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Administration Seeks To Make Unauthorized Streaming A Felony

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the share-your-way-to-jail dept.

Crime 398

wabrandsma writes "From the Washington Post: 'You probably remember the online outrage over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) copyright enforcement proposal. Last week, the Department of Commerce's Internet Policy Task Force released a report on digital copyright policy that endorsed one piece of the controversial proposal: making the streaming of copyrighted works a felony. As it stands now, streaming a copyrighted work over the Internet is considered a violation of the public performance right. The violation is only punishable as a misdemeanor, rather than the felony charges that accompany the reproduction and distribution of copyrighted material.'"

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Why not? (5, Funny)

blackicye (760472) | about a year ago | (#44484295)

They might as well make it a capital offense with a mandatory death penalty while they're at it.

Re:Why not? (5, Informative)

WGFCrafty (1062506) | about a year ago | (#44484327)

Won't happen. Then all the private corporations running prisons won't get money.

They're trying to build a prison for you and me to live in.

Re:Why not? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484373)

Trying?

Re:Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484419)

Can't go to prison, until you've been tried...

Re:Why not? (4, Insightful)

lennier1 (264730) | about a year ago | (#44484513)

Tell that to the people in Gitmo.

Re:Why not? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484543)

...those we know about so far: Bradley Manning has been in prison without sentencing for 1167 days.
- 27 days into court martial.
Jeremy Hammond has been in prison without sentencing for 519 days.
Julian Assange has been detained without charge for 973 days.
- 413 days at the Ecuadorian Embassy.

Re:Why not? (2, Informative)

peragrin (659227) | about a year ago | (#44484567)

Julian Assange can't be charged by swedish law until he is brought into the court room. Swedish law isn't english common law. you don't charge someone with a crime until after they are in front of the judge in sweden.

I suggest you learn a fact or two instead of repeating bullshit.

Also he is hiding at the Ecuadorian Embassy. he is staying there at his choice. this whole thing could have ended 390 days ago.

Re:Why not? (5, Informative)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year ago | (#44484621)

I suggest you learn a fact or two instead of repeating bullshit.

Good advice. I suggest you take it [friatider.se] :

As for Swedish law, there are no provisions preventing prosecutors from interrogating suspects abroad. Doing so is, in fact, a routine matter. An example: In late 2010, at roughly the same time that Ms. Ny decided to issue a European Arrest Warrant for Assange, Swedish police officers went to Serbia to interview a well-known gangster suspected of involvement in an armed robbery.

In a radio interview last Friday, a Swedish professor emeritus of international law, Ove Bring, confirmed that there are no legal obstacles whatsoever preventing Ms. Ny from questioning Assange in London. When asked why the prosecutor would not do so, Professor Bring responded that ”it’s a matter of prestige not only for prosecutors, but for the Swedish legal system”

Re:Why not? (0)

augahyde (1016980) | about a year ago | (#44484781)

As for Swedish law, there are no provisions preventing prosecutors from interrogating suspects abroad. Doing so is, in fact, a routine matter. An example: In late 2010, at roughly the same time that Ms. Ny decided to issue a European Arrest Warrant for Assange, Swedish police officers went to Serbia to interview a well-known gangster suspected of involvement in an armed robbery.

In a radio interview last Friday, a Swedish professor emeritus of international law, Ove Bring, confirmed that there are no legal obstacles whatsoever preventing Ms. Ny from questioning Assange in London. When asked why the prosecutor would not do so, Professor Bring responded that "it's a matter of prestige not only for prosecutors, but for the Swedish legal system

If he's in the Ecuadorian Embassy, then the Swedes have no entry rights unless granted to them by the Ecuadorian ambassador. Therefore, it's not Swedish law preventing them from interrogating/questioning Assange, but the legal right of the Ecuadorian government to prevent him from being questioned on their sovereign property.

Re:Why not? (5, Insightful)

PRMan (959735) | about a year ago | (#44484635)

Are you honestly that naive? Do you really think the Brits would have 6 people watching him 24/7 for over a year because of some odd misdemeanor rape charges for a broken condom that don't exist in any other country? Think about it. What you are being told is not the truth in this case because it clearly doesn't make sense at face value.

