As reported in the ABA Journal, Tennessee law makers have passed a bill making it illegal to share a friend’s login to listen to music or download and watch movies from services such as Netflix and Rhapsody. The bill, which takes effect on July 1, was pushed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in light of the billions of dollars it loses as a result of illegal music sharing. The bill was proposed to battle hackers who sell passwords in bulk. However, it may be employed against people who share their subscriptions with family members and friends.
Under the bill, violators caught stealing $500 or less will be charged with a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,500. Theft over $500 would be a felony with more serious penalties. The RIAA hopes the bill will spread throughout the states but specifically targeted Tennessee because of its close ties with Nashville.