Commerce Department wants to revive one of SOPA’s worst provisions:
making unauthorized streaming a FELONY.
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Here we go again.
The Obama administration apparently hasn’t been paying close attention the past two years. Let’s put it plainly: The American people don’t want SOPA-style internet censorship. Period.
The Commerce Dept’s Internet Policy Task Force has proposed making it a felony to stream copyrighted content (aka SOPA Section 201).
Interpreted broadly, this proposal would apply to anyone who uploads a YouTube video of themselves covering a song without permission, a video with copyrighted music playing in the background, even your friend’s embarassing karoake performance or your family singing “Happy Birthday To You.”
The federal government wants to make streaming — including material which falls under the “public performance” category — punishable by years in prison.
As was pointed out last time they tried this, many artists depend on uploading YouTube covers to jumpstart their careers (including the young Justin Beiber…), and many others enjoy streaming creative interpretations of existing songs on their own websites or blogs. This proposal would make both subject to felony prosecution.
The thing is, we’ve stopped them before — from SOPA to PIPA to CISPA — and we can stop them again.
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