Re:Why not? (2)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | about a year ago | (#44484761)

Are you honestly that naive? Do you really think the Brits would have 6 people watching him 24/7 for over a year because of some odd misdemeanor rape charges for a broken condom that don't exist in any other country? Think about it. What you are being told is not the truth in this case because it clearly doesn't make sense at face value.

Yeah, almost as silly as making streaming a felony. No one would actually believe THAT to be a real, legitimate law - not even Jammie Thomas-Rasset.

Re:Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484745)

IIRC, provided the evidence is strong enough he can be charged in absentia.

Re:Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484599)

Julian Assange has been detained without charge for 973 days.
- 413 days at the Ecuadorian Embassy.

I'm the first to agree on it being an abhorred practice detaining without charge, including Gitmo. But we need to be careful not to mix things up here. Assange is charged with a crime, he is refusing to meet the charges, which is something different, and him seeking refuge in Ecuadorian Embassy (for reasons we might agree with or not) can't really be counted as detained without charge. We shouldn't help contribute to fuzzy up the meaning of words in these cases, that only helps the people supporting such practices.

Re:Why not? (1)

slartibartfastatp (613727) | about a year ago | (#44484403)

You never think you know why.

Re:Why not? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484425)

Those private corporation using prison labour is basically the US reintroducing slavery by the back door, mostly same color as last time too
it is illegal to import goods made by slave or prison labour....

Re:Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484475)

> Then all the private corporations running prisons won't get money.

Who is running the prison doesn't matter as long as the incentives are wrong. Neither businesses nor governments care about rehabilitation.

Re:Why not? (4, Insightful)

Bengie (1121981) | about a year ago | (#44484831)

Mandatory minimum sentencing. Just another word for REVENGE! There is no justice.

Re:Why not? (1)

syockit (1480393) | about a year ago | (#44484691)

But that would put a strain on the state coffers, and in the long run, hurt the economy. Then everyone suffers.

Re:Why not? (1)

wijnands (874114) | about a year ago | (#44484799)

Yes. That's what you, the American public, has wanted for years. You're getting it now. And since your people accepts all limits on your personal freedom if it's to make America safe for democracy and creates jobs.... well..... it's a Brave New World!

Re:Why not? (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year ago | (#44484843)

They're trying to build a prison for you and me to live in.

Mission Accomplished

Re:Why not? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#44484889)

For you and I, for you and I , for you and I.
They're trying to build a prison,
For you and me,
Oh baby, you and me.

I'm the only one that caught the reference?
Good taste man.

Re:Why not? (3, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#44484385)

I would like to know how streaming content to watch it is any different then actually downloading the content. From the way the summary is worded, it seems like if you stream the content to the client, it's only a misdemeanor, however, if the client downloads the content, you are committing a felony. But the server really has no control what happens with the data that is sent to the client. It may be set up in such a way as to "stream" the content to the client, but the client can save the stream if they want, and watch it later. It could be argued that all copyright data going over the internet is being streamed. I'm not saying we need harsher sentencing, for any of this stuff, but it doesn't make sense to have different penalties for serving a file for streaming, and serving a file for download, when it's really up to the receiving end what happens to that data in the end.

Re:Why not? (4, Interesting)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year ago | (#44484577)

Welcome to the eSports scene.
There are a lot of unofficial tournaments for a lot of games. So that could possibly become a felony. Let alone all those YouTube Let's Plays which are also a thing.
I'm sure they intend this for video/music, but as always our lawmakers are a decade behind everybody else.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is a prime example for the overcriminalization in the US. What should be a civil case where some corp should sue a private citizen becomes a thing with a DA and a possible prison sentence.
And people wonder why prisons are overflowing...

Re:Why not? (2)

StoneyMahoney (1488261) | about a year ago | (#44484603)

Don't forget real live sports events on Pay-per-View - one person pulls the Superbowl from their cable company's TV service, then re-streams it live over their cable company's Internet service. Cable sharing.

Re:Why not? (4, Informative)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year ago | (#44484699)

That propably is also one of its intended purposes. But I reckon the law will be broadly termed, as per usual, so it will catch some unintended fish in its nets.
Laws like this are usually written by lobbyists and introduced into the house by some congressman. Depending on which lobby is writing it you can assume that it will not take other interests into consideration.

Frankly the US and UK legislative has gone far beyond a joke. Some time ago I decided that it propably were best to follow whichever law makes sense and keep a low profile. Try as you may you will always be in violation of some law or provision. Best to ignore them altogether and get on with your life.

