Pallante: Large-Scale Illegal Internet Streaming Should Be Felony
Tells Hill that is one tool to help crack down on content piracy
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/20/2013 5:53:45 PM
Pallante was the sole witness at a hearing in the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet on her recommendations for revisiting copyright law to square it with the digital age and new ways to distribute content.
She made it clear that she was talking about tools to go after large piracy groups and enterprises, not the student downloading music in their dorm room, and in the criminal context, "egregious, criminal conduct," she said, at the "worst, purposeful levels."
But she suggested those tools should include criminal penalties for illegal streams, just as there are for distribution of copies of physical works.
"Law enforcement can go over reproduction and distribution, and they can go after that in a meaningful way because those are felonies. But the public performance right, which is implicated by streaming -- performing the work but not necessarily downloading it or streaming a copy, whether it's a football game or music -- is a misdemeanor."
As she indicated in her prepared testimony, Pallante emphasized to the subcommittee that authors and content creators large and small are at the heart of the public interest, explaining that notion came from James Madison.
She said that one problem with copyright law was it had gotten away from putting authors as the primary beneficiaries of the law, followed by the public good. She said she believed in fair use and access, but not at the expense of the creators.
"People do not have the right to have whatever they want whenever they want it for free," she said.
Pallante was asked how successful the "notice and takedown" enforcement regime has been. She said the "next great copyright act" should look at how effective that has been and there were arguments on both sides.
I am not sure what they mean by streaming? Are they saying they want to stop people from using their Slingbox or what?
TV Watcher - 3/21/2013 1:05:38 PM EDT
the trouble is that the SOPA version of the felony streaming law differed from the Klbuchar version.
While the Klobuchar version guaranteed that only commercial level streamers would be affected and not hobbyists who did it for the love of the content and did not make money off it, or those who merely viewed the streams, SOPA did not make such distiction.
If we are to get a working felony streaming act that only targets commercial level streamers, Klobuchar needs to re-introduce her bill as it was, and somehow keep the House from screwing it up like they did the last time.
Chilly8 - 3/20/2013 11:18:37 PM EDT
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