and accuracy of the information you provide to us relating to your account.

You are also responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your account and password and for restricting access to your computer or Netflix ready device. If you disclose your password to anyone or share your account and/or devices with other people, you take full responsibility for their actions. Where possible, users of public or shared devices should log out at the completion of each visit. If you sell or return a computer or Netflix ready device, you should logout and/or deactivate the device before doing so. If you fail to log out or deactivate your device, subsequent users may be able to access certain of your account information. To deactivate a device, go to Manage Netflix ready devices and computers.

If you find that you're a victim of identity theft and it involves a Netflix account, you should notify customer service. Then, you should report this instance to all your card issuers, as well as your local law enforcement agency. Also, you should be mindful of any emails requesting that you submit credit card or other account information. These types of emails, also known as phishing emails, can result in identity theft. Always access your sensitive account information by going directly to the Netflix website and not through a hyperlink in an email, even if it looks official. Netflix reserves the right to place any account on hold anytime with or without notification to the member in order to protect itself and its partners from what it believes to be fraudulent activity. Netflix is not obligated to credit or discount a membership for holds placed on the account by either a representative of Netflix or by the automated processes of Netflix.


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