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Thu Dec 20, 2012, 05:55 PM

Netflix Blacks Out the Revolution

Source: Truthout

You might want to think twice about streaming that ďsubversiveĒ documentary about the Weather Underground on Netflix. If Republicans have their way, you just might end up on a watch list somewhere.

This week, the House of Representatives passed an amendment to the 1988 Video Protection Privacy Act, which forbids movie rental companies from sharing or selling their customersí viewing history. The Senate is expected to take up the amendment soon.

If this passes, what you watch on Netflix may soon become public information that your friends, employers, and even the government will have access to.
Are you regretting streaming the latest Harold and Kumar yet? Or all those soft-porn chick-flicks?

Netflix favors the law change because it will help them branch into social media and connect Facebook customers to each other based on their similar tastes in films. Unmentioned by Netflix is the enormous profit-potential in selling your viewing history to advertisers who can target specific demographics based on your preference in movies. Also unmentioned by Netflix is just who else might get this information once itís taken out of the privacy lockbox.

. . .

Read more: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/13464-netflix-blacks-out-the-revolution



The Republicans passed this in the house.
We need to put pressure on the Senate to keep this country
from becoming an electronic version of the former USSR.

31 replies, 5865 views

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 31 replies Author Time Post
Reply Netflix Blacks Out the Revolution (Original post)
aggiesal Dec 2012 OP
thesquanderer Dec 2012 #1
groundloop Dec 2012 #2
aggiesal Dec 2012 #3
kestrel91316 Dec 2012 #7
aggiesal Dec 2012 #8
thesquanderer Dec 2012 #11
Curmudgeoness Dec 2012 #17
thesquanderer Dec 2012 #18
Speck Tater Dec 2012 #4
Skittles Dec 2012 #5
kestrel91316 Dec 2012 #6
aggiesal Dec 2012 #9
Tab Dec 2012 #13
kracer20 Dec 2012 #10
thesquanderer Dec 2012 #12
caseymoz Dec 2012 #14
thesquanderer Dec 2012 #15
blackspade Dec 2012 #16
KoKo Dec 2012 #19
Curmudgeoness Dec 2012 #20
Flatpicker Dec 2012 #21
happyslug Dec 2012 #22
im1013 Dec 2012 #23
rrneck Dec 2012 #24
Rain Mcloud Dec 2012 #25
high density Dec 2012 #26
Fearless Dec 2012 #27
Dont_Bogart_the_Pretzel Dec 2012 #28
AldoLeopold Dec 2012 #29
Octafish Dec 2012 #30
skypilot Dec 2012 #31

Response to aggiesal (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 06:08 PM

1. I'm not sure this is bad

You left out the part about Netflix requiring your consent.

As I understand it, as it is, music services can tell your friends what you're listening to, and you can see what they're listening to. Some people like this, some don't, but you can choose to share or not share the info. But due to the video privacy laws, services like Netflix cannot do the same thing, i.e. let people choose to share their movie viewing info, due to the application of a law that was written for different times and circumstances. If some people want to share this info, should the government be preventing it?

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Response to thesquanderer (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 06:15 PM

2. HOWEVER, every single service I've ever seen makes you opt-out

Being required to opt out of such arrangements is very much different than when you give consent. Most people never take the time to read the lengthy and confusing fine print associated with terms of service agreements, and most invariably they give permission to collect and share your information unless you specifically opt out.

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Response to thesquanderer (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 06:21 PM

3. That was in the 1988 law

The new amendment doesn't require your consent.
This new amendment will allow Netflix to SELL your viewing habits
to anyone it wants, without your consent.
Once out of Netflix hands, who will the third party then release it to.

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Response to aggiesal (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 06:58 PM

7. Please READ. It says right in the quotes in red that the amendment FORBIDS companies from

disclosing your viewing history. WE WANT this amendment.

Fascists don't want it. Repubs have forgotten to be insane this time.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 07:10 PM

8. Again the 1988 law "FORBIDS ..."

The new amendment doesn't.

Poor grammar on the part of the writers (or maybe it was the website that
dropped a comma or two, to make it more readable).

I had to read it multiple times to understand what they were saying as well.

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Response to aggiesal (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 07:38 PM

11. You have misread it

re: "The new amendment doesn't require your consent. "

No, it says:

"The current version of the amendment does include a provision requiring Netflix to get their customersí consent before sharing their viewing history."

"Current version" means the version of the amendment that has been passed by the House (which is subject to further changes before until it passes the Senate). At least as of now, this amendment DOES require your consent.

I think you were confused because you thought "current version" referred to what is already in place, but there IS no amendment currently in place. There is an ACT. They are debating an amendment to that act.

