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U.S. Senate Makes Video Piracy A Felony

The United States Senate Judiciary committee has just made illegal video and TV streaming over the Internet, a felony. In most cases, these will be handed to the full Senate for consideration, as Hollywood Reporter reports. The Commercial Felony Streaming Act was introduced by Amy Klobuchar (pictured top) and John Cornyn (pictured bottom) and applies only to videos, although severe sentences can be given for music piracy and software piracy as well.

This is a huge step taken against digital theft. Previously, the number one targets in the industry were uploaders. The number two targets were downloaders, and video streamers went largely unnoticed. With this new measure, video streamers will bear the same risk as if they were spreading digital content themselves, through the Internet.

The legislation is supported by the Obama administration, the entertainment Industry (obviously), and the MPAA. In addition to racking up a felony, the penalty is increased to 5 years in prison when it involves ten or more instances of streaming video over a 6 month period.. The retail value must exceed $2,500 or the licenses to the material must be worth more than $5,000.

My advice to all our readers, use Hulu for free television content and do it the legal way. It is just not worth the risk when there are plenty of other free alternatives to watching TV and videos; Hulu, local TV channels, shoot, even Netflix trial periods. Always remember that felons have a hard time finding good jobs.

Photo Courtesy of northfield
Photo Courtesy of musicFIRSTcoalition