Video Gamers Realizing Streaming Criminalization Bill Might Make A Lot Of Them Into Criminals

from the a-joke-of-a-bill dept

We've been covering just what an awful bill S.978 is. That's the anti-streaming, anti-embedding bill from Senators Amy Klobuchar, John Cornyn and Christopher Coons, which would allow law enforcement to seek jail time against people for streaming infringing works. As I've explained before, the clear intent of the bill is to go after sites that are streaming TV and movies. And the method to do so is to make a pretty small change to the criminal side of copyright law. Criminal copyright law was limited to reproduction and distribution among the various "rights" given to copyright holders. Civil law covers many more. This bill seeks to add "public performance" to the list of things that can be considered criminally infringing, potentially sentencing people to five years in jail.

The problem is that "public performance" is not at all well-defined. And while the bill does require that the effort be done as a commercial enterprise to be criminally liable, the fact that pretty much anyone can have AdSense or simple ads on their website makes nearly any website a commercial operation these days. And, yes, there have been cases where people have used simple ads, even if they make a few dollars total, as evidence of a "commercial" operation.

And that's a huge problem, because this bill, if it becomes law creates a massive liability for pretty much anyone who embeds or streams anything. The backers of the bill claim it's clearly not intended for the FBI to go bust down the door of someone singing along with their favorite song in a video... but it's entirely possible that the law could be used that way, and that's why people should be concerned about it. We've seen time and time again that federal prosecutors will toss in charges on questionable laws like these when they're going after people for something else and don't have enough evidence. The risk that this law will be abused is quite high.

Thankfully, more and more people are recognizing this. Dennis S. was a first of a bunch of you to note that the video gamers have jumped onto this cause in a big bad way, starting with a great overview of the problems with S.978 for video gamers who show footage from video games, and also points us to a YouTube video of a gamer explaining why people should be worried. That video doesn't quite have all the legal details straight (which is too bad), but it is generating attention, with over 400,000 plays start to finish (for a 17 minute video). Hopefully many of the gamers are making their voices heard among politicians.


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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2011 @ 4:45pm

    Shame these bills aren't up for comment on Amazon, they'd be staked and killed and one-starred on sight.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2011 @ 5:03pm

    Legislative Capture

    This bill is a fine example of legislative capture. Some special interest has a bunch of legislators in its pocket and can get them to put forward any outrageous legislation it pleases. It is clearly political corruption. The legislators concerned should be called on it, particularly around election time.

     

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    Nicedoggy, Jul 5th, 2011 @ 5:10pm

    Decentralized politics is that what we need, the people has only one card to play and that is voting, people need to start to create databases with politicians and history of what they did or did not and know affiliations just like we do with criminals.

     

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      That Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2011 @ 6:11pm

      Re:

      Didn't they try that once? And then they stopped releasing the voting records in an easy to handle fashion but buried them in paper to obscure what they were doing?

      Transparency is a great concept, the execution of it however seems to be about as effective as a FEMA response team.

      I think it would still be a good idea to use the NASCAR model of making them wear jumpsuits with logos sized on how much they got paid.

       

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      Greevar (profile), Jul 5th, 2011 @ 6:50pm

      Re:

       

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        Nicedoggy, Jul 5th, 2011 @ 7:30pm

        Re: Re:

        Nice one, but people need more and more of those.

        Also, there is no "draft legislation here", so people can vote on the ones they like.

        You see people should start voting for laws not for politicians.

         

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          Paddy Duke (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 1:52am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I would just like to highlight this line from Nicedoggy’s comment:

          "You see people should start voting for laws not for politicians."

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 7:00am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            So you propose rewriting the Constitution? And then you expect a national referendum on every bill proposed? Can you name a single country on earth where that works?

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 8:16am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Your commenting on Tech Dirt. A site devoted to news about technology and how it is disrupting things. Most of the time it's about how the technology disrupts old business models. But why couldn't that same technology or newer technology disrupt our political processes?

               

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          arcan, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 10:35am

          Re: Re: Re:

          this is not the legislation your looking for

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2011 @ 6:59pm

      Re:

      @Nicedoggy

      that is a hell of an idea and should be started ASAP! perhaps i'll just start it out using Access and an MDB and basic query. :)

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2011 @ 5:18pm

    All the bill does is to put streaming on the exact same footing as illegal downloading. Anything you predict may happen as a result of adding streaming should already be happening for downloaders. Also, streaming is already there as a misdemeanor. More of the usual Chicken Little alarmism from Masnick.