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Response to thesquanderer (Reply #11)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 08:14 PM

17. As stated above, giving consent is a tricky one.

Most every time, your automatic options are to opt in, and you have to find the opt out----instead of the other way. If this did not happen all the time, it wouldn't be so much or an issue. But, opting out is almost universally hard to do, and opting in is so easy. True consent would be: Check this box if you want to opt in. How many times have you seen that?

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #17)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 08:24 PM

18. I agree, Opt-Out should be the default... for pretty much everything! (nt)

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Response to aggiesal (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 06:48 PM

4. So long Netflix. It's been good to know ya.

 

Sounds like another company has discovered how to commit suicide by pissing off its customers.

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Response to aggiesal (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 06:55 PM

5. f***

I have an unemployed friend sharing mine and he watches all kinds of weird sci-fi sh**

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Response to aggiesal (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 06:56 PM

6. Good god - we WANT the amendment passed. It FORBIDS movie rental companies from doing this.

"....an amendment to the 1988 Video Protection Privacy Act, which FORBIDS movie rental companies from sharing or selling their customersí viewing history...."

I know this comes as a shock, but not everything repubs do is completely insane.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 07:14 PM

9. The 1988 law "... FORBIDS ..."

The new law allows them to sell your viewing info to whomever
they want.

I had to read it multiple times to understand what it was saying.

The new amendment passed this week, negates your quoted statement.

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Response to aggiesal (Reply #9)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 07:49 PM

13. It's a crappily phrased article.

It tells what the original law does, but doesn't spell out what the amendment accomplishes. So it could conceivably be an unrelated modification, or it could overturn the original intent. You only get the impression of what it does based on the effect summary that follows.

It would have been better if you dug into the link within the link (although I agree you shouldn't have to). If you did, you'd see that it says this:

The popular movie streaming service Netflix celebrated a vote by the House of Representatives on Tuesday that amended a law banning video rental companies from sharing a customerís rental history. The new amendment would explicitly allow companies like Netflix to share customersí viewing history, per a customerís informed consent.


Then, it would have made much more sense.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 07:17 PM

10. Not sure you are reading it right either

The way I read it, it says that the amendment is to the 1988 VPPA which already forbid rental companies from sharing, they are amending it to allow the sharing

The wording is tricky in the OP

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Response to kracer20 (Reply #10)


Response to kracer20 (Reply #10)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 07:52 PM

14. It's a dangling clause.


Classic grammatical error. You can't tell if "which" points to the 1988 bill or its proposed amendment.

Since right now they can't sell our movie-viewing habits, I'm presuming the which refers to the new amendment. Yes, we gotta stop that.

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Response to caseymoz (Reply #14)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 08:01 PM

15. Yes, the sentence is ambiguous as you describe,

but also yes, the logic of the entire context does make clear that the original Act prohibited the sharing of the information, and the amendment under consideration removes that prohibition. But I don't agree that it necessarily has to be stopped, as I discussed in message #1.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 08:12 PM

16. The 1988 law is what forbids disclosure.

From Wikipedia:

The Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) was a bill passed by the United States Congress in 1988 as Pub.L. 100-618 and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. It was created to prevent what it refers to as "wrongful disclosure of video tape rental or sale records ." Congress passed the VPPA after Robert Bork's video rental history was published during his Supreme Court nomination. It makes any "video tape service provider" that discloses rental information outside the ordinary course of business liable for up to $2500 in actual damages.


From: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2011/12/house-updates-1988-privacy-law-to-allow-online-sharing-of-netflix-choices/

The House of Representatives on Tuesday easily passed legislation that updates video privacy laws to make it easier for online rental services such as Netflix to share information about customers' viewing habits with user consent. Current law requires written consent to share video records, but the new law would allow companies to obtain consent over the web. The two-page bill needs to be approved by the Senate before it becomes law.

The change was panned by Marc Rotenberg, the president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. In an open letter, Rotenberg argued that "blanket consent provisions transfer control from the individual user to the company in possession of the data and diminish the control that Netflix customers would have in the use and disclosure of their personal information."


The funny thing is that this change is supported by the Cato Institute and the article was written by an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute. Funny how that happens....

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Response to aggiesal (Original post)


Response to aggiesal (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 08:35 PM

20. To people having problems with the way this article is written,

here is the story from the NY Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/11/business/bill-would-let-video-consumers-disclose-all-their-choices.html?_r=0

Netflix is backing a bill in Congress that would amend the Video Privacy Protection Act, a 1988 law that requires a video services company to get a customerís written consent when it seeks to disclose that clientís personal information, such as rental history. The new bill, passed by the House last Tuesday, would allow consumers to give one-time blanket consent online for a company to share their viewing habits continuously.

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Response to aggiesal (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 08:50 PM

21. You want to stop things like this?

Stop using Facebook or whatever the next social media thing will be.

