Accidents happen all the time, right? Well Netflix was recently the victim of a small accident after it leaked a Facebook “Don’t Share This” button on their iOS App. Though it was only their for a short period of time it has cause some minor controversy and a ton of questions. To be honest, when I first heard about this I hadn’t even realized that Netflix didn’t have any social sharing functions AT ALL. Though I’m not quite sure what that says about me but it did lead my down a path that allowed me to learn a little more about why this “Don’t Share This” button mishap was interesting news.
One of these interesting facts about this whole situation is a law known as the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) of 1988 which makes it illegal to share and individual’s video rental history. Though I think most of what this law stands for is still very important, I do feel that it has become severely outdated since it was written and directed toward “video tape service providers” and not video streaming or DVD/BluRay rental services. I also do think this is necessarily an all-or-nothing situation and subscribers of these services should be allowed to tweet/post/share items on their list if they wanted to without exposing their entire streaming history.
(Although, if you’re a die-hard over-sharer and LOVE movies you should check out GetGlue, the Foursquare for TV, Movies, Games and more.)
But alas, it looks like there is a solution on the horizon…
[Representative] Goodlatte proposed an amendment to the VPPA, impressively in under 70 words, stating that video rental histories can be shared as long as the consumer gives consent over the web. The amendment is titled H.R. 2471 and was filed on July 8. The mysterious “Don’t Share This” button may be in preparation for the passing of this amendment, even though it seems to assert the VPPA more than fight it.
H.R. 2471 is currently awaiting a vote in the House Judiciary Committee that could send it right back to the House floor. So far, there’s no telling how this’ll pan out. But if Facebook is the missing link in your Netflix experience, Pop Vox can help. It’s a new start-up based out of Washington D.C. and it works by crowd sourcing the public’s responses to certain proposed bills and amendments, including H.R. 2471, through social networks and its own site.
So what do you think?
Original story found on Tech Crunch.