Sharing a Netflix password? That's a crime

By: Adrian Crawford , Palm Beach Post

Updated:

If you've been using a Netflix password belonging to a friend, loved one (or former loved one) to binge watch "Breaking Bad," then tread lightly: You're committing a federal crime.

You read that correctly. According to Fusion, the U.S. Court of Appeals this week upheld the 2013 conviction of David Nosal, a man who left his job at a search engine and then used a former co-worker's password to download information to use at his new job.

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Nosal was prosecuted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a 1986 law that bans "unauthorized access" to computer systems.

In 2008, Nosal was charged with hacking under the act, before Netflix allowed members to create different profiles for different users in 2013.

But what does this have to do with your "Orange is the New Black" marathon?

Essentially, Nosal's conviction implies that sharing account log-in details amounts to hacking, and that anyone could be prosecuted for using a password for an account that doesn't have their name on it.

Still, Fusion says this case does not necessarily mean Netflix will be charging people left and right for sharing accounts unless there is another, ulterior reason to do so.

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