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Obama signs Netflix-Facebook sharing bill into law

By Tom Cheredar | VentureBeat.com,

Hey guess what? Your Facebook feed will soon be filled with movie and TV show activity from the 25 million U.S. Netflix subscribers — something the streaming video rental company is undoubtedly very excited about.

On Thursday, President Barack Obama signed into law an amended version of the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), a law that was originally created in 1988 to prevent businesses from sharing your physical rental history. The amended version explicitly allows rental services like Netflix to share their customer’s digital viewing activity on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, provided that those customers consent to it.

The law’s passage means that Netflix will now be able integrate its subscriber’s accounts with Facebook’s Open Graph and Timeline, enabling friends and family to see what you’re watching, rating, or saving in real-time. It’s possible that we also might start to see social media sharing buttons on movie summary pages and integrated within the video player.

Netflix has been campaigning to get the amended law passed for the better part of two years, having only recently gained success when the Senate passed the bill last month.

So why is Netflix so intent on having this law pass? Well, the company has previously stated that Facebook Timeline integration in other countries has led to both more hours watched by its customers, and higher subscription growth. (It’s worth noting that other video services have reported the same results, too.) Netflix already has a massive domestic subscriber base for its streaming video service, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Timeline integration proves just as successful.

Via The Hill

Copyright 2013, VentureBeat

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