     

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      Jay (profile), Jul 5th, 2011 @ 5:28pm

      Re:

      Denying reality much?

      As DSP along with Keits have realized, the bill is badly worded, where the public has to ask for express permission to do ANYTHING with a copyrighted work. They can't share it on Youtube, they can't stream it without running afoul of the law in some way shape or form. And should it happen that this is a movie or music stream, then guess what? After the 10th time, if the copyright holder or the government want to, they can come after you for the infringement. In other words, felonizing how the internet works has an unintended consequence.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2011 @ 5:45pm

        Re: Re:

        Clarification: The copyright owner can initiate a civil action at any time. However, only the government can process criminal charges. FYI, commercial streaming is currently a misdemeanor whereas commercial downloading is a felony. The bill adds felony provisions for streaming.

         

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          Jay (profile), Jul 5th, 2011 @ 6:33pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          ...

          So how does your clarification alter anything that I've said where the copyright holder has to give permission for a work explicitly for streaming?

          How much sense does that make when there are even MORE gamers coming out against this bill because the streaming that they do online is done through fair usage and derivative works?

          I already knew the bill added felony provisions for streaming. It's why we're saying that's a horrible idea in the first place!

          Basically, all you want to do is prevent one sector of industry from promoting so as to revert to a time before the internet and gaming became popular. That's more than a little selfish, don't you think?

           

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 5th, 2011 @ 5:30pm

      Re:

      All the bill does is to put streaming on the exact same footing as illegal downloading. Anything you predict may happen as a result of adding streaming should already be happening for downloaders. Also, streaming is already there as a misdemeanor.

      This is, of course, the party line (which it should be noted, the commenter above is partly responsible for creating) in support of S.978. It's also wrong.

      Streaming and downloading are quite different. The reason this is so different is that (1) when you download it's a personal issue, almost impossible to track or to find and almost certainly unlikely to trigger the commercial aspects. (2) However, by broadening the criminal statute to public performance, it now includes a very different type of action: one of someone doing something *publicly* to share a work in a streaming fashion, such as embedding a video. The fact that so many sites have ads (simple as can be to add an ad account, even if it makes no money), suddenly all those sites are considered "commercial."

      So, no, despite our commenter's claim that this is not a big change, the impact can be huge, and anyone denying it is either lying (*cough* *cough*) or simply unaware of how the internet is used today. In the case of the commenter above, perhaps it's both.

      More of the usual Chicken Little alarmism from Masnick

      I like how you think you can brush it off as just being me.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2011 @ 6:01pm

        Re: Re:

        What exactly do ads on the site have to do with it? And why do you omit mentioning (again) the "commercial advantage or private financial gain" requirement of the law?

        In case you've forgotten the very succinct bitch-slapping you got last time with your wild fear mongering, I've reposted it for you.

        "You've gone completely nuts on this one. If you'd even done even the most basic research, you'd realize that this legislation does NOT criminalize any behavior that wasn't already criminal. It simply takes the most egregious cases of conduct that were already misdemeanor crimes under 17 U.S.C. 506(a)(1)(A), and raises them to felonies in particularly egregious cases. So, under this bill, the public performance of copyrighted works is only a felony if (1) it is willfull (knowing and intentional) infringement (2) for commercial advantage or private financial gain (3) involving 10 or more performances within 180 days (4) that cause more than $2,500 in loss to the rights holder. It is clear that none of the parade of horribles you trot out would meet all these conditions, nor would any prosecutor try to claim they did. So which is it: (a) you actually have no idea how to read legislation, (b) you think a willful, commercial infringer who causes more than $2,500 in damage shouldn't be subject to criminal liability, or (c) you are deliberately misleading your readers about this legislation?"

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2011 @ 6:13pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          That number 3...clicking on a link 10 times in 180 days makes someone a felon?

          And number 4...who decides lost dollar amount? How is it decided?

          Do all of those 4 have to apply or can they be used as criteria singly?

          3 and 4 are ludicrously bad, just...wow, bad. I dunno how anyone can defend them, since they can be maliciously turned on anyone at any time for damn near anything, INCLUDING RIGHTSHOLDERS.

           

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          Nicedoggy, Jul 5th, 2011 @ 7:17pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Willful? That is not a problem because for the industry thugs anything the other side don't have a paper saying they authorized is willful infringement.

          2) is just patetic because as seen with ICE they will use any gain made by any person no matter how small or relevant to use against others so if you have an ad on your page or use a paid service you are screwed and that is probably everyone even in Youtube if you choose to show Google ads and click on their "authorize ads here" button thingy.

