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    Bill Moving Through Congress Would Make Streaming a Felony

    A Senate committee this week approved a bill that would make it a felony to stream pirated content.

    The Commercial Felony Streaming Act, S. 978, was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and now heads to the full Senate for a vote. It would clarify that whether you stream that pirated episode of "True Blood," or download it, it's still illegal. But the bill would only target those serving up the illegal content, not those who watch it online.






    Oh no, YouTube embeds! Poor Richard.

    And how disingenuous is the bill's lobbyists' press release?

    Not surprisingly, the bill was championed by film and television makers, distributors, and exhibitors.

    "To the technicians, designers, construction workers, and artists who support their families through their work in entertainment, there's no difference between illegal downloading and illegal streaming—it's all theft that hurts their work, their wages and their benefits. There should be no difference in the law, either," Michael O'Leary, executive vice president for government affairs at the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) said in a statement.

    The National Association of Theatre Owners said the bill will "close a gaping hole in the law and go far in protecting the livelihoods of theater employees from the threat posed by illegal streaming."

    Because it's the little people in entertainment the law will protect? Too bad James Garner just died. Would have loved to hear what he thought about that bull since he had to sue to get what he was entitled to from his Rockford Files contract.

    Then there's this:

    In the group's press release, they said the bill would apply "only in cases in which a Web site operator has willfully and knowingly violated a copyright and profited from it, and does not allow law enforcement to prosecute people who stream videos without intending to profit—a parent sharing a video of her child with friends and family, for example."

    Yeah, right. Except that is not how the bill actually reads.

    Punishment is supposed to fit the crime. If someone profits from streaming, by all means make them hand over those to the owners and maybe a fine to really discourage people from trying to profit by the practice. Otherwise, just write streaming off as free promotion of their products until they can come up with another way that people they have trained for decades to expect 'free' entertainment can be satisfied.


    What's never/not addressed is the audience is global, not local ... and the issue the law is concerned with is local. 


    For instance, Game of Thrones is one of THE most highly streamed/copied videos pirated ... that's because access, when they release the series, is limited. 


    Odd that corporate power neglects to think in global terms yet get their underwear all twisted in knots when the global community is hard at work doing what they should have done ... just think of all the revenue they could earn if they sent it to the market days after a series episode had played . People wouldn't mind paying $5 to see an episode a few days later in higher quality that what streaming offers.

    I can't think of any program that I'd pay $5 an episode to watch.

    Just sayin'.

    Maybe he means $5 a month? Because otherwise, yeah, no thank you…

    There must be a market for this. Amazon and iTunes offer tv series for $2-3 an episode. Hulu and Netflix charge $10 per month for their offerings of movies and tv. The benefit is not setting a DVR and still watching at your leisure.

    Interestingly, Kindle is offering a $120 a year library card for access to 600K books,  None of the books are current releases.

    Amazon and iTunes - more power to them. Subscription services, be it movies, episodic programming or music, have long been popular, oftentimes with good reason.

    The Kindle "library card" is absurd. Noone reads enough books per year to justify $120., especially since older editions are generally available for 99 cents each.

    And the fact that I can get a free library card from my local library with which I can download e-books to that very same Kindle.

    They are betting that people won't ask their local libraries about free electronic services. 

    Does this mean I have to give up porn sites?

    I mean what is the definition of 'streaming'?


    Look at this way, when Mike's new book hits the bit torrent circuit, we will know he has a good seller.  

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