Obama Signs Video Sharing Bill

Netflix to launch social feature this year

President Obama signed a bill Thursday that frees Netflix to launch in the U.S. a feature that lets users automatically broadcast on Facebook what movies and TV shows they're watching. Netflix has already launched the feature in other countries.

The measure was a last-minute item that sailed through both the House and the Senate on Dec. 18 and Dec. 21.

Current law let users automatically share what music they listen to on social media, but the 1988 Video Privacy Protection Act prevented the practice for video rentals. 

"Federal laws need to catch up with the technology of today," said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who introduced the legislation in the House last year.

The law requires companies to obtain consent from consumers before sharing their viewing choices and provide them the "clear and conspicuous" option to opt out at any time.

"This new law is truly pro-consumer and places the decision of whether or not to share video rentals with one's friends squarely in the hands of the consumer," said Goodlatte in a statement.