Since apparently Disney doesn't have enough money, the company was rumored to initially be teaming up with Charter Communications to figure out a way to prevent you from using your ex-boyfriend's sister's best friend's password to watch movies and TV under its umbrella on Disney+. But now that the service has actually arrived, we have some good news: you can share passwords and subscriptions with your family and friends . . . to a point.
The news about a potential password sharing limit was first revealed in a press release shared in August, where the companies announced a distribution agreement for Disney-owned programming — ESPN+, Hulu, and of course Disney+, which launched on Nov. 12. Said release contained some information about their attempts to "work together on piracy mitigation," which is where sharing passwords might have gotten tricky.
"The two companies will work together to implement business rules and techniques to address such issues as unauthorized access and password sharing," the release said. Later on in the announcement, Tom Montemagno, executive vice president of programming acquisition for Charter, echoed the statement with his own quote:
"This agreement will allow Spectrum to continue delivering to its customers popular Disney content, makes possible future distribution by Spectrum of Disney streaming services, and will begin an important collaborative effort to address the significant issue of piracy mitigation."
As far as how Disney and Charter plan to combat password sharing between families and friends, Ars Technica's Jon Brodkin suggested they might "track the IP addresses of users signing in to its services, and Charter could match those IP addresses to those of its broadband customers." Fortunately now that Disney+ has actually debuted, so too have some official rules about how many people you can let mooch off of you (or mooch off of yourself), at least for now: every Disney+ account can stream on up to four devices simultaneously, and allows you to create seven individual user profiles for different members of the household. So, if you want to watch Avengers: Endgame while your little brother's pet ferret's BFF fires up the Lady and the Tramp reboot, you should be able to do so with no problems.
With the gajillion other streaming services that are popping up seemingly every week — Apple TV+, HBO Max, etc. — stricter limits might be something we'll have to get used to in the coming months. But for now, let's enjoy this relatively inexpensive streaming bliss while we still can.