Earlier this month, Republican Senator Thom Tillis managed to refine an act that would turn streaming copyrighted material into a crime on the much discussed omnibus expenditure account, which also contains a poor second Covid Relief Checkamongst other things. After some more debate (and many concessions), Is Congress ready to pass the bill tonight. The criminal streaming driver is still a part of it, but it no longer appears to be a direct threat to Twitch streamers and other content creators.
The text of the $ 2.3 trillion spending and aid package that can now be viewed online, includes what Tillis meant “The Law to Protect Legal Streaming.” When it comes to illegal streaming for commercial profit, the bill provides that those who “offer the public a digital broadcast service” that is “primarily” aimed at illegal streaming face a prison sentence of up to ten years and a fine have to. This version of the law seems to focus on services rather than individual Twitch streamers or YouTubers who may, unfortunately, be broadcasting a video clip they do not own.
“In general, we see no need for further criminal sanctions in the event of copyright infringements.” wrote Meredith Rose, Senior Policy Counsel of Public Interest, Nonprofit Public Knowledge. “However, this bill is tightly tailored and prevents users from being criminalized for simply clicking a link or uploading a file. It also does not criminalize streamers who may include unlicensed works in their streams. “
“I would guess this is to prevent companies from running streaming sites that only host and serve ads for free, unauthorized content like live sports streams, new movies, etc.” Video games, sports and entertainment attorney, David “UltraDavid” Graham said on twitter. “I want copyright to rule, not expand, but I find it hard to be too crazy about it.”
According to diversityThe Motion Picture Association and the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment previously worked to find operators of websites that distribute copyrighted material. Now they can also involve the FBI and federal prosecutors. This may not be a direct loss to Twitch streamers, YouTubers, and other content creators, but it is certainly a win for massive businesses – one that could put off people’s ability to distribute works that businesses don’t want.
As answer to a Hollywood Reporter items Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had some particularly harsh words.
“Therefore, Congress needs time to actually read this package before voting on it.” she said on twitter. “Members of Congress did not read this bill. There are over 5,000 pages that arrived at 2 p.m. today, and we should expect a vote on them in 2 hours. This is not governance. It’s hostage-taking. “
Other copyright elements of the bill remain controversial. The CASE Act will create a new judicial facility within the United States’ Copyright Office to resolve copyright disputes. This basically means that an unaccountable group of bureaucrats can make crucial copyright decisions. They can also impose fines of up to $ 30,000. in the a statement posted on its website todayThe non-profit advocacy group Fight for the Future called the act “cruel”.
“We have seen time and time again that changes in copyright law have profound implications for freedom of expression and human rights on the Internet,” wrote Evan Greer, associate director of Fight for the Future. “Such decisions should never be made in closed session between politicians and industry, or as part of an indispensable spending package. DMCA abuse and frivolous copyright losses are already a big problem for the next generation of artists and creators, streamers, gamers and activists. Legislators should work to address these issues and create a fair system that protects human rights and ensures that artists are adequately compensated, rather than ramming through poorly crafted laws that normal internet users do for everyday activities like meme sharing and that Downloading images online could punish you. “