Do you use Netflix? Are you from Tennessee? Do you have friends? If you answered yes to any or all of the above questions, keep listening.
According to Cinemablend, the state of Tennessee recently passed a law that makes it illegal to share your Netflix account password. The original proposition of the bill dictated a misdemeanor for first-time offenders and a felony for secondary offenses (seriously), but has since been changed to a misdemeanor.
Let’s take a moment to just remember that this is a real law. The state of Tennessee is actually making it illegal to share your Netflix password. Aside from this law being totally and completely ridiculous, let’s try to gain some perspective and see why such a law has been enacted.
It seems the biggest issue anyone would have with people sharing their Netflix passwords is money. Obviously, it’s not in Netflix’s best interest to have people sharing accounts, instead of everyone paying for their own individual accounts. But where does the government figure into that? Is a Patriot Act for live-streaming video really necessary? Legislators are supposedly claiming that “the bill is to protect the users from themselves, basically, since if too many people start sharing accounts fewer people are subscribing and the companies running these services will need to upcharge just to make their money back.” So is it Netflix, the internet’s largest single source of traffic, the one complaining? Doesn’t seem like it.
Perhaps most important to consider is how the state of Tennessee is going to track this baby. I mean, let’s get real here. Are you going to put telescreens with Tennessee Governor (Big Brother) Bill Haslem around your house so he can personally make sure your Netflix password goes unshared? My guess is that the patrolling of this law is going to be very spotty and pretty inconsistent. They say the authorities will only hunt you down if the subscription service files a complaint against you, but seeing as you can connect up to six devices, including computers, onto one account, how likely is that?
For now, let’s just be fortunate the law has only hit one state, and that there doesn’t seem to be any likelihood of getting caught. So for now, keep letting your friend fill up your Recently Watched section with episodes of “The Cosby Show.”