Chill out. Sharing your Netflix password is not illegal.

Did you send that panic text sometime this week after reading that sharing passwords is illegal? Did the person who actually owns the Netflix account respond appropriately with an emoji laughing so hard it was crying?

If not, and you two are fleeing the country, you can turn back now because you're both not in any trouble. The Internet did what it does best and went into panic mode after hearing that they may have been committing a crime while watching House of Cards. But, that just isn't the case.

Sharing passwords for popular streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu or HBO GO is not a crime, rather, the companies don't really care, and one jerk caused the frenzy by committing a serious crime.

David Nosal, a former employee who worked for headhunting firm Korn/Ferry, decided he wanted to start his own headhunting firm. Now, when Korn/Ferry heard about this they blocked Nosal from using their information. 

So, Nosal got some former coworkers who wanted to join him to download information for their new company. Now, that is illegal. Like, really illegal.

Nosal planned this out. This isn't a case about sharing a password but rather something closer to theft. You can say Brutus shared a knife while stabbing Caesar but the bigger picture is that he planned to kill someone. Et tu, Nosal?

How does this really relate back to password sharing? 

Well, the majority of the judges in this case agreed that this was something similar to stealing, and had nothing to do with giving your mother the password to your Netflix account, the one single judge wrote that it was about password sharing.


The judge, Stephen Reinhardt, wrote that Nosal violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Reform and that the CFAA "threatens to criminalize all sorts of innocuous conduct engaged in daily by ordinary citizens."

But, don't worry. It doesn't seem likely at all that major streaming sites are going to punish anyone for sharing passwords. In fact, many don't mind at all and say it's actually good for all parties involved.


So, keep streamin', New York City. While you're at it, share that password with someone you love. 

Even better, find out how long everyone else binges for. You'll surprised to know not everyone is consuming Bloodline like you are.

Check out Nintendo NES.

[via The Des Moines Register] [Feature Image Courtesy Instagram]