          3) That is low for internet standards even bad videos can have a hundred views, I dare anybody to find a video on Youtube, Vimeo or other video platform with less than a hundred views.

          4) Is a slap on the face of reason, since if someone wants to go after another person he just needs to claim the other person didn't pay the full license and those licenses cost on the 10's of thousands of dollars.

          Now where exactly are the mechanism to stop abuse of that system?

          Is not Mike misleading anyone is you.

           

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            Jay (profile), Jul 5th, 2011 @ 7:35pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Now where exactly are the mechanism to stop abuse of that system?"

            1)Add one small line to the bill:

            "All copyright holders pay all legal fees of defendents in the trial, for perceived falsehoods of copyright infringement."

            2)Watch the legislation issue correct itself.

            3)???

            4)Profit

             

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 5th, 2011 @ 8:14pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          What exactly do ads on the site have to do with it? And why do you omit mentioning (again) the "commercial advantage or private financial gain" requirement of the law?

          Um. The ads on the site are the "commercial advantage or private financial gain." Just look at the affidavits in the Operation In Our Sites seizures. They use miniscule ad accounts to claim that these are "commercial" ventures. So they're the key to exactly what I was saying.

          In case you've forgotten the very succinct bitch-slapping you got last time with your wild fear mongering, I've reposted it for you.


          It's funny that you call that a bitch slapping when I already explained why this is wrong above this very comment.

          . If you'd even done even the most basic research, you'd realize that this legislation does NOT criminalize any behavior that wasn't already criminal. It simply takes the most egregious cases of conduct that were already misdemeanor crimes under 17 U.S.C. 506(a)(1)(A), and raises them to felonies in particularly egregious cases.

          Yes, felonies that can net people five years in jail for doing things that they feel are completely normal today.

          So, under this bill, the public performance of copyrighted works is only a felony if (1) it is willfull (knowing and intentional) infringement (2) for commercial advantage or private financial gain (3) involving 10 or more performances within 180 days (4) that cause more than $2,500 in loss to the rights holder. It is clear that none of the parade of horribles you trot out would meet all these conditions, nor would any prosecutor try to claim they did.

          Not true at all. Again, look at the OiOS affidavits. (1) Embedding a video that you know is copyrighted to someone else (willful). (2) Have ads on your site, so it's for commercial advantage or private financial gain (3) involving 10 or more plays (peformances) that (4) cause more than $2,500 in loss to the rightsholder -- is quite easy to claim from a rightsholder who says it would have licensed the video for such usage for $100,000 or whatever.

          All four prongs easy to prove. And given that we've seen similarly ridiculous claims in Operation In Our Sites, or other stretches of the law by federal prosecutors (Lori Drew case? Wiretapping charges against people filming police? CFAA violations for logging into a database at work?), I can't see how you can possibly claim that prosecutor wouldn't abuse the law this way.

          So which is it: (a) you actually have no idea how to read legislation, (b) you think a willful, commercial infringer who causes more than $2,500 in damage shouldn't be subject to criminal liability, or (c) you are deliberately misleading your readers about this legislation?

          Or (D) I actually know what I'm talking about, don't fall for your (paid in full) party line, and am seriously worried about the unintended consequences of this bill.

          In the meantime, full disclosure time: tell us who you work for.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 7:05am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yes, felonies that can net people five years in jail for doing things that they feel are completely normal today.

            People feel that committing misdemeanors that can lead up to a year in jail are completely normal today? Interesting mentality.

             

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          The eejit (profile), Jul 5th, 2011 @ 11:27pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Dude, the thing is so damned vague. It's like asking for directions to Achin' Asshole, Alaska without knowing where Alaska even is.

          The four prongs were written by vested interests. How would you like to criminalise League fo Legends? Or Team Fortress 2? Or Call of Duty?

          You think that wouldn't happen? Go have a look at the World of Starcraft mod.

           

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      abc gum, Jul 5th, 2011 @ 7:24pm

      Re:

      "More of the usual Chicken Little alarmism from Masnick"

      More of the usual industry prestidigitation.
      Oh yeah, let's not forget the catch all phrase - You have nothing to fear if you've done nothing wrong.