American idiot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484861)

Don't you know what the words 'then' and 'than' mean?

Apparently not - you're American.

Or should I say "your" American - LOL.

Re:Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484539)

that would be a waste of cheap slave labour

Re:Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484589)

How about they make it a felony right after they make unauthorized wiretaps, phone & email harvesting, spying, etc a felony. What, they already are? So is hiding conflicts of interest on investment products, bait & switch on bank loans, falsely foreclosing on people's homes, and even more? Why don't we let them spend all the spare time they are going to use on unauthorized file streaming and use it to investigate, charge and prosecute those folks who are already committing existing felonies against society?

'murica... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484297)

'Murica, Fuck yeah!

Finding ways to make [il]legal things [il]legal (2)

gringer (252588) | about a year ago | (#44484315)

Ah yes, the good old cat and mouse game of copyright law, making enemies of consumers. Would this mean multicast streaming [wikipedia.org] is also illegal, even if you're not aware if anyone is watching? Presumably yes, but I'm sure if it is, something else will be found that skirts the law.

Why do they need this? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484331)

Under the current administration everyone is assumed guilty until proven innocent, so why do they need this?
They only reason they may close Gitmo is to re-purpose it to imprison everyone who is even suspected of humming a tune in the shower without paying the MAFIAA.

Re:Why do they need this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484471)

depends on what it is about, some times it is more like: assumed guilty until proven guilty

America. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484341)

It's time you americans rebelled against your corrupt, RIAA owned government. Use those guns you fight so hard to keep to take your country back from the record labels.

Re:America. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484807)

Yeah they're gooing to use their guns aaaany day now *snicker*

There will never be a revolution in the US where the civilian populace needs to take up arms against their government. Mostly due to the boiling frog phenomenon but also because the wingers who cling to their guns are fundamentally cowards. They can shoot a burglar with no regrets, as could most of us, but there is no way in hell any significant number of them would go up against a superior armed force.

They're too busy prepping for nuclear war and buying water filters.

Incorrect Priorities (5, Informative)

StoneyMahoney (1488261) | about a year ago | (#44484349)

This means that streaming a movie from an unauthorised source will be considered a more serious offense than vandalism, trespassing, simple assault and prostitution. Tag this one "overreaction, provoked, lobbyist, bad".

Re:Incorrect Priorities (4, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#44484587)

This means that streaming a movie from an unauthorised source will be considered a more serious offense than vandalism, trespassing, simple assault and prostitution.

Well in the last case, good, since it shouldn't be a crime. For the rest, yeah it's fucked up.

Re:Incorrect Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484595)

Weird... Vandals, trespassers, violent criminals, and hookers are all far far more respectable than anyone in the media industry.... Or politicians....

Re:Incorrect Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484747)

"Politicians" is a subset of "prostitutes".

Re:Incorrect Priorities (3, Insightful)

StoneyMahoney (1488261) | about a year ago | (#44484607)

Thought: could the primary target of this new law be cable sharers re-distributing live pay-per-view sports events?

Re:Incorrect Priorities (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about a year ago | (#44484649)

This means that streaming a movie from an unauthorised source will be considered a more serious offense than vandalism, trespassing, simple assault and prostitution.

Because vandalism, trespassing, assault and prostitution generate a smaller economic loss than streaming (prostitution even generates benefit).

They should just take off the mask, create a new "crime against benefit" and set it as the gravest form of injury to society.

Re:Incorrect Priorities (1)

splitsevin (953745) | about a year ago | (#44484785)

And somehow the banksters get away with economic murder...

In the land of a million laws (5, Insightful)

korbulon (2792438) | about a year ago | (#44484351)

We are all criminals.

Re:In the land of a million laws (3, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | about a year ago | (#44484667)

We are all criminals.

1 - Turn all citizens into criminals.
2 - Be the one in charge to decide which citizens to prosecute.
3 - Make your position inheritable.
4 - Construct large pyramidal tombs in the desert to be remembered forever.

Re:In the land of a million laws (5, Funny)

korbulon (2792438) | about a year ago | (#44484705)

We are all criminals.

1 - Turn all citizens into criminals. 2 - Be the one in charge to decide which citizens to prosecute. 3 - Make your position inheritable. 4 - Construct large pyramidal tombs in the desert to be remembered forever.

