Bork-inspired video bill gets update


(John Duricka/AP)

The House this week adopted a bill updating the Video Privacy Protection Act, a piece of legislation prompted by one of the ugly moments (of many) during Bork’s failed 1987 confirmation process in which a Georgetown video store clerk shared the would-be justice’s video rental history with a reporter.

There wasn’t anything particularly scandalous about Bork’s videos — his tastes ran to Hitchcock and James Bond flicks — but outrage over the disclosure led legislators, including Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), to push through a bill.

The new bill essentially makes it easier for customers of companies like Netflix to share their favorite videos; under the current law, a company has to ask for permission each time it shares users’ movie rentals, and the update would allow customers to give their one-time okay.

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.

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