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Androvett Blog

by Robert Tharp at 1:54:14 pm

Streaming Video Scofflaws Would be Felons Under Proposed Copyright Law
When it comes to the difficulties facing copyright law in our changing media landscape, perhaps Public Knowledge’s Gigi Sohn summed it up best in a recent Marketplace interview: “You have a pre-VCR law in a YouTube world,” she explained. 

It’s no secret that copyright law is firmly stuck in the 20th century, creating gaps and loopholes for copyright holders as electronic mediums rapidly evolve along with entertainment consumption habits. One particularly glaring loophole centers around the common practice of unauthorized streaming of songs and other copyrighted material on sites like YouTube. A bill moving through the U.S. Senate would make it a felony to stream such material for profit without consent.   

So will the proposed law make felons out of all those lip-synchers and piano playing cats on YouTube? Copyright and trademark lawyer Dyan House of Munck Carter says the average person need not work because the intent of the law is to reign in commercial enterprises profiting from this legal loophole.

Writes Marketplace: There must be 10 or more instances of copyrighted works being streamed over a 180-day period. The content must be worth over $2500. So it's not necessarily meant to shut down the average person who watches the occasional pirated episode of "iCarly."