Tennessee lawmakers expanded upon an existing entertainment subscription service law by implementing a measure that makes it illegal to share the login information required to access popular download services like Netflix. Under the bill, for-profit download services can approach authorities with suspected violations and press charges. Stealing $500 or less of entertainment would be a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of $2,500.
As digital technology evolves, lawmakers are attempting to redress a backlog of complaints. The music industry has seen its domestic revenue halved in the last 10 years, from $15 billion to $7 billion. The law is also reasonable with respect to its interpretation of abuse:
While those who share their subscriptions with a spouse or other family members under the same roof almost certainly have nothing to fear, blatant offenders–say, college students who give their logins to everyone on their dormitory floor –could get in trouble.
The legislation was aimed at hackers and thieves who sell passwords, but it could be used against people who use a friend or relative’s subscription.
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