Minecraft's creator sounds off on proposed streaming video law

Last month we reported on a proposed law in the United States Senate that if passed and signed by the President would make the streaming of illegal videos over the Internet a felony. The law, called the Commercial Felony Streaming Act, was designed mostly to close a loophole in current laws that make it illegal to download pirated videos. However there is now concern that the law is so broad that it might make uploading videos of console and PC games created by fans a crime.

Game Informer brings up the concerns in an article on its web site. In addition to uploading game videos the bill is currently worded that even the act of embedding such game videos on a web site could be in violation of the proposed law. The concerns have apparently reached Markus "Notch" Persson, the creator of the highly popular indie PC game Minecraft. The sandbox game is highly popular with gamers who want to show off their in-game creations via videos on YouTube. Indeed those videos showing off user's Minecraft worlds and creations were part of the reason behind the game's surge in popularity and sales.

In his blog post, Persson states that he is aware that Minecraft owes much to user created YouTube videos. He says, "If the bill passes, I suspect many game companies (including us) will add a special clause to the TOS specifically to allow posting videos of their games." It should be interesting to see if the bill gets passed and if game companies will make an exception for user made videos made from their games.

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21 Comments

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There isn't any dis-incentive for politicians whoring themselves out to pass laws. Its perfectly legal for a Lobbyist to run for office, get elected, and then push whatever companies agenda he was working for, then leave office and go right back to working for that same company. Its not "bribery" as long as you dont give them money while they are in office, but suggest "wink wink nudge nudge" that they have a job with you at ridiculous pay once their term is up and its all good.

The US needs a complete overhaul of how its government functions. But to accomplish that we as citizens will either have to A) revolt, or B) somehow manage to elect enough politicians who believe the same and pass a government reformation act.

It still reeks of our government being in bed with the media corporations by trying to pass a law like this. Maybe I am wrong but isn't the streaming of illegal videos already covered by the copyright laws?

Sarge said,
It still reeks of our government being in bed with the media corporations by trying to pass a law like this. Maybe I am wrong but isn't the streaming of illegal videos already covered by the copyright laws?

yea its just not a felony. this law is just about making the punishment harsher.

This law isnt going to have any effect on those of us that post videos that are not illegal. Just as Notch said, add a close to the TOS stating you are allowed to post and the issue doesnt exist anymore. I love how techies think any law dealing with them is automatically the end of the world. Read the law, its making something that was already illegal a felony. They are not making something that was legal illegal which means, nothing new here.

kiwi89 said,
That is a pretty silly law. Fortunately, this won't affect people/sites not in the US.

As far as I know, it will for companies located in the U.S., ex. YouTube which in turn affects people outside the U.S.

MattWeihl said,
As far as I know, it will for companies located in the U.S., ex. YouTube which in turn affects people outside the U.S.

And you might soon find out that Google/Youtube and others wil move their operations to countries where things are better governed and offer more freedom (which is to say, nowadays quite a few places).

spike21 said,
Notice they are always in a rush to close the loop holes for corporations,but not for the citizens.

That's just the way your country is governed, nothing new with that.

Alastyr said,

That's just the way your country is governed, nothing new with that.

So true... but 100 years ago it wasent like this. But today there are so many less educated people and so many distractions, propaganda, and 'more important' things to worry about then a tyrannical government.

By succumbing to the pressure of corporations and limiting creativity and free expression The Senate should not be surprised to find themselves in the Topic of #antisec channels everywhere.

Brando212 said,
i sure as hell hope this Bill DOESN'T get passed

I quite enjoy watching LP's of games on youtube

Hell yes! Obama DON'T sign it!

De.Bug said,

I think if it does go through there will be massive riots.

From who? Skinny antisocial nerds with their limp wrists flailing in the air? OH NO