S.978 - Commercial Felony Streaming Act

A bill to amend the criminal penalty provision for criminal infringement of a copyright, and for other purposes. view all titles (2)

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  • Official: A bill to amend the criminal penalty provision for criminal infringement of a copyright, and for other purposes. as introduced.
  • Popular: Commercial Felony Streaming Act as introduced.

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Displaying 1-30 of 227 total comments.

greatumpire83 06/17/2011 2:15pm
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+ 65


You fundamentally misunderstand copyright law.

First your point about family videos. You cannot always control the environment that a video is taken in. Most people don’t pause to turn off the radio or TV before they capture important moments in life. You wouldn’t say that a bride should silence the song of her father/daughter dance. But this would now be a crime.

Secondly, I think you fundamentally misunderstand math. If Halo had 25,000,000 views that does not translate into $25 million in lost revenue unless Everyone who watched the video 1) Only watched that video once 2) Would have bought the video at the iTunes price 3) Did not subsequently buy the song. If people watched the video twice, well, even itunes lets you listen to a song as many times as you like when you buy it.

But the biggest misunderstanding is that musicians can refrain from copyrighting their work. I think you believe that musicians must ‘do’ something to obtain copyright.

greatumpire83 06/17/2011 2:26pm
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+ 55


Copyright affixes from the moment a work is created in a recorded format. That means that musicians would have to take active steps to not copyright their works (Namely they would have to license it as “public domain” or use Creative Commons licenses).

I would like you to look up that constitutional section that you cite. It say copyright is intended “To promote the progress of science and useful arts” How does destroying useful technologies (like youtube) promote art or science? In fact this bill is doing nothing more than inhibiting technology so that large media companies can protect a business model. Copyright is not a natural property right, it is an economic incentive created by congress to encourage art and science. It’s purpose is not to give copyright holders the right to choose how they do business.

A book that you might find interesting (It’s free online)


kir 06/16/2011 2:04pm
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+ 46

Bill is too strict. Unintentional streaming is an automatic felony? Idiots in congress need to get back to work on preventing the entire country from collapsing. THEN they can worry about all other matters.

nwilson7871 06/20/2011 12:09pm
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+ 35

This is one step closer to government controlled internet! Of course, copyrights laws are on the books to protect the artist, musician, actor, etc. However, we have copyright laws on the books right now. Once you start regulating the internet it will be a slippery slope leading to govenrment controlled websites, information, “copyright streams”, etc. The growing power of this federal government makes me sick. 5 years for a copyright violation? Felony? That means that people who accidentily stumble on a copywritten song or video clip will never be allowed to vote for the rest of their lives. Makes me sick!

lucanorian 07/01/2011 8:07am
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+ 30

It’s funny. These companies have enough money to throw six digit figures Senators to pass this bill, yet they’re worried about losing money to Youtubers. This just screams hypocrisy.

kampinkarl48 07/01/2011 1:18pm
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+ 26

Music, movies, TV shows, fine, take that down.

But Gameplay footage, Why? Just tell me why?

John0218 07/01/2011 7:24pm
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+ 21

First off, this bill is ridiculous. You can get five years in jail just for uploading a video to youtube.

For example, youtube is what made Call of Duty a billion dollar bussiness.
Without people uploading Minecraft videos to youtube, it would still be a small indie game no one plays.

Uploading these videos in these circumstances does not cost the developers anything, neither does it make people not want to buy their product. It exposes it to people that otherwise may have not found out about it.

Nothing more needs to be added to law about this. There are already copyright laws in place that do a good job. This bill would be against our freedoms and liberties as an American citizen. Hopefully people will agree with me, and this will not pass.

scoobyk 06/18/2011 11:32am
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+ 19

artists are over payed anyways. internet freedom is yet another casualty in the war on rights.

this is stalling any remedies to the budget deficit.

