Sharing a Netflix Password Is a Crime in Some States

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    NEWSLETTERS

    You better not share that Netflix password with your friends, kids. It could cost your parents $2,500 if you live in Tennessee.

    What's the difference between Netflix and cable? Not that much, according to Tennessee.

    Tennessee has made it a crime for users of the popular Los Gatos-based movie and television rental site to share account passwords with friends.

    The law is an amendment of an older one that makes it illegal to steal cable by splitting a line.

    The inclusion of Netflix unites the streaming startup, which some reports say accounts for the majority of the country's Internet traffic, with the industry it most threatens.

    As Netflix has pushed more and more of its users to streaming movie rentals online, instead of waiting for a DVD to appear in the mail, several industries have tried to counter the popularity of the almost instantaneous service.

    Tennessee's new rule may set a precedent for other states to follow.
    But the amendment to the law does not prohibit family members from sharing a password and state legislators say it is not meant as a punishment against the likes of Netflix.

    A fine for breaking the new law will carry a $2,500 fine.