Don't give industry a market to sell to and then you would not have to be concerned.

Facebook annoys the hell out of me. Doesn't anybody believe in keeping your business, your business anymore?
Instead, we have people posting their entire lives out to the public, then becoming outraged when it's used against them.

The past wasn't always something to be nostalgic about, but I do miss the concept of privacy.

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Response to aggiesal (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 08:54 PM

22. Doesn't anyone goes to CONGRESS to see what is being passed?

The law as PRESENTLY WRITTEN is a follows:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2710

(b) Video Tape Rental and Sale Records.ó
(1) A video tape service provider who knowingly discloses, to any person, personally identifiable information concerning any consumer of such provider shall be liable to the aggrieved person for the relief provided in subsection (d).
(2) A video tape service provider may disclose personally identifiable information concerning any consumeró
(A) to the consumer;
(B) to any person with the informed, written consent of the consumer given at the time the disclosure is sought;
.


THis is the bill that would CHANGE the law:

H.R.6671 -- Video Privacy Protection Act Amendments Act of 2012 (Engrossed in House - EH)

HR 6671 EH

112th CONGRESS
2d Session

H. R. 6671

AN ACT
To amend section 2710 of title 18, United States Code, to clarify that a video tape service provider may obtain a consumer's informed, written consent on an ongoing basis and that consent may be obtained through the Internet.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Video Privacy Protection Act Amendments Act of 2012'.
SEC. 2. VIDEO PRIVACY PROTECTION ACT AMENDMENT.

Section 2710(b)(2) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking subparagraph (B) and inserting the following:
`(B) to any person with the informed, written consent (including through an electronic means using the Internet) of the consumer that--
`(i) is in a form distinct and separate from any form setting forth other legal or financial obligations of the consumer;
`(ii) at the election of the consumer--
`(I) is given at the time the disclosure is sought; or
`(II) is given in advance for a set period of time, not to exceed 2 years or until consent is withdrawn by the consumer, whichever is sooner; and
`(iii) the video tape service provider has provided an opportunity, in a clear and conspicuous manner, for the consumer to withdraw on a case-by-case basis or to withdraw from ongoing disclosures, at the consumer's election;'.

Passed the House of Representatives December 18, 2012.

Attest:

Clerk.

112th CONGRESS
2d Session

H. R. 6671

AN ACT
To amend section 2710 of title 18, United States Code, to clarify that a video tape service provider may obtain a consumer's informed, written consent on an ongoing basis and that consent may be obtained through the Internet.


http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d112:2:./temp/~bd4W8n::|/home/LegislativeData.php?n=BSS;c=112|

Actual text:
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c112:1:./temp/~c112h7e2j8::

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Response to aggiesal (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:04 PM

23. Crap!!

I already watched the Weather Underground flick on Netflix, but...

I refuse to have a facebook, therefore I have no friends.

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Response to aggiesal (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:12 PM

24. Books are better anyway. nt

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Response to aggiesal (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:27 PM

25. It would be a good thing

 

to expand on the bill to include the use of cookies and Flash objects needing written our consent for the marketing of our web history to e-tailers.
Every day the rad right wing brings Animal farm closer to reality so that the 1/2% can lord over our government and the unwashed masses.
Hail Porky!

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Response to aggiesal (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:00 AM

26. Oh no, everybody will know I have a secret affinity for French romantic comedies

Oh wait, they won't, because I'll never link my Netflix and Facebook accounts. Phew.

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Response to aggiesal (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:18 AM

27. While I'm in no way ashamed of the things I've watched

And undoubtedly some of it is softcore porn. It still isn't right to allow a company to sell you, literally YOU, to anyone for any price, without your permission.

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Response to aggiesal (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 11:11 AM

28. The Republicans passed this in the house... why do people think this is such a good thing?

again THE REPUBLICANS PASSED THIS IN THE HOUSE.

Never trust Republicans!!!

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Response to aggiesal (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 11:22 AM

29. Not on a social networking site

and now I'm not going to use Netflix anymore.

The internet can keep up this information sharing crap, and I can just buy books for my entertainment. Oh well, I loved you interwebz, but we gotta break up now. Its just not working out. It's me, not you. We've both changed. Our sex life is terrible. You're having an affair with the Republicans. We argue all the time.

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Response to aggiesal (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 11:44 AM

30. More GOP Hypocricy

1988 law was passed because the late Robert Bork's viewing habits came under unauthorized media scrutiny when he was nominated for the bench seat that eventually went to that great Nazi turd Antonin "The Fixer" Scalia.

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Response to aggiesal (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 02:08 PM

31. I'm so glad...

...that there's ONE video rental store left in my town. And they have a better selection than Netflix.

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