       

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      Greevar (profile), Jul 5th, 2011 @ 7:28pm

      Re:

      But there is no point in having this bill. Rights holders can already take down media with a DMCA take-down. It doesn't make the infringement any easier to strike down. All this does is try to criminalize it. This bill adds nothing to the issue and doesn't fix anything. It only turns every YouTube user into a potential criminal. As if our prisons aren't already overloaded. Let's just skip this whole mess and just take away everybody's rights wholesale because that's just what is going to happen in the end. We add more and more reasons for a person to lose their rights and be sent to jail, so eventually everybody will be in jail. When the standard for criminal behavior is set so low, people just lose all respect for the law and simply ignore it. You can pretend all you like that this won't be used against fair-use cases, but the fact is that if it can, it will be used to do just that.

      This is just stupid. Copyright wasn't designed, and was never intended, to be a business model. It was meant to serve as an incentive to encourage authors to create more works for the opportunity to profit it from it so that more works would be available in the public domain. It wasn't created for authors, it was created for the benefit of everyone else. The public domain was the end game that copyright was meant to fulfill. It wasn't meant to protect anyone's jobs, income, or property. If nothing else, copyright needs to be rolled back to what it was before Disney extended it to near limitless time spans and these ridiculous laws they're lobbying for need to stop. It's been twisted into a system bent on making people rich instead of enriching our culture through constant remixing of older works.

      14 years to exploit your works for an opportunity to profit is more than fair considering most works have a profitable lifespan of less than a decade. These works need to go to the public domain within a portion of a lifetime rather than never. Regardless, this isn't going to quell the file sharing culture of the internet. So, it behooves the industry to figure out a peaceful way to deal with it and not beat people down with stupid laws that people have lost all respect for. Had the 14 year limit been upheld, everything from 97' and before would be open to the public to use for a great many things that haven't even been thought of yet. Shorter copyright terms would encourage authors to create more works to replace the soon to expire revenue streams of older works with new works. It keeps them busy creating instead of chasing down every grandmother and child to shake them down for extortion money. And now to potentially throw them in jail.

       

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        Jay (profile), Jul 5th, 2011 @ 7:37pm

        Re: Re:

        I don't think we even need 14 years if most copyrighted works lose relevance after 10 years.

         

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          Greevar (profile), Jul 5th, 2011 @ 9:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Probably not, but it's way too long as it is.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2011 @ 9:20pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          about 3 years would work really, i can't really think of too many people who'd look for something that old except fans or weirdoes like me who climb down from our hermit mountain every once and a while to find old crap noone cares about, atleast this is true of video games

           

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            Jay (profile), Jul 5th, 2011 @ 10:07pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Webcomics come to mind, but then there are other incentives that keep them relevant. The more you look into copyright law, the less sense it makes in its intended purpose. It stops progress in the arts and sciences by turning all "infringements" into costly acts. Be it fighting for fair use, or fighting to escape imprisonment/extradition, I doubt the Forefathers would be pleased with the tyranny our government endorses today.

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 7:11am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You're not suggesting that if copyright was limited to 10 or 14 years that it would have any meaningful impact of piracy are you? It's absurd to think that the millions of people who illegally downloaded "Avatar" would have waited 10-14 years to get a free copy.

           

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            Jay (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 8:20am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It might make people respect the law more if they had a decade to make stories based on the Avatar mythos. Or a year...

            Or ya know... sometime in the next five years to stream it without criminal penalties.

             

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            Greevar (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 9:53am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Regardless, this isn't going to quell the file sharing culture of the internet. So, it behooves the industry to figure out a peaceful way to deal with it and not beat people down with stupid laws that people have lost all respect for."

            What do you think?

             

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            Greevar (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 9:59am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The difference this makes is that the shorter terms encourage more work from authors/artists instead of sitting on a handful of works and waiting for someone to trip the snare so they can launch a protectionist litigation against some poor unsuspecting sap.

             

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        Sean T Henry (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 7:43am

        Re: Re:

        If the law would be changed to state that any copyrighted work will be held to the terms of the law at the time of its creation. That would hold the terms that the original creator agreed to for copyright and not allow for retroactive changes that the creator may have not wanted.

         

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          Greevar (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 9:55am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Why should they have that privilege? They retroactively extended copyright terms for works create prior to 1979. If they can do that, they can retroactively revoke it as well.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 9:48am

      Re:

      It is quite obvious that the AC is not getting the full picture here.

      The reason the gamer community is not happy about this is because we use streaming for several reasons.

      Let me back up for a minute, because I am not even sure AC understands gaming streaming to begin with. Or gaming for that matter.

