Streaming Services Can Be ProsecutedAfter the US Congress failed to monopolize the worldwide web with absurd laws like SOPA, it didn’t give up. The politicians were recently presented with the option of making streaming of copyrighted material a full pledged felony.
Of course, the music industry has never been the only one interested in destroying BitTorrent – movie and TV studios have the same goal, having been fighting against P2P for almost a decade. Although crackdowns happen and thousands of users find themselves plunged into copyright lawsuits, illegal file-sharing still keeps on thriving.
So, the American government finds itself in a difficult position, particularly after the web turned out to be a living organism having its own will and no tolerance for manipulation and censorship. In order to tackle the problem, the “six-strikes” legislation was enforced – a program intended to “educate” American citizens about copyright and its violation.
However, people are only being taught that downloading and uploading of copyrighted material online is against the law, but nothing is said about streaming. In the meantime, the number of streaming services increases every day, which becomes a huge problem. The U.S. Register of Copyrights believes that there must be a way to tackle this problem. Since law enforcement can go after the distribution of copyright content, they can also pursue them in a meaningful way as they are felonies rather than misdemeanors. Thus, streaming, no matter of what content, is a misdemeanor. If there is unauthorized streaming happening, particularly in a profit-driven kind of way, how does one get at that activity if the best that they can do is pursue them for a misdemeanor? That’s what the U.S. Register of Copyrights is asking about.
The representatives of a Swedish anti-piracy outfit which tried to banish The Pirate Bay out of Sweden also admitted that streaming is a growing problem for the industry. The creators believe that it is largely irrelevant what kind of technology is used as long as they lose sales, so legislators have to solve this problem. Despite the fact that streaming services have nothing to worry about at the moment, some of the experts warn that a storm might be coming soon.