Hello Bill S. 978. I hate you, and most of the internet does. Why, you may ask.
In short Bill S. 978 will make it illegal to stream any licensed content. It would become a crime to stream or upload movies, tv shows, music, and even video game content on the internet with out serious consequence, including fines and even jail time.
To read some of the fine print of the bill go here http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=s112-978
To put this in perspective, if you have a favorite web series and they pull up an image of McDonalds for a joke. Guess what. Give us money. Or if you watch an episode of a show you missed on YouTube. Give us money and go to jail.
Some of the penalties include… 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.
The common counter argument is from the Copyright Fair Use Law stating…. The 1961 Report of the Register of Copyrights on the General Revision of the U.S. Copyright Law cites examples of activities that courts have regarded as fair use: “quotation of excerpts in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment; quotation of short passages in a scholarly or technical work, for illustration or clarification of the author’s observations; use in a parody of some of the content of the work parodied; summary of an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report; reproduction by a library of a portion of a work to replace part of a damaged copy; reproduction by a teacher or student of a small part of a work to illustrate a lesson; reproduction of a work in legislative or judicial proceedings or reports; incidental and fortuitous reproduction, in a newsreel or broadcast, of a work located in the scene of an event being reported.”
So contact your local legislator, get a protest sign, or blog about it because this bill could mean big changes if it passes.