S. 978 - A Bill that would put you in Jail for watching Videos Online!

 Shocked? So are millions who came to know about this. Victoria Espinel, the Obama administration's IP Enforcement Coordinator, today released her long-awaited wish list (PDF) of intellectual property law changes. And you might want to read a few interesting points -

  • Ensure Felony Penalties for Infringement By Streaming and by Means of Other New Technology: It is imperative that our laws account for changes in technology used by infringers. One recent technological change is the illegal streaming of content. Existing law provides felony penalties for willful copyright infringement, but felony penalties are predicated on the defendant either illegally reproducing or distributing the copyrighted work. Question have arisen about whether streaming constitutes the distribution of copyrighted works(and thereby is a felony) and/or performance of those works(and thereby is a not a felony). These questions have impaired the criminal enforcement of copyright laws. To ensure that Federal copyright law keeps pace with infringers, and to ensure that DOJ and U.S. law enforcement agencies are able to effectively combat infringement involving new technology, the Administration recommends that Congress clarify that infringement by streaming, or by means of other similar new technology, is a felony in appropriate circumstances.
So what does that mean? Let me make it easy for you, you miss a show on TV, or a live telecast. What would you do? Search Youtube for a copy or any site that streams Live and watch it? The above statements say, if you do it, you can be fined heavily, or even put into jail! Now this is a point to debate, previously I had made a post on the largest Bit Torrent case, in which over 22,000 people were sued for downloading a movie. But are the viewers to be blamed? I mean if you need to get rid of piracy, get that file or server out, not the public. If its up there in Internet, it means you can access it. Its like you are given free chocolates on the street, and this law says you are not supposed to eat it! Many would not even be knowing that they are making a mistake, I'm not sure this is a right way to fight piracy.