Sharing your Netflix password is now a federal crime, court rules

Posted at 9:42 AM, Jul 11, 2016

Sharing your Netflix password, or any password for that matter, is now considered a federal crime after three judges in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a ruling last week.

According to Fusion, the case doesn't directly involve Netflix, but does criminalize all password sharing.

United States v. Nosal involves David Nosal, a headhunter who worked for a company before leaving in 2004, according to Fusion.

When he left, Nosal "recruited former colleagues who used the password of a person still with the company to download information from Korn/Ferry’s database for use at the new firm," Fusion reports.

Judge Stephen Reinhardt, who was the dissenting judge in a 2-1 decision, said the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and sharing passwords "does not make the millions of people who  engage in this ubiquitous, useful, and generally harmless conduct into unwitting federal criminals," according to Fusion.