FCTTFAF 07/01/2011 2:35pm
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+ 17

So if little Timmy records himself playing Call of Duty and talks about it, he can go to Federal Prison because of this bill? Sure, let’s slow down fixing the economy because little Timmy just wanted to record himself playing and put it on YouTube.

JeffreyJE 06/30/2011 9:49pm
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+ 17

This law is not only too vague, it’s also ridiculous.

If I stream, for example, footage of a competitive game between two people (who have legally purchased copies of the game) for the purpose of commentary, I might go to jail based on this bill. Who decides the “total economic value” of my stream? This would only encourage companies to actively pursue lawsuits based on false entitlements, claiming that they “lost money” due to my stream.

It’s completely asinine; moreover, it only over-complicates the entirety of copyright laws, to the point where the only way to not infringe on any of them, you would have to film in a completely white background,delete the original sound and do a clean voice over with no background music in fear of going to JAIL. JAIL for goodness sake; this bill would basically exploit accidents.

I have a TV show running in the background. If I film myself typing and upload it, I could lose my right to vote. Honestly people, stop wasting time and fix the economy.

dcornwall 06/18/2011 9:04am
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+ 17

Copyright owners do deserve protection and people shouldn’t be using the copyrighted materials of others to make a profit. I still think this is a bad law.

I’m wondering if you are aware there are already substantial civil penalties for copyright infringment up to $150,000 per count.

What this law does is to add jail time. Do you and your son think his friends should go to jail for five years and lose their right to vote forever just because they chose the wrong sound track for their YouTube video?

Under current law the record labels and movie studios have to go to court and prove infringment. They have demonstrated they are capable of using the civil courts to protect their rights.

The proposed law shifts the costs and burdens of detecting copyright infringment to the federal gov’t. Since copyright holders already have powerful remedies and the gov’t powerful debts, this doesn’t seem fair.

Kaelaholme 06/30/2011 11:14pm
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+ 17

The bill in its current state will cripple the internet as a whole. Hollywood wants this bill, so something specific to its interests should be enacted instead of this broad mess.

I am more supportive of a bill to the effect of:

Makes unauthorized web streaming of copyrighted films, television programs, and sound recordings a felony if the infringer’s violation results in economic value to the offender. Unauthorized web streaming of copyrighted films, television programs, and sound recordings without economic value to infringer remains under civil law.

amorals95 07/01/2011 1:21pm
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+ 15

Are you kidding me? this will ruin youtube, there is a lot of great musicians that do amazing covers of songs but this will kill their channels. And there’s a difference between buying a song and listening on youtube. I listen to songs on youtube ALL THE TIME and then if I like the song I buy it youtube is great publicity for music and games. People see something they like then buy it.
In the youtube community there is also a lot of video game commentating which will get ruined, even though the video game developers support them because they are great publicity and keep the game alive.

And plus the big companies more than enough money to make up for people listening to songs on youtube. Not including pirating which IS a horrible crime.

andrewopposesS978 07/01/2011 2:56pm
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+ 15

All I can say is that this is wrong. If you didn’t know, there is an industry online about online streaming of Video Games and other things. People like Justin Bieber (whom i don’t really care about, but he IS an example) can and have gotten famous/noticed online for their singing of copyrighted songs. It is a way to showcase talent and can also be a job for someone. If you support this bill then you would be supporting the collapse of MOST of Youtube’s online community as well as taking/destroying hundreds or even thousands of peoples actual jobs. This bill is wrong. We can’t smoke pot, Drink Alcohol, et cetera and yet we can smoke cigarettes which are actually deadly (I am not stating that Alcohol ISN’T harmful to human health, but it is just another example of loss of civil liberty). These Bills lately have become incredulous and i do not support them!

Khieu123456 06/30/2011 7:34pm
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+ 13

This is a stupid law. I hope this law doesn’t pass because I mean this is stupid and is very unlawful. Whoever thought of this should go get a life and go to China to be given hard labor.

