Bill Moves Netflix Closer To Facebook Streaming In U.S.

By David Cohen Comment

Soon Netflix members in the U.S. may be able to stream videos over Facebook, if the Senate and President do what the House of Representatives just did: pass H.R. 2471, which would overturn the outdated Video Privacy Protection Act of 1988.

The VPPA prohibited the sharing of video-rental information, even if the renter gave his or her consent, according to Fast Company.

Without an overturning of the VPPA, Netflix users in the U.S. would not have been able to integrate their accounts with Facebook and share content they were watching

None of the other 44 countries where Netflix operates have this legislation, meaning members in those locations can already sync their accounts and let everyone on their friend lists know what they’re watching.

The vote ended up 303-116, and one of those 116 was Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.), and Matt Lira, digital communications director for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), told Fast Company:

My understanding is that, in committee, he didn’t understand why people would want to share this content. He doesn’t use social media in his everyday life, so how can we expect him to understand the value of sharing content? I don’t think he gets it.

Second, it seems he’s concerned that people might be duped into sharing this information. My response to that is if you knew anything about the social Web, you’d know if I started sharing your content without your permission, you’re going to know right away, because it’s an extraordinarily public app. You’ll stop using the product (if that happens) because you’ll be pissed off. And if any company has a sensitivity now to listening to their users, it’s Netflix.

Readers, are you looking forward to the ability to stream Netfilix video rentals over Facebook, or at least be able to tell your friends on the social network what you’re watching?