5 - PROPHET!

Re:In the land of a million laws (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484795)

We are all criminals.

1 - Turn all citizens into criminals.
2 - Be the one in charge to decide which citizens to prosecute.
3 - Make your position inheritable.
4 - Construct large pyramidal tombs in the desert to be remembered forever.

You forgot

5 - ????
6 - Profit!!!!

YouTube...? (4, Interesting)

beaverdownunder (1822050) | about a year ago | (#44484355)

Won't this effectively make the posting of YouTube clips on websites / blogs / social media a felony also?

Sheesh.

Re:YouTube...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484409)

This was my first thought - there goes YouTube.

In defense of such uploads I will say this. After seeing and even downloading a rubbish quality file of something good, I have on a few occasions then gone on and purchased a DVD. No preview, no bite at all, no sale in the end. Guess I am in the school of thought that so-called piracy actually boosts real sales.

Thinking while I typed this up - there goes 80% of the internet as it is today.

Spooky captcha :: prohibit

Re:YouTube...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484727)

I think they are more in line with the idea that game demos are bad. By giving a possible customer a demo for a game, they will know if they will enjoy the game enough to buy it. If they do not give a demo (or clip or what-have-you) then a person can be tricked into thinking they want it.

Would images fall into this or would they not because they aren't moving? Didn't they support streaming of things to prevent people from downloading and that was considered the greater "evil"? If this passed, then proper downloading (streaming while saving locally perhaps?) will become a bit more common.

Re:YouTube...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484427)

But..but that's not streaming, that's uploading!!

Kebab. ;)

Re:YouTube...? (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#44484479)

Just think, youtube would also become an enabler of the said crime.

Re:YouTube...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484619)

Youtube will never be prosecuted, they (Google) are part of the state apparatus now.

If you think otherwise you haven't been paying attention to current events or global politics.

Re:YouTube...? (1)

Truekaiser (724672) | about a year ago | (#44484665)

Youtube will just become a honey pot for those who continue lets plays and similar videos.

Re:YouTube...? (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year ago | (#44484735)

In case of eSports tournaments, streamers and so on the current argument is wether they are doing enough so it could be considered a perfomance. After all the game is nothing without the player. On the other hand the art assets displayed are clearly copyrighted.

Just remember that SEGA and Nintendo JP took down a lot of YouTube videos. They generated a lot of ill will with their target audience.


You know, sometimes matters are too complex for legislation because the matter at hand has so many facets to it that you can't write a comprehensive law that has the intended effect. In too many cases the intended effect is not even stated by the legislative. That's like writing an application without specified requirements.

The whole process is so shambolic and unprofessional it beggars belief.

only if you're posting stuff that's already illega (2)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#44484853)

They propose to change (mostly commercial) streaming of stolen works from a misdemeanor to a felony. Nothing becomes illegal that's not already illegal. If you were allowed to stream it, you still are. Fair use isn't changed. The change is to treat streaming the same as downloading.

Re:YouTube...? (1)

Trogre (513942) | about a year ago | (#44484875)

Good, good, you're starting to get it...

iTunes Match on iPhone / iPad (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year ago | (#44484369)

Surely this is streaming of copyrighted works on the internet? So they are saying this is a misdemeanour today and should become a felony? I suppose there is something similar for Android?

Re:iTunes Match on iPhone / iPad (3, Informative)

StoneyMahoney (1488261) | about a year ago | (#44484655)

I believe the word "unauthorised" is being taken as read in the article, summary, and most people's brains. Also, I couldn't find mention of exactly who the new law was targeting - the stream provider or the stream audience.

Why not? (4, Insightful)

bradley13 (1118935) | about a year ago | (#44484383)

Why not? Everything else is a felony. Heck, let's go the next step and just toss the entire population in jail.

What was the title of that book? Three Felonies a Day [amazon.com] ? By now, it's surely four or five...

A sort of betrayal (4, Insightful)

korbulon (2792438) | about a year ago | (#44484391)

The horrible transparency of the administration's agenda is staggering: fuck civil liberties; to hell with consumer rights; let's make civil infractions criminal offenses; let's use jackboot tactics to go after marijuana users; let's viciously and vindictively persecute those who try to expose government and corporate indiscretions by siccing our most petty, pea-brained people on them; let's lie, cheat, steal, bully, badger, and spy on everyone who could possibly be a threat. Essentially, the absolute primacy of government and corporate interests over individual rights. The only ones shittier are the Republicans, but not by much.

