PASSWORD sharing for Netflix accounts is something that is fairly common among those who use the streaming service, but now the practice could be considered a criminal offence.

According to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) password sharing for streaming accounts may amount to "secondary copyright infringement", as reported by The Metro.

In guidance published this week, the IPO said: "Pasting internet images into your social media without permission, or accessing films, tv series or live sports events through Kodi boxes, hacked Fire Sticks or apps without paying a subscription is an infringement of copyright and you may be committing a crime."

The National: Netflix is trying to crack down on people sharing out their account passwordNetflix is trying to crack down on people sharing out their account password (Image: PA)

Initially, there had been a reference to password sharing, which was removed, but an IPO spokesperson confirmed the guidance was in place.

They said: "There are a range of provisions in criminal and civil law which may be applicable in the case of password sharing where the intent is to allow a user to access copyright-protected works without payment.

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"These provisions may include breach of contractual terms, fraud or secondary copyright infringement depending on the circumstances."

However, the IPO clarified that it would be up to streaming services like Netflix to actually take action through the courts.

Netflix has been trying to crack down on those password-sharing with people who don't live in the same house as them, as they launched a trial in some South American countries.

The company has also introduced a new cheaper ad-supported tier costing £4.99 a month to attract customers.

Other streaming services like Disney+ do not allow users to share their passwords with other households, while those who use Amazon Prime Video can share their accounts with one other person.