      Let's say you have this game, and you install it on your computer. You open the game, and you have this fantasy world in front of you. There is a character you play, you quest, you kill bears and hogs and turn them in to gain gold, rep, more quests, gear. You do this until you hit the 'max level' of the game. Does that mean you have 'beaten the game'?

      Nope, the game has just begun. Now you get to find 10-25 people to get together (all sitting at their own houses, that could possibly be all the way in Brazil) and go into another portion of the game where you run across a big dragon that smacks people with her claws, smacks people with her tail, makes you hurt people around you that you like, turns people into blocks of ice, in which other people have to hide behind to avoid the big bombs of ice that she shoots after she takes off flying in the air....oh yea, and she will also suck everyone into her belly and then cast a spell that hurts a lot if you don't hurry up and run the hell away from her....all the while screaming "Suffer, mortals, as your pathetic magic betraaaaaaaaays you!"

      Are you really gonna type all of that out and type out what you need to do? Or are you gonna fire up and record what you are doing for other people to see?

      Not a single bit of that is copyright infringement. Yet, you are wanting to blanket bill regulate over something that doesn't ever even affect you in the slightest.

      The copyright trolls are so bound up in their own little world that they have no clue the overall picture of what they are doing to everyone else.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 10:06am

        Re: Re:

        Now, let me add one more layer to this. Let's say a guild made a video, but it sounds way cooler with a song attached.

        So the person that made the video adds a song to it, and posts it on you tube. Other people that want to learn how the fight against the dragon goes to you tube and finds that persons video. While they are watching, they think "Hey, this is a cool song, who made sang it?". They read thru the comments, find the artist, and buy the song or album (if the artist is good enough).

        With this bill, you are effectively cutting off a potential source of revenue. With the gamer community getting older, the potential of getting sales off of this type of round about, didn't cost you a dime advertising is way greater than the 'pirates' you so focus on. MMO gamers have a tendency to 'money is no object' when it comes to pimping out their character in game.....they also tend to pay for a song they like.

        11 million people play WoW alone. That's not exactly a customer base you would want to brush off as being a pirate, since they give you free advertising.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 11:26am

        Re: Re:

        I hear what you are saying. Can you tell me how you think that violates the proposed law? I don't see how it creates a commercial advantage or provides you with private financial gain.

         

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          Jay (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 2:31pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Youtube allows a gamer's license. So people get paid for their uploads, giving a financial gain.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 2:56pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Funny. I thought that when you submitted a video for revenue sharing, you had to provide evidence of having permission to use any content that's not your own. Is a gamer's license have a different requirement? If not, how does it even get accepted, much less monetized?

             

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              The eejit (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 3:16pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Because these people are sponsored by comanies such as Steel Series, Intel and AMD. Go and have a look at Paragon, for example. Or Method.

              These people are among the best in the world at one aspect of this game. And yet, this bill would make it that much harder to do that. Have you watched a video with no sound? Yup, that's the sound of silence (which is, funnily enough, copyrighted.)

              See where I'm going with this?

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 6:40am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                You are referring to less than .001% of the population of WoW (based on heroic Lich King kills before Cata was released, if you wanted to set the bar of 'guilds like Paragon').

                So in essence, money and time is being wasted on chasing .001% of the people that 'might' make money off of 'your' content (if you choose to look at it that way instead of as free advertising and possible sales, that if you just let it go, would bring in a ton more money than what you are spending to chase .001% of gamers that make money gaming).

                Mainstream, big label media can go suck a rock. Only music makers that enjoy their work being shared among the gaming community allowed.

                 

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              Jay (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 5:13pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              They post it for a while and they make licensing deals with places such as machinima or justin.tv.

              It's still a grey area, simply because at any time, one DMCA request can take down a mountain of game footage. Again, it's an option. Some let's players don't use it because it becomes a hassle, since it's a higher risk for Youtube and greater chances of DMCA takedown notices (read: increased liability) to Youtube in saying this is shared content.

               

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  •  
    icon
    Dennis S. (profile), Jul 5th, 2011 @ 5:53pm

    Better Video, and the First One I Submitted

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2011 @ 6:19pm

    My last sentence got dropped:

    It's not just an either/or. It must be a) willful; b) cause greater than $2500 loss to rights holder; c) 10 or more instances in 180 days and be for commercial advantage OR private financial gain.

    Even Stevie Wonder could see how the law is targeted.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Nicedoggy, Jul 5th, 2011 @ 7:24pm

      Re:

      Yah, willful, anybody who doesn't pay needs to face $150K per infringement, this will do wonders for copyright trolls.