I honestly thought Obama would be different. Fuck me, right?!

Re:A sort of betrayal (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about a year ago | (#44484405)

Why?

Re:A sort of betrayal (1)

korbulon (2792438) | about a year ago | (#44484453)

Because obviously I'm not a golfer.

Re:A sort of betrayal (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#44484413)

As you go through your list of things you dislike in this administration, look out at surveys and see that a good portion of Americans support those things. Part of it is ignorance, but part of it is an attitude of, "great, let's throw those druggies in jail."

So if you want to know how they get away with it, that's how.

Re:A sort of betrayal (3, Insightful)

StoneyMahoney (1488261) | about a year ago | (#44484659)

Proposal for new version of the phrase:

    "There are lies, damn lies and opinion polls."

Re:A sort of betrayal (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484873)

The thing is that the "majority of Americans" are just results from congress. Congress whether left or right are grabbed by the balls these days with PRISM. Anyone that speaks up or doesn't agree with something will be blackmailed and those that do stand up for themselves are treated as an enemy. I don't understand why big government is doing this. I really mean that I don't understand. I can think of many reasons and trace reasons why I think that way but I don't understand WHY. Being a part of the government already granted you practically as much funds as you ever could need, I don't get why they need more money and power. There's no sane logic behind it, but I suppose our government is run by a bunch of insane lunatics so that makes sense I guess.

Re:A sort of betrayal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484443)

The horrible transparency of the administration's agenda is staggering: fuck civil liberties; to hell with consumer rights; let's make civil infractions criminal offenses; let's use jackboot tactics to go after marijuana users; let's viciously and vindictively persecute those who try to expose government and corporate indiscretions by siccing our most petty, pea-brained people on them; let's lie, cheat, steal, bully, badger, and spy on everyone who could possibly be a threat. Essentially, the absolute primacy of government and corporate interests over individual rights. The only ones shittier are the Republicans, but not by much.

I honestly thought Obama would be different. Fuck me, right?!

America needs a third party at the local level, and then possibily at the national level. And most importantly it needs voters that care about issues at the local level.
Voting once every 4 years to elect some guy at the white house isn't going to cut it.

Re:A sort of betrayal (1)

StoneyMahoney (1488261) | about a year ago | (#44484631)

The third party thing can help moderate the extreme tendencies of the two big hitters when the numbers are close enough, but that third party needs a leader with some serious political savvy and nous to actually veto anything worthwhile. (Source: current UK coalition government)

Re:A sort of betrayal (1)

hallkbrdz (896248) | about a year ago | (#44484527)

Never vote for someone because they are a Republican or a Democrat. Those are useless labels.

Vote for Constitutional Conservatives - that is - near anarchy, extremely limited (federal) government. Do this for all levels of Government.

They are few and far between - but if we can get voters to vote for people instead of parties, we can change that and get rid of crap like this!

Re:A sort of betrayal (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44484653)

I honestly thought Obama would be different. Fuck me, right?!

It's too bad you didn't do some research. There was no reason to believe that Obama would be any better, unless you're a racist.

Re:A sort of betrayal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484661)

You just woke up and realized that the world was always like this. Now its in your face and the asshats are brazen about their actions. The next step is slavery and some kind of mass genocide. Than, maybe if were lucky we'll see an effective resistance to this pattern.

But could fail and we could be looking at the 21st century equivalent of a dark age. Except this time the witches and magicians are real. They just hide behind technology and power that the common person doesn't grasp, overlooks. No magic. Just a cult of assholes trying to use technology to dominate the "lessers".

Nothing will change until people decide they've had enough and implement their own cultural means of order.

It's lost (4, Funny)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#44484401)

From the article:

Bieber spoke out against Klobuchar’s bill, saying the senator should be “locked up—put away in cuffs” while noting he personally thinks it is “awesome” when he sees fans uploading their own covers of his songs.

If Justin Bieber is against it, how can it ever pass?

Re:It's lost (5, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#44484601)

Bieber spoke out against Klobucharâ(TM)s bill,

Well, that's actually quite remarkable.

