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S.978 Commercial Felony Streaming Act, 112th Congress

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Official Bill Info

  • Latest Action: Jun 22, 2011 Committee on the Judiciary. Hearings held.

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  • Committee Assignment: Senate Committee on the Judiciary

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Bill Statistics on OpenCongress

  • 99% of users oppose S.978

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    99% of users on OpenCongress.org, a free, non-partisan resource, oppose S.978.
  • S.978 has been viewed 186,647 times

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    S.978 has been viewed 186,647 times on OpenCongress.org, a free, non-partisan resource.
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    OpenCongress Bill Summary

    • Makes unauthorized web streaming of copyrighted content a felony with a possible penalty of up to 5 years in prison. Illegal streaming of copyrighted content is defined in the bill as an offense that "consists of 10 or more public performances by electronic means, during any 180-day period, of 1 or more copyrighted works" and has a total economic value, either to the copyright holder or the infringer, of at least $2,500.

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      Here's a summary from OpenCongress.org: Makes unauthorized web streaming of copyrighted content a felony with a possible penalty of up to 5 years in prison. Illegal streaming of copyrighted content is defined in the bill as an offense that "consists of 10 or more public performances by electronic means, during any 180-day period, of 1 or more copyrighted works" and has a total economic value, either to the copyright holder or the infringer, of at least $2,500.

    Supporting Organizations

    • American Federation of Television and Radio Artists

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    • Directors Guild of America

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    • International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States

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    • Screen Actors Guild

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    • Recording Industry Association of America

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    • Independent Film and Television Alliance

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    • National Association of Theatre Owners

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    • Ultimate Fighting Championship

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    • American Federation of Musicians

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    • American Intellectual Property Law Association

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    • NBC Universal

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    • Viacom

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    • Sony Pictures Entertainment

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    • American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers

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    • Association of American Publishers

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    • Association of Independent Music Publishers

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    • American Photographic Artists

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    • Broadcast Music, Inc.

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    • Business Software Alliance

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    • CBS Corporation

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    • Church Music Publishers Association

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    • Entertainment Software Association

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    • Graphic Artists Guild

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    • National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing

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    • National Association of Broadcasters

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    • National Collegiate Athletic Association

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    • National Music Publishers' Association

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    • National Basketball Association

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    • News America Holdings

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    • Picture Archive Council of America

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    • Professional Photographers of America

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    • Professional School Photographers Association

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    • Reed Elsevier

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    • PPL & VPL

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    • SESAC

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    • Universal Music Group

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    • Magazine Publishers of America

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    • Writers Guild of America, West

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    • U. S. Chamber of Commerce

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    • Entertainment Merchants Association

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    • Global Intellectual Property Center

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    • International Brotherhood of Teamsters

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    • Time Warner

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    • AT&T

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    • Disney

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    • Software & Information Industry Association

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    • Motion Picture Association of America

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    Opposing Organizations

    • U.S.W.G.O.

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    • Demand Progress

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    • Electronic Frontier Foundation

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    Most-commented sections of the bill text

    • (5 comments, Link )

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      specifically, this section of the legislation: "",
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    Highest Rated User Comments

    • On June 17, 2011, by greatumpire83 - Scott, 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.

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      As noted by greatumpire83, a user on OpenCongress.org, on June 17, 2011, "Scott, 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. "
    • On June 17, 2011, by greatumpire83 - (Continued) 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) www.free-culture.cc/freeculture.pdf

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      As noted by greatumpire83, a user on OpenCongress.org, on June 17, 2011, "(Continued) 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) www.free-culture.cc/freeculture.pdf "
    • On June 16, 2011, by kir - 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.

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      As noted by kir, a user on OpenCongress.org, on June 16, 2011, "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."

    Highly Rated Blog Articles

    • S. 978 - GovTrack.us - March 18, 2012 by http://www.govtrack.us/users/events.xpd?monitors=misc:activebills2 - S. 978. In GovTrack.us, a database of bills in the U.S. Congress.

