Lawmakers Pass Bill Making Netflix Sharing a Crime in Tennessee

rated by 0 users
This post has 16 Replies | 2 Followers

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 24,923
Points 1,118,125
Joined: Sep 2007
ForumsAdministrator
News Posted: Thu, Jun 2 2011 3:53 PM
Performing certain actions will get you sent to the 'Big House' no matter where you live. Taking another person's life, for example. Robbing a bank. Stampeding across town in a drunken stupor without your clothes on at three o'clock in the afternoon (trust us on this one). But in Tennessee, you could be locked up for logging into your buddy's Netflix account and watching an episode of The Twilight Zone.

According to a report in The Tennessean, state lawmakers passed a new bill endorsed by Gov. Bill Haslam that, come July 1, will make it a crime to use someone's login information to watch movies or listen to music from streaming services like Netflix and Rhapsody. The bill, which was unsurprisingly pushed through by the RIAA, is supposed to stop hackers and crooks who sell passwords in bulk. That's fine and dandy, but the way it's worded, it could also be used against people who use a friend's or relative's account.


"What becomes not legal is if you send your username and password to all your friends so they can get free subscriptions," said the bill's House sponsor, Rep. Gerald McCormick.

Again, nothing wrong with that, except maybe the punishment. The bill is an expansion of an existing law that is used to send people to jail who steal cable TV or who like to dine-and-dash rather than pay for their meals, and adds "entertainment subscription service" to the list. Stealing $500 or less (emphasis on less) of entertainment could land uncle Billy in jail for up to a year with a fine of up to $2,500. Going beyond $500 is considered a felony.


Most people would agree that stealing is, well, not acceptable. But the problem some see with this law is that it's too open ended. Not only could the RIAA go after individuals outside of the bill's supposedly intended scope, but as public defender David Doyle points out, an 'entertainment subscription' could even apply to a magazine subscription or a health club membership.

In any event, fair warning to anyone living in Tennessee, especially college kids. If you're still using your parents' Netflix account, it's time to ration off a portion of your Pell Grant and pony up for your own subscription.
  • | Post Points: 200
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 261
Points 2,555
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: United States

"In any event, fair warning to anyone living in Tennessee, especially college kids. If you're still using your parents' Netflix account, it's time to ration off a portion of your Pell Grant and pony up for your own subscription."

LOL! I will not admit to anything concerning that quote. Luckily I don't live or go to school in TN :) Anyway, politics.. and politicians licking the boots of big businesses... not a surprise to me. They have more pressing "problems" to tackle, why mess with this one?

Never stop learning... until you're dead.

Jack of all trades, master of none.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 25 Contributor
Posts 3,735
Points 40,310
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: New York

... now the government is going to make laws for certain companies??? So how do they actually track this? through ip? how do they know its not he original owner?

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 200 Contributor
Posts 413
Points 3,190
Joined: Dec 2010

WOW, is this really the most important thing they had to discuss? either TN is doing awesome with everything or they need to focus on real issues for a change.

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 33
Points 300
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: SUNNYVALE CA.
herlof replied on Thu, Jun 2 2011 7:08 PM

the law is getting dumber and dumber

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 150 Contributor
Posts 754
Points 8,520
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: Phoenix
LBowen replied on Thu, Jun 2 2011 7:11 PM

This law is a tad excessive and in my opinion Netflix should have already be protecting it's interests by having measures against account sharing. What I mean by that is if the system detects simultaneous logons from two computers that account would be locked. That way the consumer is protected against unauthorized use and Netflix can continue to be profitable.

"I have the power!!"

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 3,236
Points 37,910
Joined: Mar 2010
AKwyn replied on Thu, Jun 2 2011 9:10 PM

What LBowen said could work but then again, this bill really is driven to have a hidden agenda of preventing the sharing of accounts with families. And this is just really a long line of laws that are supposed to prevent content providers from losing money with stolen content; what's really odd is that the RIAA and MPAA has not realized this important fact. That they should respect the customers, get with the times when it comes to sharing (music, not movies) and just stop trying to suck the money out of a horse which has been killed 11 years ago.

EDIT: And giving Netflix accounts to friends and family is really basically personal choice; you can decide whether or not to give the account info or tell your friends or family to "get your own."; same goes for everything else.

 

"The future starts with you; now start posting more!"

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,864
Points 29,610
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: United States, Connecticut

I would have to agree that the law is a bit excessive and the RIAA almost always gets there way. We are going to sue your grandma because someone stole her internet and downloaded a 1 billion songs.

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 20
Points 205
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: 000.000.000.1

.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 8,446
Points 102,230
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
MembershipAdministrator
Moderator
realneil replied on Fri, Jun 3 2011 12:19 AM

I used to think that Lawmakers were special, you know,....smart people. But this proves that it ain't so anymore.

Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.

(Mark Twain)

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 150 Contributor
Posts 493
Points 4,555
Joined: Nov 2010
Location: Tampa

Netflix already has protections built into the system against this. For example, they will only allow two streams at the same time in one account. It's not that expensive anyway and Netflix needs to money to expand their services.

Smooth Creations LANShark "Blue Flame" + ASUS G73JH-A2 + ASUS EeePC S101H
Yes it's the original InfinityzeN

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 10
Points 95
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: bayside ny

nobody piggybacks on my netflix account .. if they think they need to secure it more then do so .

  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Posts 3
Points 75
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Chicago, IL

I don't see how they can even prove such a crime. Netflix is swimming in profit they don't need to get all federal due to greed.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 8,446
Points 102,230
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
MembershipAdministrator
Moderator

CMachicote:
nobody piggybacks on my netflix account

Same here. Why give your access to your account to someone when it's so friggin cheap to get your own? NetFlix is the best deal I've found for streaming and the at home DVD service being a part of it is great too.

 

Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.

(Mark Twain)

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 5,048
Points 60,675
Joined: May 2008
Location: U.S.
Moderator
3vi1 replied on Fri, Jun 3 2011 7:39 PM

>> I don't see how they can even prove such a crime.

Here's how it works:

1) NetFlix is indifferent, but some company that's just a bunch of lawyers, let's call them SmiteHaven, goes to NetFlix and says "We'll go after people breaking a law and abusing your service, do all the litigation, and share the profits with you 50/50 if we can get them to settle."

2) NetFlix says: "Abusing our service? Breaking the law? Money for us? Sure, here are the IP logs of people watching our movies".

3) Smitehaven cross-references the IP addresses with the physical location of the ISP and finds that an hour after you watched a movie on the east coast, you watched it again on the west coast (where actually your mom watched it after you told her you wanted her to watch it because she'd love it, and gave her your NetFlix info so she doesn't have to sign up for this one-time thing).

4) Your mom settles out of court for $10k, or gets dragged through court out of state with the threat of bankruptcy in defense costs. Profit!

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 271
Points 3,015
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Georgia

is it still legal to marry your cuz in Tennessee

oh netflix thats a new fangled thing there got to protect that

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 16
Points 215
Joined: Jan 2011
Lakawak replied on Sat, Jun 4 2011 3:13 AM

The final paragraph is just stupid. It could not be applied to a maggazine subscription..because when you give away your magazine, YOU no longer have it...but when you give away your NetFlix password, you BOTH can use it.

I don't see why you think it is wrong that it is lumped in with stealing cable. It is pretty much the EXACT same thing.

  • | Post Points: 5
Page 1 of 1 (17 items) | RSS