We can't say they didn't warn us: back in September, Disney Plus said it would start cracking down on account sharing in early 2024 – first in Canada and then in the US. We've already seen the same firm's Hulu service email subscribers about the change of terms, and now Disney Plus is emailing US customers to make them aware of the new rules. The move comes just days after Hulu's emails.
As with Hulu, the emails talk about changes to the T&Cs that were made on January 25, which will be enforced from March 14. That means that from that later date, if you share your Disney Plus account with people who don't live under the same roof you could face restrictions or even a ban.
We've seen this script before
The Disney Plus emails say that "we’re adding limitations on sharing your account outside of your household" and that the streamer may "analyze the use of your account to determine compliance". It doesn't detail how exactly it'll do that, but even something as simple as IP address logging can tell when different people are accessing the service from different networks and different locations.
That's a pretty blunt instrument, however, and it would flag up legitimate access when you travel for work or for pleasure. Netflix gets around this by asking you to connect from your home location every so often and Disney is likely to do the same.
According to the Disney Plus help centre for the US and in other territories too (the same language is in the UK version too), a household "means the collection of devices associated with your primary personal residence that are used by the people who live there".
Unlike Netflix there isn't currently a way to add additional people to your account, for example because one of your kids is going to college; no plans for such an option have been announced so far. It's fair to say that the new rules are not being greeted with great joy on the Disney Plus subreddit.
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Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.