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      As noted by http://www.govtrack.us/users/events.xpd?monitors=misc:activebills2 on March 18, 2012, "S. 978. In GovTrack.us, a database of bills in the U.S. Congress." (/url?q=http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/s978&sa=U&ei=nxD9T4SbNoGi2AXBwpCFBw&ved=0CBwQmAEwAA&usg=AFQjCNGcHz2Cd-M9sSYPu9678BqhZPzFNA)
    • S. 978 - GovTrack.us - March 18, 2012 by http://www.govtrack.us/users/events.xpd?monitors=misc:activebills2 - S. 978. In GovTrack.us, a database of bills in the U.S. Congress.

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      As noted by http://www.govtrack.us/users/events.xpd?monitors=misc:activebills2 on March 18, 2012, "S. 978. In GovTrack.us, a database of bills in the U.S. Congress." (/url?q=http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/s978&sa=U&ei=MLm-T-iDKYn02QWfsLGYCg&ved=0CCcQmAEwAA&usg=AFQjCNHSO1zsSt4NOSZLVsXobxCDxN0duA)
    • S. 978 - GovTrack.us - March 18, 2012 by http://www.govtrack.us/users/events.xpd?monitors=misc:activebills2 - S. 978. In GovTrack.us, a database of bills in the U.S. Congress.

      Clicking this will add the following text:

      As noted by http://www.govtrack.us/users/events.xpd?monitors=misc:activebills2 on March 18, 2012, "S. 978. In GovTrack.us, a database of bills in the U.S. Congress." (/url?q=http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/s978&sa=U&ei=oU-8T7PcGPSA2AXfqsGhDw&ved=0CCcQmAEwAA&usg=AFQjCNEAGe1TlGKNTWdK4N9rQRsoWufMiA)

    Highly Rated News Articles

    • 10 Signs That Streaming Movie Site Isn't Legit - August 25, 2012 by How Stuff Works - ...theft, to the tune of nearly $250 billion a year [source: Freakanomics]. In legal terms, streaming sites are a strange beast. Bill S.978 (the Commercial Felony Streaming Act), still pending in U.S. legislation, would make unauthorized movie-streaming a

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      As noted by How Stuff Works on August 25, 2012, "...theft, to the tune of nearly $250 billion a year [source: Freakanomics]. In legal terms, streaming sites are a strange beast. Bill S.978 (the Commercial Felony Streaming Act), still pending in U.S. legislation, would make unauthorized movie-streaming a " (http://computer.howstuffworks.com/10-signs-streaming-movie-site-not-legit.htm)
    • New Features And Capabilities For Garmin Pilot App On iOS And Android - July 24, 2012 by avstop.com - Subscription-free weather information is continuously broadcast using the FAA’s 978 MHz UAT uplink and is similar to the basic services offered by leading commercial satellite weather providers. Weather services include access to NEXRAD imagery ...

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      As noted by avstop.com on July 24, 2012, "Subscription-free weather information is continuously broadcast using the FAA’s 978 MHz UAT uplink and is similar to the basic services offered by leading commercial satellite weather providers. Weather services include access to NEXRAD imagery ..." (http://avstop.com/july_2012/new_features_and_capabilities_for_garmin_pilot_app_on_ios_and_android.htm)
    • New Features, Capabilities Available for Garmin Pilot™ App - July 23, 2012 by Yahoo Finance - Subscription-free weather information is continuously broadcast using the FAA’s 978 MHz UAT uplink and is similar to the basic services offered by leading commercial satellite weather providers. Weather services include access to NEXRAD ...

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      As noted by Yahoo Finance on July 23, 2012, "Subscription-free weather information is continuously broadcast using the FAA’s 978 MHz UAT uplink and is similar to the basic services offered by leading commercial satellite weather providers. Weather services include access to NEXRAD ..." (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/features-capabilities-available-garmin-pilot-110000379.html)
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