      Greater than $2500 dollars LoL you said that like that is a lot, only one license from one of those morons could cost $90K just ask Nina Paley how much she had to fork out for a fraking license.

      So any instance of anything would be in that ballpark are you retarded?

      10 or more in less then 180 days? are you a moron? any video anywhere has more then 10 views today, I dare you find a bad video with less than 10 views in any video website.

      Is like they researched to see what they could right down as the minimum to include everything and say "Oh look here are some restrictions" when those are just window dressing and only stupid people would believe in that crap.

      You think everybody is stupid?
      F. YOU!

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2011 @ 7:28pm

        Re: Re:

        So any instance of anything would be in that ballpark are you retarded?

        You spelled freetarded wrong.

         

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 7:25am

        Re: Re:

        You think everybody is stupid?

        No, not everyone. But you're right up there near the top.

        There's an active discussion about the valuation in the bill. Some argue that a stream is less valuable than a download. Overall, the valuation DOES NOT relate the license fee, but the fair market value. So if X movie or Y song was available for $2.50 from a legitimate source, You'd have to have 1000 instances ($2.50 x1000= $2500) to meet the threshold.

         

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          Jay (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 8:23am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Some argue that a stream is less valuable than a download. Overall, the valuation DOES NOT relate the license fee, but the fair market value. So if X movie or Y song was available for $2.50 from a legitimate source, You'd have to have 1000 instances ($2.50 x1000= $2500) to meet the threshold"

          ...

          So the value of the price is fixed by those that hold the copyright...

          And the government is okay with price fixing?

           

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 9:11am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Jay, it's what the song or movie cost to purchase on the market. Price fixing is illegal collusion between competitors agreeing to sell an identical product at a given price. Like OPEC does with oil. So valuing a stream would rely on the market price. Whether two or more companies illegally colluded to set the initial price is a separate matter.

             

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              The eejit (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 3:19pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              And that's not what happens in Big Media - at all. No, siree.

              After all, the RIAA is just a Trade Union. Same with the MPAA. And ASCAP aren't a collections agency, they just collect the RIAA and MPAA's dues.

              And that's not collusion?

               

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    Overcast (profile), Jul 5th, 2011 @ 7:23pm

    All the bill does is to put streaming on the exact same footing as illegal downloading. Anything you predict may happen as a result of adding streaming should already be happening for downloaders. Also, streaming is already there as a misdemeanor. More of the usual Chicken Little alarmism from Masnick.

    You think the various corporations and the politicians that the corporations own will stop before they make the web into one giant corporate profit center?

    Soon, it will be another worthless 'tool' that's over-corporitized, that's all. At that point, the 'fun' factor goes away and it becomes just one more burden to maintain and deal with. Just like cable TV - when it first came out the selling point was 'no commercials'.

    The 'selling point' of the web is nothing's really FORCED on you (yet) and you don't have to pay for much of what you do. But in time, like with cable TV, the corporate talons of greed will overcome the whole thing and you won't be able to breathe without putting in a credit card number or watching advertisements. The corporate mentality only has one single objective - no other - to make the bottom line swell. 'To what end' may be a good question from a 'human' standpoint, but from the corporate world, money is everything and the only thing that matters. Art, music, humanity mean nothing to corporations. And since politicians are more or less owned by said corporations.. the writing on the wall should be clear to anyone without blinders on.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2011 @ 8:57pm

      Re: the movie Network was on last night

      Thirty-five year old flick, script by Paddy Chayefsky. Won several Oscars.

      In what I thought was a rather compelling scene, popular TV loudmouth Howard Beale (mad as hell and not taking it anymore) is called on the carpet for publicly railing against his employer's merger deal with foriegn investors.

      Arthur Jensen: Good morning, Mr Beale. They tell me you’re a madman.

      Howard Beale: Only desultorily.

      Jensen: How are you now?

      Beale: I’m as mad as a hatter.

      Jensen: Who isn't? I’m going to take you into our conference room. It seems more seemly a setting for what I have to say to you. I started as a salesman, Mr Beale. I sold sewing machines and automobile parts, hair brushes and electronic equipment. They say I can sell anything. I’d like to try to sell something to you. Valhalla, Mr Beale. Please, sit down. You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr Beale, and I won’t have it. Is that clear?

