I just recently came across the subject bill in an edition of my TenTonHammer
subscription, by Martuk
, July 12, 2011. The bill itself was introduced May 12, 2011 and given 2 readings.
It basically states:
The Bill essentially makes the streaming of copyrighted content a felony and states that people can face up to 5 years in prison if they:
1) Make or offer 10 or more public performances by electronic means, during any 180-day period, of 1 or more copyrighted works; and
2) If the total retail value of the performances, or the total economic value of such public performances to the infringer or to the copyright owner, could exceed $2,500; or
3) the total fair market value of licenses to offer performances of those works would exceed $5,000
Martuk provides a link to an expert analysis by Game Politics
Contributing Editor and Maryland intellectual property attorney Daniel Rosenthal.
Part of what he states is:
So basically, even without meeting the dollar requirements under S.978, you could still be criminally prosecuted for streaming -- you'd just get three years instead of five. Yay
Obviously, this law is intended for the United States, but it holds dire consequences for users outside of the U.S. using sites hosted within the U.S., like YouTube.
The text of Bill S.978 can be found here
United States Code, Title 18,2319 at Cornell University Law School