The war between copyright lobbyists and streamers continues. We’ve already seen numerous Twitch streamers get their VODs taken down. And it seems it could get even nastier if a proposed U.S. law gets passed.
This law, if passed, would make unauthorized broadcasting of copyrighted content on streaming platforms a felony. The proposal is the work of Republican senator Thom Tillis, who previously has backed similar proposals.
The proposal is exactly what it sounds like. It would turn unauthorized streaming of copyrighted material into a felony. Whether you stream an album on YouTube, a video clip on Twitch, or a song on Instagram, you would be punished as if you were committing an actual crime.
The problem with this proposal is that it would stifle expression and freedom on the internet. People use music, both copyrighted and not, to express themselves. It is also a powerful promotion tool, as artists being featured in a stream would have their music shown to more people.
A Punishment On Creators
Civil rights group such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation have strongly criticized the proposal. Which is understandable given the law would benefit the industry, but punish regular people.They penned a letter to the U.S. senate last week, expressing their thoughts on the law.
As creators, innovators, small businesses, online service providers, libraries, educators, and civil society organizations, we are concerned with including controversial copyright or trademark bills in a must-pass piece of legislation. We respect Congress’s intent to improve our intellectual property system and protect the rights of creators and entrepreneurs. However, certain aspects of this package of bills will have negative impacts on small- and medium-sized businesses, creators, libraries and their patrons, students, teachers, educational institutions, religious institutions, fan communities, internet users, and free expression…We ask that you decline to include this package of bills in the funding bill.
What are your thoughts on such a proposal? Do you think it would be a good idea? Let us know in the comments!