Ianroberts112 06/30/2011 10:51pm
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+ 10

This bill is not going to help anything, in fact it will make matters worse. Obviously, you are not aware of the huge media community on youtube and other sites. People are making money off of making videos of gaming and lots of other media. Taking all of this away will put thousands of people and many businesses out of work. Remind me, how will this help anything? aren’t you supposed to be worrying about more important things instead of the internet?

TheBlankLine 07/01/2011 10:08pm

I am an aspiring teenager who wants to make video game videos on youtube for a job. I spend about 1-3k dollars in a new computer and promoting my channel. One day I come to log on only to find that I have a fine up to 150k dollars or up to 5 years in prison. That is the jist of what will happen if you “polititions” pass this bill.

ToBeContinued 07/01/2011 11:10pm
Dear Senator Amy Klobuchar,AT&T,RIAA and everyone who supports this bill, What a disappointment. You want to make this a FELONY …please do your job and read this example of FUTURE FELONY. You’re in park and walking with your friends,having fun,telling jokes and recording everything on a video.Once you approach a coffee-shop your camera picks-up Chris Brown’s latest copyright protected music and now you have it in your video.If You upload your video to YouTube to share with Your family and friends….You’re risking to spend 5 years in jail.You can’t edit the audio because Your jokes and funny moments will be deleted too.

And You call this a FELONY?
I will boycott AT&T by canceling my account with them since they promote this bill and I encourage everyone to do the same.
Do I have to dial Chris Brown’s phone number and ask His permission to upload my video? Or why can’t I play Beethoven 9th symphony on my piano and upload it on YouTube?
This bill makes no sense.Please vote NO.

ScottCorner 06/16/2011 5:33pm

Too strict? How hard is not to include a copyrighted song on a video or slideshow of your family reunion or your child’s sports team?

How many people listen to a song on YouTube rather than buy it at iTunes or a music store? I’m one.

Search for Beyonce’s “Halo” on YouTube and you can, right off the top, add up over $25,000,000 in lost revenue because people have been listening for free rather than buying. Note that her official video has over 92,000,000 views each with subsequent ad revenue to support the view.

If an artist wants “free” advertising on YouTube all they have to do is NOT copyright their music.

And, this is definitely the business of Congress ~ see Art. I, Sec. 8. I wish the 111th had spent more time on this and less time on healthcare!

bones446 07/08/2011 4:59am

I am back with another statement. I would like to announce that I have heard people say statements similar to mine. Did you know that video game sites and possibly YouTube will slowly decrease in popularity, and/or money. If video game companies crash from no gameplays or reviews, the economy gets worse, and more people may lose jobs and possibly their job is one of their hobbies that they enjoy. Many people would be devastated. People will be mentally disorganized and sad. People will have no hope. People will not pick up their controllers, handhelds, mouse, keyboard, or themselves (referring to Kinect or outdoor activities). People will lose their house, or car. Stocks may go down. More people will lose physical and mental strength. Our country, maybe even the world depends on this bill. For example Machinima or IGN, or a YouTube channel: Games. Many companies are sponsored. EA, Lucasarts, or possibly Mojang.

Please give me a +1 if you agree, so we gamers can be free!

mrfibb 07/01/2011 10:16pm

they cant let this bill pass
if they do lots of companies will probably go bankrupt like IGN or Machinima

Longhorn1919 07/03/2011 4:04pm

Frankly, It’s ridiculous. Major Movie companies proposed this bill to basically acquire more money, which is understandable. However, they don’t need it. And even if, it should be separated from YouTube etc. because music companies have YouTube channels, Vevo, which is a major youtube channel, is paid through the YouTube partnership program and then pays the artist. Also certain artists have their own channel as well like Deadmau5 and Skrillex. It’s an unnecessary bill that would take away jobs from hardworking people and give more money to large corporations. It’s a waste of time and resources. They need to go back to fixing the economy.

jakemars 07/03/2011 10:38am

If you steal a CD from a store, and get caught you’ll likely get a small fine and a misdomeanor something, not $2,500 or a felony… Bad government is bad.

