On Wednesday evening, North Carolina Republican Senator Thom Tillis provided more details on his proposed Protecting Lawful Streaming Act, which was attached to the budget omnibus bill to keep the U.S. government running until Dec. 18.
Tillis, who is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, emphasized in an announcement that the proposal is not aimed at rank-and-file content creators who stream on platforms such as Twitch and YouTube, but rather large-scale for-profit streaming services that are “criminal enterprises.”
The bill “would punish large-scale criminal streaming services that willfully and for commercial advantage or private financial gain offer to the public illicit services dedicated to illegally streaming copyrighted material,” his announcement noted. The full text of the bill can be found here.
“The Protecting Lawful Streaming Act would apply only to commercial, for-profit streaming piracy services. The law will not sweep in normal practices by online service providers, good faith business disputes, noncommercial activities, or in any way impact individuals who access pirated streams or unwittingly stream unauthorized copies of copyrighted works,” Thillis wrote. “Individuals who might use pirate streaming services will not be affected.”
Tillis went on to say that the shift in streaming entertainment online by U.S. consumers has caused a proliferation of “criminal streaming services” that are “illegally distributing copyrighted material that costs the U.S. economy nearly $30 billion every year.”
The release also notes that this proposal is a bipartisan one, with support from “Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), John Cornyn (R-TX), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Coons (D-DE), Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), and David Perdue (R-GA).”
On Wednesday after it was revealed that the proposal had been shoehorned into an omnibus budget bill to avoid a government shutdown on Friday, Tillis was quick to point out that the bill would not target content creators.
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