      You think you’ve merely stopped a business deal. That is not the case. The Arabs have taken billions out of this country and now they must put it back. It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity. It is ecological balance. You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no Third Worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems. One vast and immense, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars. Petrol dollars, electro dollars, multi dollars. Reichsmarks, rins, roubles, pounds and shekels. It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic... and subatomic and galactic structure of things today.

      And you have meddled with the primal forces of nature. And you will atone. Am I getting through to you, Mr Beale? You get up on your little 21-inch screen... and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and AT&T... and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today. What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state? Karl Marx? They get out linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, and compute price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments like us. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr Beale. The world is a college of corporations... inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business, Mr Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime.

      And our children will live, Mr Beale, to see that... perfect world... in which there’s no war or famine, oppression or brutality. One vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit. In which all men will hold a share of stock, all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquillised, all boredom amused. And I have chosen you, Mr Beale, to preach this evangel.

      Beale: Why me?

      Jensen: Because you’re on television, dummy. A million people watch you every night of the week, Monday through Friday.

      Beale: I have seen the face of God.

      Jensen: You just might be right, Mr Beale.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2011 @ 10:30pm

    This bill seeks to add 'public performance' to the list of things that can be considered criminally infringing, potentially sentencing people to five years in jail.

    Unlike now, where 'public performance' is on the list of things that can be considered criminally infringing, potentially sentencing people to one year in jail. Cry, Chicken Little, cry!

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2011 @ 11:54pm

    "criminal copyright law" is nothing more than getting the Government (police) to enforce a private contract.

    Why do the conservatives allow such a huge intrusion of government into the lives of the people?

    Oh, because it benefits rich CORPORATIONS that make DONATIONS to their re-elections and their party!

    Now I understand!

     

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      icon
      Paul L (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 4:49am

      Re:

      Don't make this a party issue. Here are the co-sponsors of the bill. The way I see it there are more [D]'s than [R]'s here.

      Lamar Alexander [R-TN]
      Kelly Ayotte [R-NH]
      Richard Blumenthal [D-CT]
      Roy Blunt [R-MO]
      John Boozman [R-AR]
      Thad Cochran [R-MS]
      Chris Coons [D-DE]
      Bob Corker [R-TN]
      Richard Durbin [D-IL]
      Dianne Feinstein [D-CA]
      Al Franken [D-MN]
      Kirsten Gillibrand [D-NY]
      Lindsey Graham [R-SC]
      Charles Grassley [R-IA]
      Kay Hagan [D-NC]
      Orrin Hatch [R-UT]
      Amy Klobuchar [D-MN]
      Herbert Kohl [D-WI]
      Marco Rubio [R-FL]
      Charles Schumer [D-NY]
      Jeanne Shaheen [D-NH]
      Sheldon Whitehouse [D-RI]

       

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  •  
    identicon
    arcan, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 12:19am

    counter attack

    well considering how much money is being thrown at the government to make this bill pass the simplest way to stop the passage is to make this bill less economically viable. the government is trying to deny the current generations the right to use the internet cause they do not understand it. the industry does not understand it. they don't want to change so the best way to fix the problem is to back them into a corner and give the industry one option which is to embrace new business models. throughout history humans have been know to take the path of least resistance. that is how the african americans managed to win complete freedom. they managed to make themselves such a pain that the easiest option was to just accept their requests. if people managed to organize a boycott of legitimate suppliers of normal content. lets say that anonymous managed to take down netflix for a period of time saying that they will do it again if said bill is passed. i think with the threat of said bill severely reducing revenue will do 1 of 2 things they will die from the loss of revenue by getting the bill passed out of anger or they will back down over the issue. it may not be a great idea but it is a start

     

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    identicon
    Nicedoggy, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 4:26am

    I just remembered is ICE not trying to extradite a U.K. citizen accusing him of piracy?

    How many more Europeans, Asians and others will be extradited or have to fight those things in their countries because of this law?

    The bullying is about to go global.

    And it will be another law that enables the government to enforce selectively whatever they want too, if they can't get you because of something maybe they can get to your family members, maybe your son or daughter that uploaded a video to Youtube.

    Just look at how the TSA threat people in the security theater was it gets labeled as criminal activity, law enforcement doesn't care if it is right or wrong or if it should be or not, they will go after people no matter what.

    I also am concerned that almost half of all americans will have a criminal record of some sort even without this law, now how much these kind of laws will help grow that percentage?

    Will people respect the law when their lifes are ruined already and nobody and it is difficult to find anyone without a record?

    And as criminals you all need to give your DNA to the government database.

