Saturday, June 4, 2011

Senate Bill 978 - #2959 - Embedding YouTube Videos May Soon Be a Felony - Prison Planet

Text of S. 978: A bill to amend the criminal penalty provision for criminal infringement of a copyright, and for...  Techdirt reports that Senate bill 978 – a bill to amend the criminal penalty provision for criminal infringement of a copyright, and for other purposes – may be used to prosecute people for embedding YouTube videos.  According to Mark Masnick, if a website embeds a YouTube video that is determined to have infringed on copyright and more than 10 people view it on that website, the owner or others associated with the website could face up to five years in prison.  Read Masnick’s article here.  He explains how the new law would expand copyright violations from reproducing and distributing to performing – including streaming video over the internet.  As readers of know, many videos are removed from YouTube after copyright owners complain about infringement. This happens with thousands of news clips every year. Most people are familiar with the now common black box replacing a video that says the video has been removed for copyright reasons.  If enacted, this law will go one step further and turn people who embed a copyrighted video into criminals. It will also set the stage to criminalize linking to copyrighted information — like corporate media news sources — and shut down the alternative media.  It will also make people think twice about putting up all kinds of videos, from news reports to clips from documentaries and other educational material.  It does not take a vivid imagination to realize the political implications of this legislation.
Addendum - It should be noted that outlawing certain activities on the internet is instrumental to the Obama administration’s copyright policy.  AW:  Can you even imagine how this would have impacted the last election cycle, if we did not have the opportunity to view videos from all the town hall meetings, congressmen speaking to constituents, all the rallies held across the country, the ability to share all this information could be shut down.  Obviously anyone with a web site who embeds any videos to help educate other conservatives or fellow patriots, would think twice and possibly not take the chance, which is exactly what the intent is of this bill.  I have called Robert Hurt's office, and they will be watching this bill as well.  I was advised by this bill is scheduled to be heard on June 9th at 10:00 a.m., in the Judicial Committee.  We need to really watch SB978.  Senators who proposed this Bill are Christopher Coons, D-Delaware, Amy Klobouchar, D-Minnesota and John Cornyn, R-Texas. Texas voters need to contact John Cornyn about his support this Bill.

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