Disney+ Enacts Plan to Prevent Password Sharing

     August 19, 2019

Sharing passwords for streaming services is technically a no-no, but it’s also become a very common practice. In fact, one might be planning to do just that when Disney+ launches on November 12th. If that’s something you were considering, you might want to think again.

The Walt Disney Company and Charter Communications just announced a new distribution arrangement for Charter to continue to share Disney content with Spectrum customers. If you’re not a Spectrum customer, that probably means next to nothing to you but buried in this press release is a little something that might not only affect your Disney+ plans, but could also pave the way to more widespread anti-piracy practices across the board in the streaming service realm.

Here’s the key statement from the press release:

“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.”


Image via Disney

The companies don’t offer up any details on exactly how they’ll go about this, but many outlets are pointing to an Ars Technica piece which suggests that this could specifically impact those using a Charter TV account to gain access to Disney content online. The article also tosses out the possibility that Charter may monitor broadband network usage, including the tracking of IP addresses, when Disney services are accessed.

Ars Technica goes on to highlight that streaming juggernauts Netflix and HBO have done little to combat password sharing themselves beyond putting a limit on the number of concurrent streams per account. If you share your Netflix account “beyond your household” technically that’s in violation of Netflix’s terms of use, but it’s a rule that hasn’t been strictly enforced. In fact, Netflix CEO Reed Hasting once stated, “Password sharing is something you have to learn to live with, because there’s so much legitimate password sharing, like you sharing with your spouse, with your kids.” Former HBO CEO Richard Plepler took it a step further. He once stated that sharing passwords is actually a “terrific marketing vehicle for the next generation of viewers” and also that, “We’re in the business of creating addicts.”

How seriously should we take Disney and Charter’s new initiative? Is it even worth cracking down on this type of piracy or is password sharing a useful marketing tool as Plepler stated? The Movie Talk team shares their thoughts on today’s episode at the top of this article. In addition, they also run through the weekend box office including Good Boysbig win.

Tune in for Collider Movie Talk every day, Monday through Friday, at 3pm PT live on the Collider Video YouTube channel!

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