Anyone who doubts the significant impact that Netflix has had on this country, in everything from society to Hollywood to consumer electronics, allow me to introduce FLIXPAC. The video streaming company Netflix is now such a staple in American media that it has formed its own political action committee (PAC), allowing it to have its voice heard more strongly in political matters, potentially before they hit the floor of Congress.
When it comes to Washington, the digital space is coming under increasingly heavy scrutiny. And complete whackjob pieces of legislation like SOPA are showing that politicians have no idea how any of this stuff works or what their signature on a piece of paper could do to fundamentally change the way Americans access data and entertainment these days. As such, it makes perfect sense for Netflix to start putting its foot in the door.
With its PAC, Netflix will be able to make direct donations of up to $5,000 to political candidates. “Our PAC is a way for our employees to support candidates that understand our business and technology. It was not set up for the purpose of supporting SOPA or PIPA,” Netflix wrote in a statement. ” Instead, Netflix has engaged on other issues including network neutrality, bandwidth caps, usage based billing and reforming the Video Privacy Protection Act.”
That last reference is a law that prevents ‘video rental’ companies from disclosing customer rental history, even if the customer consents. That is a big sticking point for Netflix, because it absolutely prevents it from developing any sort of social communication between users about the videos they’ve watched. And as we all know, social sharing is vital for any company to succeed these days.