A court ruling in a hacking case brought into question whether sharing the password on your Netflix, Hulu or HBOGO accounts could be treated as a crime.

The Ninth Circuit appeals court in California made a ruling that one of the panels' judges said would illegalize all password sharing to various online services, even when the sharing happened consensually, according to the New York Post.

The ruling was issued last week and relates to the case of a man charged with hacking a database by using another person's password. Hacking charges were upheld for that defendant.

However, in a dissent attached to the opinion, justice Stephen Reinhardt wrote the decision could have broader implications.


Reinhardt said the decision could "criminalize" some "innocuous conduct" related to password sharing.

He wrote the decision lacks "a workable line which separates the consensual password sharing in this case from the consensual password sharing of millions of legitimate account holders, which may also be contrary to the policies of system owners.

No law enforcement or civil actions have yet been reported filed against anyone related to password sharing or this decision.

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