For all the complaining about how "the masses" don't care, this person actually is relevant to a substantial demographic who generally neither know nor care about such things. The fact that he is speaking out is a good thing and should not be mocked.

I now have considerably more respect for the guy.

Re:It's lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484605)

We could only hope so, but isn't he Canadian? They'll probably just deport him and ban his music from US, if they don't label him a foreign terrorist and murder him in a drone strike.

Re:It's lost (1)

skiman1979 (725635) | about a year ago | (#44484701)

If Justin Bieber is against it, how can it ever pass?

Justin who?? O.o

Re:It's lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484709)

He doesn't know what he's talking about (surprise, surprise). Song covers different from the originals in terms of copyright law. You can make and distribute covers without paying royalties [citation needed]. Check this out [cnet.com] . What's Bieber's opinion on people sharing his _own_ recordings?

Re:It's lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484901)

If Bieber staked his entire career on it and basically told all his fans over and over to call senators and tell them you should not lose the right to vote because you stream a game online, then it might make a difference. But I don't think he's doing that.

Endgame (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484429)

Just make breathing a felony already.

Re:Endgame (1)

DarkOx (621550) | about a year ago | (#44484465)

Never happen, Obama already decided it was more profitable to tax it.

Proposal (5, Interesting)

DarkOx (621550) | about a year ago | (#44484445)

Traditionally the copyright system was to give authors the ability to impose civil liabilities on those who infringed upon their works. It was incumbent upon them to identify who was doing the infringing and file a legal action. Their lobby has shifted this burden onto the people by criminalizing copyright violations, effective turning our public law enforcement into their own private investigators on our dime.

Sine the general public won't likely accept my libertarian view that we should simply reduce the governments capacity to engage in law enforcement to the point where it /must/ focus only on seriously disruptive crimes. Let me get out of character and propose a TAX. Its only fair after all those who use the service should pay.

How about we say: Any entity that engages in the distribution, sale, or licensing of copyrighted works in the form of recorded music, finished films and movies, software, or long form narratives for a profit shall be subject to the copyright enforcement levy; with the exception of original authors engaging in a single one time transfer of all copyright associated with a work. Entities which meet this criteria shall be required to report what part of their revenues are associated with these activities. The tax rate shall be determined by the GAO estimate of costs incurred by federal law enforcement related to copyright enforcement. The tax rate shall not be less than 1% and shall not exceed 1000% of the revenues upon which it is levied. (And get broad public support) proceeds from this tax level shall be used to provide scholarships to low income college students.

Re:Proposal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484775)

... what part of their revenues ...

So, if like YouTube, the content is streamed for free, the government gets zero dollars: Umm, yeah, good luck with that law.

... proceeds from this tax level shall be used to provide scholarships ...

You promote taking money from the peons and returning it to the peons: The republicans won't pass it because it's ... communism ... and and and.... anti-American ... and and... a new tax. But the Democrats won't pass it because they need that money to protect themselves in the war on 'terror' with a billion bullets and battle-armour. Sony and the RIAA will kill this law in 5 seconds because the government pays them nothing. Worse, it means they have no rights to any digital works of art.

Re:Proposal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484847)

Authors do not impose civil liabilities. Courts do.

The rest of your idea is farcical. The costs imposed against the entities would simply be passed along to the consumer anyway. Also, what do low income college students have to do with copyright enforcement?

I think you need to quit smoking weed.

Good (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484467)

My emails are my works, I never authorised the NSA to stream them anywhere, let's throw them all into jail.

May I recommend voting Republican? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484473)

Granted, the Reps are nuts, but the Dems are evil.

Re:May I recommend voting Republican? (2)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a year ago | (#44484811)

They're actually exactly the same - controlled by the same bunch. Republicans push just as hard as Democrats for the criminalization of everything.

Well I think the rest of the world (3, Interesting)

overmoderated (2703703) | about a year ago | (#44484481)

Should stop buying American music, movies and whatever other junk they are selling. Stay on your fucking island.

Re:Well I think the rest of the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484501)

Quite right, US Music stopped being relevant to me when Jerry Garcia popped his clogs.

Which administration? (3, Insightful)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#44484499)

Administration Seeks To Make Unauthorized Streaming A Felony

Which administration would that be?

For the sense-of-humour impaired, I'm being facetious.

