US Senate bill could make illegal video streaming a felony

If you are streaming what you know to be a pirated movie or TV episode via the Internet on your laptop, PC or even your cell phone, you might be committing a felony if a proposed bill becomes law in the US. The Hollywood Reporter has a story today stating that a committee in the US Senate has allowed a bill to go forward that, if signed into law by President Barack Obama, would make streaming of pirated movies and TV shows a crime.

The bill, officially called the The Commercial Felony Streaming Act, would make it "illegal to stream video for commercial purposes." It's designed to close a loophole in the current laws that already make it a crime for people to directly download pirated movies and TV shows. The bill, which now goes to the full US Senate for their approval, already has the support of the Obama administration. It also has the support of a number of entertainment based unions as well as trade groups like the Motion Picture Association of America and others. Those organizations believe that illegal streaming of video is just as bad as directly downloading the files.

According to the story, the bill's penalty for illegal streaming of video  "is increased to up to five years in prison when it involves 10 or more instances of streaming over a 180-day period. The retail value of the streamed video must exceed $2,500, or the licenses to the material must be worth more than $5,000."

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We the people we elect, need to be voted out of office. that is the "Change" we need, what happend to "Change" mr President.

blade1269 said,
We the people we elect, need to be voted out of office. that is the "Change" we need, what happend to "Change" mr President.

He changed the status of Osama bin Laden from 'alive' to 'dead'.

rfirth said,

He changed the status of Osama bin Laden from 'alive' to 'dead'.

weird i heard it was members of the military. guess the news got that one wrong

ILikeTobacco said,

weird i heard it was members of the military. guess the news got that one wrong

And who do you think authorized the mission for said members of the military to do their thing?

krasch said,

And who do you think authorized the mission for said members of the military to do their thing?

The mission to find Bin Laden started way before Obama came. Do you think Obama himself made the military smarter? It's the same thing, they just happened to find Bin Laden now.

Anooxy said,

The mission to find Bin Laden started way before Obama came. Do you think Obama himself made the military smarter? It's the same thing, they just happened to find Bin Laden now.

Bush had basically given up finding OBL. It was Obama that made it a priority again, and succeeded.

who voted these people into office.... do they want to be reelected again? why can't they focus on bigger things.....

capr said,
who voted these people into office.... do they want to be reelected again? why can't they focus on bigger things.....

How can you not understand that the government can do multiple things at once? Think about your own life... do you stop your entire life for a week just to finish your taxes? No, you can manage multiple things at a time.

man in a way it understandable, but seeing hwo the interent is these days (hackers are hacking other hackers left and right) this obivously seem like a panic attack to control the internt or soemthing from my view

Legal streaming follow: Crunchyroll.com, Hulu.com, vizanime.com, netflix.com, funimation.com/videos/simulcast, theanimenetwork.com/Watch-Online, animenewsnetwork.com/video/anime,

America, always hunting down those "terrorists" and "protecting" it's people from the bad guys...

It's pretty sad when you can't stream or share videos over the internet now. America = ****.

presence06 said,
America, always hunting down those "terrorists" and "protecting" it's people from the bad guys...

It's pretty sad when you can't stream or share videos over the internet now. America = ****.

Yeah it's pretty sad when you can't steal things and then profit on them.

If you are streaming what you know to be a pirated movie or TV episode via the Internet on your laptop, PC or even your cell phone

This bill doesn't seem to just encompass that, it seems to delve into much more ridiculous territory. The bill if passed could be used to prosecute those that upload videos of themselves or others singing karaoke, videos of their kids dancing to songs, those that upload recorded videos of themselves playing or reviewing a game, uploading short clips or samples from movies, games, music and also prosecute viewers/downloaders.

That's the interpretation by myself and many others according to reading the bill itself, reading the news and comments at various other websites. Currently a bunch of people are boycotting and trying to push their lawmakers to overturn the bill.

Xtreme2damax said,

This bill doesn't seem to just encompass that, it seems to delve into much more ridiculous territory. The bill if passed could be used to prosecute those that upload videos of themselves or others singing karaoke, videos of their kids dancing to songs, those that upload recorded videos of themselves playing or reviewing a game, uploading short clips or samples from movies, games, music and also prosecute viewers/downloaders.

That's the interpretation by myself and many others according to reading the bill itself, reading the news and comments at various other websites. Currently a bunch of people are boycotting and trying to push their lawmakers to overturn the bill.

