If you live in the USA this may be something that you should read as it could effect everything you do on the internet. Have you heard about Bill S.978? Well according to multiple news sources it is a bill started in the Senate of the US that aims at “amending the criminal pentalty provision for criminal infringement of a copyright, and for other purposes.” This means that any US citizen could get up to 5 years in jail for having ANY copyrighted material in their videos for more than 10 times.
Reports say that with the increasing popularity of live streaming internet such as Ustream and other websites that it is only a matter of time before people start streaming movies on said sites. Furthermore the bill also aims to creak-down on any internet videos that have copyright material in them. I am guessing they mean any video that did not ask for permission to use it, such as lyric videos or countless others. Personally if I watch a lyric video on YouTube that means I am just curious about the song’s lyrics and I want to read and listen to them at the same time, and if you read the video description you will see “NO INFRINGEMENT INTENDED!!!!!” and YouTube always has a song recognizer that says what the song is and where to buy it on every video with any recorded song ever. It even had one for “Friday.”
I am curious as to how my lovely government plans to enforce this law if it passes, and how are they trying to go after. Could this mean that no American YouTubers will have music in the background of their videos anymore? Does this mean that even if Strewburry19 gets rights to make a music video for a new artist she can still get in trouble for using the song? Does this mean that Johnny Paula can no longer do Movie Night were he reviews movies that he saw legally. Do this mean that he also can’t have his Game Time series in which he plays games and records it so we, his fans can watch it. What about HuskyStarcraft? Or BreakingLA with Ray William Johnson, he uses teh rapper Wax’s music as transitions, does this mean that even though Ray and Wax are friends and Ray gets Wax’s permission we will stop seeing these transitions, does this mean that the countless YouTubers that make cover videos of popular songs will have to stop? What does this mean?
Of course the Us government really isn’t saying anything, because that is what our government does, it spends time on these ridiculous laws that they can’t enforce because Hollywood has the biggest lobbyists instead of actually making laws that helps our country. I’m so glad that the education system takes a back seat to the needs of millionaires in new York and Los Angelos.
Do they really think that Ustream and other live stream websites will allow people to start streaming movies, and if someone bought a DVD legal who are we to stop them from watching it with everyone? Furthermore, why do they need more money anyway? If you think about it, actors get paid lots of money to act in a TV show and networks just as much on prime Time ads alone. Furthermore, actors make even more in movies and the industry is a billion dollar industry. Want to know why snacks are so expensive at movie theaters? because the theater get such a small fraction of the profits form ticket sales that in order to make money they need to charge ridiculous prices on popcorn and other snacks just to operate in the black.
I completely understand that movies cost lots of money to make and in order to make money, but instead of 5 dollars for every quarter spent how about 50 cents for every 25? Sure you will probably have to have smaller budgets, but you could make more movies per year due to the smaller budgets and ticket prices will be lowered which means that people will be more willing to go see a movie in theaters instead of a pirated one.
And of course the music industry supports this bill, they are the worst affected by this, you guys watch internet videos, how often have you watched a video with a song in it that wasn’t credited to at the end? How often have you downloaded music illegally?
But quite frankly I think that this bill looks to kill the internet in the USA. And to kill the internet will be one of the biggest mistake that the US has every made, and we’ve made quite a few.
The internet is the go-to medium for anything now-a-days, we read news, watch movies and Tv shows, listen to music, talk about harry potter and Doctor Who, and get sneak peaks into the lives of real people on it. We can type in a few words and get a million different results about it, we can learn so many things from it, we can stay connected with friends and so much stuff, but if a bill passes that prevents copyrighted material from being posted on websites you will kill YouTube so fast, sure their will be YouTubers in other countries still ding what they do, many YouTube partners live in the USA and many of them get copyrighted material legally, the law doesn’t say anything about them, what is to prevent Big brother from jailing them for reviewing a movie that they asked the actually company to use?
If you think that I am just another pissed of whiny American you are wrong, as a social studies education major I have studied the American political system, and quite frankly, I feel that it sucks and we are doing so many things wrong. Considering that we just had a case about video games go to the supreme court it really shows were American politics’ priorities are. Do we really want to spend even more money trying to get every copyright infringing video off of the internet? Do you know how many videos that is going to be? Also, it’s not like you will put a stop to it, the US government can only “control” any internet traffic in the USA, but I guess they didn’t get the memo that there are other countries out there, nor do they understand that the FCC has no real authority on TV let alone the internet.
So any Americans out there read the bill listed below in the first link and let’s try to get it turned down for it’s complete stupidity. Also if you decide to write to your senator feel free to mention better ways for them to do their jobs, they should listen to you, they do work for you, kinda funny how they work for us but they tell us what do do.