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Monday, 06 June 2011 11:00

New Tennessee Law Criminalizes Password Sharing for Entertainment

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If you live in Tennessee you should think twice before giving your Netflix password to a friend.

On May 30, 2011, Governor Bill Haslam signed House Bill 1783/Senate Bill 1659 into law. The new statute, Public Chapter No. 348, criminalizes the use of the login information of an account for any “entertainment subscription services.” Such services include Netflix, the popular video-on-demand service, as well as Rhapsody, a similar site dedicated to streaming music.

Given that the capital of Tennessee is also the country music capital of the world, it is little wonder that the music industry would wield enough clout to lean on legislators to protect the state’s principal export. In an age when revenue from the sales of music is down and declining, purveyors of that art form must have fingers in every hole in the dike, one of the biggest being the unlicensed sharing of music via the internet.

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