It’s a widely known fact that people like to share passwords for streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, and more in order to avoid paying their own subscription fee. However, with The Walt Disney Company soon entering the streaming game with Disney+, there might soon be a crackdown on password sharing, forcing you to pay your own subscription if you want to watch Disney’s mash-up prequel of Hocus Pocus and The Three Musketeers or whatever they’re going to announce next.
In a joint press release from Disney and the cable provider Charter Communications, the two companies announced a new distribution deal for programming from the likes of Hulu, ESPN+ and even Disney+. That doesn’t matter for anyone who doesn’t have a Spectrum cable subscription, but a certain detail nonchalantly tossed into the press release certainly does. Here’s what the press release also says is included in the deal:
“Additionally, Disney and Charter have also agreed to work together on piracy mitigation. The two companies will work together to implement business rules and techniques to address such issues as unauthorized access and password sharing.”
And in case you were wondering if this is just a minor detail that won’t ever actually amount to anything significant, a separate statement from Tom Montemagno, Charter Communications executive vice president of programming and acquisition, said the new deal “will allow Spectrum to continue delivering to its customers popular Disney content, makes possible future distribution by Spectrum of Disney streaming services, and will begin an important collaborative effort to address the significant issue of piracy mitigation.”
So if you’re someone who has been sharing passwords for access to streaming services with your friends, that may not be possible when Disney+ debuts later this year. Of course, this is just an agreement to make an attempt to prohibit password sharing. We don’t know if the two companies actually have a plan on how to execute it just yet. However, one possible solution from tech blog Ars Technica says the companies could track a user’s IP addresses and cross check with each other to make sure they match.
The good news is that this only applies to Disney+ and Charter Communications cable subscribers for now. But as more streaming services arrive, you might start to see them cracking down more on password sharing so they can get the maximum amount of subscriptions from consumers. Stay tuned.
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