All of those things except reviewing a game were already illegal. They just changed it to a felony.

ILikeTobacco said,

All of those things except reviewing a game were already illegal. They just changed it to a felony.

Actually most of that falls under fair use and is not exactly illegal, more or less a grey area such as posting gameplay videos, short video clips or music samples. Greedy outfits such as the MPAA/RIAA wishes it was illegal, that is their convoluted wet dream.

If anyone is sharing full songs or movies then I can understand, still not being something that warrants being labeled as a felon or even jail/prison time unless the intention is making a profit off of others copyrighted work.

Posting karaoke videos would be fair use as well I believe, as the person is just singing the lyrics to a song. The song/music are just the instrumental version of the song, the person singing sings the lyrics to the song. A judge in their right mind would not uphold such a case against a video of someone singing karaoke as I'm certain that and the rest of the above is covered by fair use laws.

This bill would make it completely illegal for anyone to do any of those things that is currently covered by fair use laws, then prosecute them as felons. I think the bill may also include prosecuting viewers/downloaders as well now, but I am not sure.

Edited by Xtreme2damax, Jun 17 2011, 5:58pm :

Xtreme2damax said,

Actually most of that falls under fair use and is not exactly illegal, more or less a grey area such as posting gameplay videos, short video clips or music samples. Greedy outfits such as the MPAA/RIAA wishes it was illegal, that is their convoluted wet dream.

If anyone is sharing full songs or movies then I can understand, still not being something that warrants being labeled as a felon or even jail/prison time unless the intention is making a profit off of others copyrighted work.

Posting karaoke videos would be fair use as well I believe, as the person is just singing the lyrics to a song. The song/music are just the instrumental version of the song, the person singing sings the lyrics to the song. A judge in their right mind would not uphold such a case against a video of someone singing karaoke as I'm certain that and the rest of the above is covered by fair use laws.

This bill would make it completely illegal for anyone to do any of those things that is currently covered by fair use laws, then prosecute them as felons. I think the bill may also include prosecuting viewers/downloaders as well now, but I am not sure.

You don't seem to understand the law you are talking about. It is copyright infringement to use anything that you don't have rights to. "Posting gameplay videos, short video clips or music samples" do not fall under fair use unless used to do one of the following shown stated below. In most cases, even performing "karaoke" is illegal unless it is a specially licensed recording. That is why karaoke bars have to get licenses to use various songs.

"Examples of fair use include commentary, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use

ILikeTobacco said,

You don't seem to understand the law you are talking about. It is copyright infringement to use anything that you don't have rights to. "Posting gameplay videos, short video clips or music samples" do not fall under fair use unless used to do one of the following shown stated below. In most cases, even performing "karaoke" is illegal unless it is a specially licensed recording. That is why karaoke bars have to get licenses to use various songs.

"Examples of fair use include commentary, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use

I understand the law well.

In most cases the works are not being used for commercial gain. Any nonprofit use can be declared as educational, for demonstration or comment. Excerpts, clips, samples would fall under fair use. Usually video clips or audio samples under 30 seconds is considered fair use, which some Youtube clips would fall under.

Karaoke is not really infringing as it isn't the actual song, just the instrument and the singer sings the lyrics. If I record a video or post screenshots of myself playing a game, then that is legal as well, at least there has been nothing declaring it illegal such as lawsuits or takedowns of such content.

Don't tell me you are actually fine with something as ridiculous as prosecuting someone as a felon for downloading a few songs, sharing a video online with family or friends just because it may have some copyrighted content in the video? Actually don't answer that, I already know what to expect when browsing Neowin. Let's just throw logic, rationality out of the window and throw all file sharers (file sharing doesn't really apply in the context of this bill) in prison with the murderers, rapists and other violent felons anyways.

Sharing is bad mmk? Sharing is evil mmk? Don't share copyrighted material mmk or you'll burn in hell mmk?

they fail to realization the terrorist are the corporations who get rich off the backs of others and charge crazy rates and over brutal service and constant issues or distruptions but hey that's ok to do what happen to democracy which is for the people .. stupid Capitalism has to go!

You know what should be a felony? A politician making laws because some Hollywood studios or record companies secretly paid them a lot of money to.

TRC said,
You know what should be a felony? A politician making laws because some Hollywood studios or record companies secretly paid them a lot of money to.

Or because they're trying to stop people from stealing things and profitting off of those stolen goods?

But sure, let's believe your ridiculous hypothesis.

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