House votes to update Bork-era video rental record law

As a result, his bill would allow video service providers to post people’s favorite movies, as long as they get blanket permission from the consumer to do so. The bill would also allow that permission to be granted online.

{mosads}The bill was debated and ultimately passed under a suspension of House rules, usually reserved for non-controversial legislation, in a 303-116 vote — enough to clear the two-thirds majority requirement.

However, Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) said during debate that he opposes it, in large part because no hearings were held on the proposal.

“Allowing video service providers to release information as private as a person’s viewing history, which clearly shows to the world their loves, likes and dislikes, should not be done without careful contemplation and consideration,” he said.

Goodlatte said this should not be a concern because the bill requires consumers to consent to the sharing of their favorite videos. But that was not enough for Watt, or for Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), who said he does not want people to know that he rented “Debbie Does Dallas.”

“I may not mind if they know that I ordered up J. Edgar, but I don’t want them to know that I ordered Good Girls Gone Bad,” Johnson said.

— This story was updated at 4:21 p.m. to reflect the vote.


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