Netflix testing ways to crack down on log-in sharing

Netflix says sharing accounts is hurting its ability to invest in new TV shows and films, and is set to start cracking down.

The company has announced it will be testing a new program in an effort to prevent people from sharing log-ins.

It isn’t widespread at the moment. Netflix is rolling it out in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru and giving users a chance to add a sub-account on their profile for $2.99 per additional user.

Users will also be able to transfer profiles to either a new account or be added to someone else’s account without losing viewing history.

Netflix ran a limited test last year prompting users to enter their credentials as a way to nudge freeloaders into paying for their own accounts.

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While it’s unclear what this will mean to Canadian users, there are some changes ahead when it comes to content on the streaming service if a new bill is passed in parliament.

Last month, Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said streaming platforms such as Netflix, Disney, and Amazon Prime are “the new big players” and should contribute more to Canadian culture.

In a debate in the House of Commons about a bill to regulate online streaming, Rodriguez said updating the broadcasting law is long overdue and needs to cover commercial content on social media and streaming platforms.

The Online Streaming Act does not apply to individual Canadians, whether they are users, creators, digital influencers, or workers. However, it would see the CRTC regulate certain aspects of streaming services, similar to what is already being done to TV and radio broadcasts in Canada.

Rodriguez says the last time the law was updated in 1991, people took out videos from Blockbuster and listened to Walkmans.

If the bill receives royal assent, Rodriguez will ask Cabinet to issue a policy direction to the CRTC on how it should use the new regulatory tools, which would ensure “both traditional and online broadcasting services, including web giants, offer meaningful levels of Canadian content and contribute to the creation of Canadian content in both official languages.”

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