Re:Which administration? (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a year ago | (#44484547)

Administration Seeks To Make Unauthorized Streaming A Felony

Which administration would that be?

For the sense-of-humour impaired, I'm being facetious.

The one bought and paid for with the entertainment cartels money.

Re:Which administration? (4, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year ago | (#44484885)

Can you narrow it down a bit more?

Unsurprising (2)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year ago | (#44484541)

Looks like the content kleptocrats are "getting their revenge in first", as it were.

Re: Unsurprising (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484673)

Why is anyone surprised by this? Corporate America and government stopped being separate entities decades ago with the beginnings of the military industrial complex. Now you're surprised that small groups of people who don't care about doing anything but staying on top will spend billions on buying legislation to criminalize creative and sometimes competitive behavior? Have you not read any history?

Government legislation can't fix the very corruption that spawned it. Until people are willing to rise up and cast out basically everyone in government its going to get worse and worse. But hey, at least we can all care about whatever Hollywood starlet turned out to be a pathetic excuse for a human being that has her own reality show.

How fucked up is it now? (5, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#44484585)

"rather than the felony charges that accompany the reproduction and distribution of copyrighted material"
Such a thing should always have remained a civil matter between the copyright owners and the infringers, and for the state to get involved and come down more heavily than on even parking infringements is IMHO a perversion of justice.

Re:How fucked up is it now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484725)

Mod parent up.
No victim no crime.

Re:How fucked up is it now? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484863)

Well, in the U.S., getting justice is an expensive feat (in most of the civilized world, it's "loser pays all", so it's more expensive to break the law rather than to mend it). So there is something to be said for starving authors/musicians not having to bring suit themselves when they are disenfranchised by copyright infringers.

However, most starving authors/musicians are already disenfranchised by the MPAA/RIAA, and those are not exactly afraid of investing in lawsuits. While their interests are selectively distributed, signing over your copyrights might mean that you don't even have standing.

The main effect of making copyright infringements a felony is to shift costs from the MPAA/RIAA to the department of justice. With all the lobbying going on, copyright cases will become even more part of the spotlight for prosecutors, with the result that minor offenses like theft, robbery, rape, manslaughter will get moved further on the backburner and will tend to get dismissed.

In order not to overburden courts, perjury will be turned from a felony to a misdemeanor. Oh wait, it already is. At least when committed by a government official.

Corrupt (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484629)

More corruption, from the world's most corrupt regime.
This is clearly no in the interest of the people. Passing this legistlation, shows clearly who the ruling junta actually represents.
The Republican/Democrat Party is totally corrupt.

When streaming is illegal.... (2)

Tangential (266113) | about a year ago | (#44484639)

Only criminals will have Slingboxes.

How about pursuing known felonies? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484773)

How about coming down with the full weight of the law on perjury? Of course, requires a prosecutor not corrupt to the bone already having committed multiple acts of perjury himself. How about that, Mr General Attorney Eric Holder?

We have enough felons running in the wild and occupying top government positions. How about cleaning up there first, to set an example? Of course, that would require starting with Eric Holder himself.

Of course the government, and in particular the ministry of injustice, wants everybody to be a felon so that they'll be able to better fraternize and tell people "I'm a felon in office, but so are you."

Concentrate on Kiddy Porn instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44484817)

The should be concentrate on Kiddy Porn instead.
These are $2-$20 items and they want them that to be a federal offense? It is more like going into a newstand with a camera, taking a photo of every page from a magazine and walking away.

There is no theft - theft requires that someone else is prevented from buying the product. The content makers prevent me from buying by their device DRM mandates.

I have 4 video streaming devices.
* Netflix supports ZERO.
* Amazon supports ZERO (now, used to support 2)
* Hulu works with 3 of them.
* Ultraviolet (best buy) supports ZERO.
* Redbox supports ZERO for streaming.

Guess who gets my money?

Federal offense? So the Federal courts get to deal with these cases instead of that court in East Texas?

Next... (0)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#44484851)

If this is approved the next step will be to ban any device that can actually stream the content. Well, that would be be to ban any device other than those sold by Apple. Evidently they get preferential treatment by the current administration in the US.

Dear Republicans (4, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#44484917)

This bill is going to do nothing but help those Hollywood liberals that are destroying America. You want nothing to do with it.

(just trying to help kill this thing)

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