House Passes Video Sharing Bill

Amending VPPA is a top priority for Netflix

A bill that will allow consumers to share on social media what movies or TV shows they watched passed the House of Representatives Tuesday.

The bill amends the Video Privacy Protection Act to allow sharing as long as the companies obtain consent from consumers and provide consumers with a "clear and conspicuous" option to withdraw their consent at any time.

Sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), incoming chairman of the Judiciary Committee, the House bill incorporates language from a measure that cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee last month. 

“Social media users, especially young people, do not understand why they cannot share information about their favorite movies or TV shows in the same way that they can music or books. HR 6671 preserves careful protections for consumers' privacy while modernizing the law to empower consumers to do more with their video consumption preferences, including sharing favorite TV shows or recently watched movies via social media networks in a simple way,” Goodlatte said in a statement.

Changing the 1998 VPPA was a top priority for Netflix, which lobbied for passage of a law that will allow the company to launch a sharing feature on Facebook it has already introduced in other countries.

Next step, and it could be a challenge given the looming fiscal cliff, is to pass the Senate in the short time left for the 112th Congress.