A US Senator is proposing a bill which might see Twitch streamers who played copyright material not only receive felonies but also potential jail time… along with YouTubers and Instagram users. Although it seems unlikely to go through, this would impact platforms greatly.
According to Politico offshoot Protocol, the felony streaming proposal is the work of Republican senator Thom Tillis, who has backed similar proposals previously. It is more or less exactly what it sounds like: A proposal to turn unauthorized commercial streaming of copyrighted material—progressive policy publication The American Prospect specifically points to examples like “an album on YouTube, a video clip on Twitch, or a song in an Instagram story”—into a felony offense with a possible prison sentence. Currently, such violations, no matter how severe, are considered misdemeanors rather than felonies, because the law regards streaming as a public performance. With Twitch currently in the crosshairs of the music industry, such a change would turn up the heat on streamers and Twitch even higher—perhaps to an untenable degree. Other platforms, like YouTube, would almost certainly suffer as well.
Hundreds of streamers that were sent the dmca warning emails, what does it mean for each and every individual streamer out there, are we going to sending hundreds of twitch streamers to prison? most likely not. Its very unlikely this does go through but if it does go through and be a thing, can 2020 get any crazier, your favorite streamers maybe even your favorite youtuber could be facing jail time based on playing copyrighted material.
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