IPO, Meta: ‘SVoD password-sharing illegal’
December 20, 2022
By Colin Mann
The UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and Meta have worked together to create guidance on avoiding piracy and counterfeit goods online.
“Piracy is a major issue for the entertainment and creative industries,” says the IPO. “Pasting Internet images into your social media, password sharing on streaming services and accessing the latest films, TV series or live sports events through Kodi boxes, fire sticks or Apps without paying a subscription all break copyright law,” it advises. “Not only are you breaking the law but stopping someone earning a living from their hard work.”
“Whether it’s the latest film, sport or music, it’s never far away through your TV, computer or phone,” notes the IPO, suggesting that consumers need to ensure that they are accessing this content legally, and the creator is paid for their effort.
“By watching the film through a paid for streaming service, buying it on disc or experiencing it at the cinema you will ensure that all those people continue to work to create excellent experiences for you, the viewer,” it suggests.
“Illegal streaming boxes and apps usually lack parental controls,” it warns. “Using them could mean your children are exposed to explicit advertisements or age-inappropriate content. Where legitimate devices and power cables will have been tested, some illegal devices have failed safety standards so could be a real danger to you, like causing a fire in your home,” it adds.
“Every time you access illegal content, whether it’s to watch your favourite films, sports or TV shows using a modified box or stick or via an unauthorised website, app, add-on or another illegal source, you are infringing copyright and may be committing a crime. You also risk being exposed to dangerous malware and/or the risk of fraud and data theft. This risk increases significantly when you exchange credit or debit card information to view content on unregulated and pirate-run websites,” it advises.
“The creative industry offers employment for more than 1.9 million people and contributes £84.1 billion (€73.5bn) to the UK economy. If you are not paying for content, you are depriving industry of the money it needs to fund the next generation of TV programmes, films and sporting events,” it states, concluding that buying and using these devices and apps funds organised crime.