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No Netflix Bill Rewrite

The revision planned for last year’s controversial “Netflix bill” has been deemed unnecessary by the legislation’s sponsor, House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, who withdrew it from consideration Wednesday.

McCormick said prosecuting lawful account sharing was not the intent of the bill. “For you to be breaking the law it required criminal intent — and…sharing inside the family under the terms of the subscription agreement certainly cannot, and does not, meet that test,”  said the Chattanooga Republican.

Netflix, and other subscription services, have user agreements that allow sharing and for account sharing to be considered criminal intent, the individual in question would have to be making money from the act.

The original bill was carried by McCormick with, he said, the intention of protecting intellectual property rights of musicians by limiting the sharing of passwords for subscription-based services like Rhapsody. However, the lawmaker soon encountered unintended consequences.

The bill was perceived by some to potentially make it illegal for family members and close friends to share their passwords for subscription video services like Netflix, and McCormick received several emails on the subject.

Though McCormick has said that the bill should be reviewed and revised to fix the problematic language, he has also said that he agrees that the Legislature files too many bills.

After reviewing the subscription agreements and the language of the bill, McCormick said that a revision isn’t needed.

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