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.

  • 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.

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  • 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!

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    SuperAelita 11/01/2011 7:26pm

    Not all of us are satisfied just making home movies – there are a lot of serious YouTubers who are upset by this. It is actually very hard to avoid copyright. (Even the “Happy Birthday” song is copyrighted!) If this is passed, I would be in jail because of background music/sound effects in my vlogs. And I’m still in high school!

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    molonlabe 11/04/2011 7:56pm

    Are you against radio stations too. What about libraries?

    You seem to feel that listening to copyrighted songs on youtube is immoral. Yet you admitting doing it. Are you supporting this bill so that the government will save you from hypocrisy?

  • 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.

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    6AWoolen 10/26/2011 12:11am

    to add tot that, theres really no loss in revenue for the youtube views, because the video is making money FROM the views and ads

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    Ajscott123 11/16/2011 10:34am

    So how would it be fixed? Is it as simple as the bill being revised for more specificity, and if so, how should it be revised? Or is it too small to warrant revisions?

  • 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)


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    DuncanW02 10/31/2011 10:35pm

    I also think that the music industry has taken a wrong term, that all big label companies care about is profits, not quality. I think if an artist really cared about the music they were producing, they wouldn’t care about money. They would only care about getting their music spread far and wide.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • tonygottlieb 06/23/2011 7:42am

    The “substantial” civil penalty you’re referring to is an excessively high threshold standard of proof and expensive enforcement procedure to be effective, to obtain redress or more importantly to create a deterrence. Also, it is the same set of standards used for piracy as it is for plagiarism. It is too high a bar and the Circuit Courts appear to loathe these type cases.

    S.978 may be the wrong approach but it is certainly for the right reason.

  • Comm_reply
    shortlittlerebel 01/06/2012 2:50pm

    Agreed. Take this in combination with the new Internet Piracy act (ie, internet takeover) bill and what you get is not only the government (actually one guy: Eric Holder)‘s ability to limit or delete websites & info. deemed ’piracy’ with no requirement of any proof. After they take your information or site down for unproven ‘piracy’, I guess they will use this bill to throw you in jail for five years as well. Be very, very careful Americans. These bills sound great on the outside, but they are full of treachery. Stay informed and vote smart. Don’t do the knee jerk reaction. Always ask yourself, “Who wins with this?” Never think politicians do anything unless they get something out of it.

  • greatumpire83 06/23/2011 1:35pm


    I cannot even understand your rambling. “Excessively high threshold standard of proof”? What does that mean? Does it mean a preponderance burden? Because if you consider a preponderance burden “excessively high” then what would you suggest? Put the burden on everyone who is accused to prove that they are not guilty of copyright infringement? This is like Monty Python justice (Can you prove you are not a witch?.

    Also the “expensive enforcement procedure”? For who? Defendants? Then yes, I would agree it is expensive. For the companies bringing the suit it is very lucrative.

    Secondly, plagiarism is not a crime. So I don’t see why you would be bringing that up.

    Thirdly, Circuit Courts loathe these type cases? Which circuit? Are you referring to federal district court? Because you cannot bring a copyright action in state court as it is a federally preempted issue.

    Did you steal a legal dictionary and just start randomly combining words?

  • tonygottlieb 06/23/2011 10:10pm

    It means that in that order to prove willful infringement in the, (sorry I meant), “district” court and then to have the court, at it’s discretion, grant the full amount of statutory damages, along with attorney fees (at current hourly rates), is a heavy lift against a college kid defendant with no money.

    As I recall the statutory damages of civil infringement claims are the same for piracy as they are for plagiarism.
    If bringing infringement suits is so lucrative then why is the record industry almost bankrupt? Why not just sue everyone of your customers. So we now threaten the customers with jail time. No there’s business model!

    But then again, I am not a “great umpire” 83, I am just a guy who has to make his living off publishing music so I’ll defer to your craven pseudonymous snarky comments.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • DamainK 06/30/2011 11:48pm

    Major bull! This is just like in the past where they tried banning alcohol and that led to riots, and the same is happening here. It’s just another way to try to stop illegal downloads like in the 90’s! If you support the original artist, we just pay them anyways for the OST (original sound tract) or just buy it on iTunes. Free-ware like Limewire/Frostwire shut down now, so the music industry doesn’t really have that much of a treat since they make money from music videos and so forth. Doesn’t the military use streaming to communicate to Family members over seas?

  • 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.

  • awesomeificationism 07/01/2011 11:58am

    Even the bill you proposed is a little out of order. YouTubers make their living off of making videos, and people like Toby Turner, who also acts and does shows outside of YouTube, make most of their money from gameplay. People on YouTube that upload videos with copyrighted music are only cited if the company picks their video and therefore the rest of the people that are uploading videos could go to jail now because their videos weren’t picked to be either muted or deleted?

  • gabriziel 07/01/2011 12:42pm

    this is just an other way of forcing people to do what they want, even to extends that have nothing to do with this. i disagree but i doubt they listen to anyone who doesn’t have money like they always have.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • Zabuza825 07/01/2011 2:27pm

    Under the PROTECT IP Act (which I oppose as well) the government has a right to shut down all copytight infringing websites. In the way it is worded this would apply to YouTube, DailyMotion, Megavideo, and any other video sharing website. Why do they need to make it illegal twice?

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