updated 04:30 pm EDT, Thu June 16, 2011
Legislation aims to close loophole
The US Senate Judiciary Committee has moved to classify illegal video streaming as a felony. The proposed legislation, labeled the Commercial Felony Streaming Act, aims to increase penalties for anyone caught streaming copyrighted content without permission. Current laws are said to be lenient on streaming violations, while peer-to-peer downloads carry a higher level of punishment.
"The illegal streaming of motion pictures and television programming is as financially devastating for our industry as is illegal downloading,” said Independent Film and Television Alliance president Jean Prewitt, according to a Hollywood Reporter report.
If enacted, the proposal will place bans on illegal streaming for commercial purposes. Violators may face up to five years in prison, if they are caught more than ten times in six months.
The bill is set to move beyond the committee and to the full senate, where it can be approved.