Draco18s 07/01/2011 10:25pm

You know what Valve recently implemented into Team Fortress 2? A reply editor. It downloads a video from the server you’re playing on, converts it to a standard video type, lets you edit it, and then allows you upload it to YouTube. Spore did the same thing.

Gameplay videos do not infringe on copyright. In fact, said videos actually promote the game as free advertising.

This bill is insane and should not be passed.

wingsifeternalxxi 07/01/2011 4:42pm

This bill is doing 2 things:
1. Its stopping me from uploading or streaming movies and tv shows to the internet (which I don’t do in the first place)
2. Its stopping me from uploading music and video games to the internet.

I’m fine with number one, that is the main intention of this bill. However, the way this bill is worded is causing number two to be set in action. This means i can’t upload me and my friend singing karaoke or game play of a video game for a review or something like that to a popular video sharing website such as Youtube.

The bill must be reworded as Game reviews end up helping video games and Music videos may encourage me to listen more to the artist and buy their album. Some people on the Youtube community go out of business because of this bill, such as the well known Machinima. I’ll say it again. This bill must be reworded, I’m not against anti-piracy but the way this is headed will basically shut down about 1/8 of the internet.

newbienomsfewds 07/03/2011 12:43pm

Oh!! I almost forgot. We have enough people in prison! It costs more to put people in prison and feed them than it does to let them upload freaking videos! Ugh. I am irritated.

Dofis 07/09/2011 3:24am

I couldn’t tell you how many times video game gameplay on YouTube has ultimately led me to purchase a game I wouldn’t have bought otherwise. I don’t see how this bill could possibly help anyone, its almost as if these companies sponsoring this bill DON’T want the free advertising.

I agree with ToBeContinued, a lot of videos people have taken with their buddies contain music that was playing while the video was recorded. Families record special moments like a babies first steps in the living room, usually with the TV on, as moments like that are very spontaneous (It’s only the babies first steps the first time). Then, a family might want to upload that video so grandma and grandpa can see their grandson/granddaughter’s first steps. And now these people could face potential jail time for uploading these videos? Are you kidding me?

The_dude_does_not_abide 07/03/2011 12:45am

This Bill is not only ludicrous but at the same time Conflicts with Title 17, Chapter 1, section 107 of the United States code. Fair Use is there to protect individuals who utilize copyrighted footage for Criticism, Comment, News Reporting, Teaching, Scholarship, and Research. Anyone who wants to use clips from movies, video games, television shows etc. would be arrested for properly using copyrighted material. Not to mention those who utilize footage for satirical reasons, or comedic reasons, would also be facing time, for what? Making a joke? Oh yeah I’m certain someone who utilizes referential humor in their own content is worthy of being called a felon. This would make internet critics by law the equivalent to someone who’s profession is in human trafficking. This is disgusting, I’m certain guys like Doug Walker cause so much harm by making jokes about old movies you may or may not remember from the late 80’s and early 90’s. Seriously congress, why?

BobbyisYoda 07/02/2011 5:47pm

Let us also take Bungie as an example. If you go onto their website, they always have links to fun montages, Rooster Teeth videos, and so on. They make their video games and love when people make game-play videos because it helps them see why people love playing. Passing this bill will completely shut that down. Companies will have little way of telling whether or not people are enjoying based on the videos created.

I do also remember Section 107 to 118 of the copyright law (title 17, US Code), which allows for “fair use” in terms of, for example, posting footage from a game, for the sole purpose of comment, criticism, and promoting the game, not promoting the user’s channel.

I agree to what somebody said before: this is just the first step to a Government-controlled internet, which allows for absolutely no freedom. Look out people, this isn’t a FREE COUNTRY anymore.

Congress needs to get their heads out of their butts and work on fixing the economy, not useless crap like this bill.

XxIDTIBxX 07/01/2011 4:18pm

This Bill can’not be passed. if it is many people will be out of their jobs. Please do not let this pass

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