Video streaming giant Netflix has become the first service to join the membership ranks of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) on Tuesday, Hollywood’s top lobbying group, The Verge reported.
It is the first time a non-Hollywood, internet-based studio has been welcomed to the 97-year-old trade group, alongside six Hollywood studios that endorsed Netflix’s new membership.
In a statement, on behalf of the group and its member companies, Charlie Rivkin, CEO of MPAA wrote that he is delighted to welcome the video streamer as a partner. All the members of MPAA are committed to push the film and television industry and addition of Netflix will enable the association to more effectively favor the global community of creative storytellers, Rivkin added.
The streaming company’s new membership with MPAA came as it has expanded production of its original content and on the same day that Netflix received its first Oscar nomination for best picture for its film Roma along with 14 other nominations.
The newfound success alongside legacy studios such as Disney, Fox, and Sony reflects Netflix’s new position as a mainstream media powerhouse, The Verge reported. The company’s CEO Reed Hastings and chief content officer Sarandos are intent to up Netflix’s profile as a legitimate firm in movie business, and joining MPAA will bring a step closer to the goal.
According to sources, both the streaming company and the association have been in ongoing discussions and have also worked together on stronger copyright protection. In 2011, MPAA backed the passage of legislation including the PROTECT IP ACT (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which were the targets of online activism and failed to be adopted in the United States.
With its growing number of exclusive shows and movies, Netflix may be aligned with MPPA’s strict stance of copyright. Its focus on anti-piracy has also started to match that of legacy studios amid the increasing popularity of set-top boxes that can be used to obtain pirated content.
Earlier this month, Netflix formally withdrew from the Internet Association (IA), a major tech trade association that has often opposed MPAA on copyright issues.