     

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    identicon
    Anyomous, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 7:18am

    IT IS A VIOLATION OF THE FIRST AMENDANT! US CONGRESS SHOULD BE SUED!

     

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    identicon
    Ken H, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 10:02am

    Definition of "commercial advantage"

    "And while the bill does require that the effort be done as a commercial enterprise to be criminally liable, the fact that pretty much anyone can have AdSense or simple ads on their website makes nearly any website a commercial operation these days. And, yes, there have been cases where people have used simple ads, even if they make a few dollars total, as evidence of a "commercial" operation. " - Mike

    According to the current criteria for criminal copyright infringement, among other things, it's "if the offense was committed for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain". "Commercial advantage" is defined as "goodwill" according to:

    http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/commercial+advantage

    ... which I don't think can be achieved simply by having ads on one's site that also has infringing works.

    Out of curiosity, have there been any cases where someone has been actually convicted of "commercial advantage" by simply having ads on their site where they also have infringing works? If so, what are they?

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Ken H (again), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 10:25am

      Re: Definition of "commercial advantage"

      Also, have there been any cases where one was convicted of "private financial gain" solely for having ads on their page that they also have infringing content on, or does "private financial gain" have to be directly in exchange for the infringing works, according to the law?

      My previous post speaks solely of the "commercial advantage" portion of the law that's in the books (not the proposed bill), and this post speaks solely of the "private financial gain" portion.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 11:35am

        Re: Re: Definition of "commercial advantage"

        @Ken H.

        Below is a post from a gamer expressing his concerns:

        Quite obvious that the AC is not getting the full picture here.

        The reason the gamer community is not happy about this is because we use streaming for several reasons.

        Let me back up for a minute, because I am not even sure AC understands gaming streaming to begin with. Or gaming for that matter.

        Let's say you have this game, and you install it on your computer. You open the game, and you have this fantasy world in front of you. There is a character you play, you quest, you kill bears and hogs and turn them in to gain gold, rep, more quests, gear. You do this until you hit the 'max level' of the game. Does that mean you have 'beaten the game'?

        Nope, the game has just begun. Now you get to find 10-25 people to get together (all sitting at their own houses, that could possibly be all the way in Brazil) and go into another portion of the game where you run across a big dragon that smacks people with her claws, smacks people with her tail, makes you hurt people around you that you like, turns people into blocks of ice, in which other people have to hide behind to avoid the big bombs of ice that she shoots after she takes off flying in the air....oh yea, and she will also suck everyone into her belly and then cast a spell that hurts a lot if you don't hurry up and run the hell away from her....all the while screaming "Suffer, mortals, as your pathetic magic betraaaaaaaaays you!"

        Are you really gonna type all of that out and type out what you need to do? Or are you gonna fire up and record what you are doing for other people to see?

        Not a single bit of that is copyright infringement. Yet, you are wanting to blanket bill regulate over something that doesn't ever even affect you in the slightest.

        The copyright trolls are so bound up in their own little world that they have no clue the overall picture of what they are doing to everyone else.


        Frankly, I don't see how this could violate the proposed bill. I don't see the private financial gain nor the commercial advantage.

         

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          The eejit (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 3:22pm

          Re: Re: Re: Definition of "commercial advantage"

          Okay, I know the game in that post, and I can tell you now that guilds such as Sleepless Knights most definitely DO profit from their videos, in excess of the 'reasonable' limit in the proposed bill.

          Add to that, the aforementioned guilds are mainly in the US, and you have the hallmarks of a massive game-drain, in which most of the US groups will just not play, in order to not go to jail.

          And people say Ice, Ice, Baby is dead.

           

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2011 @ 6:47am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Definition of "commercial advantage"

            Again, .001% of the guilds that have videos out there actually do profit from them. I personally have purchased 3 songs that were featured in these instructional videos.

            Is chasing after people that can make a little money on a hobby really what we as a society need to be spending our efforts on? What's next? Grannies quilting?

             

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    •  
      identicon
      Ken H (again x 2), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 10:50pm

      Re: Definition of "commercial advantage"

      PS: By the way' I oppose this draconian bill and hope it's not passed.

       

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        Ken H (profile), Jul 8th, 2011 @ 4:42pm

        Re: Re: Definition of "commercial advantage"

        PPS: Reading the text of the bill, I see a great deal of potential for abuse, actually.

        (also, now that I registered, I certify all previous posts by Ken H were by me in this story)

         

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 6:11pm

    So, I'm still not following. My understanding is that in order to participate in Youtube revenue sharing, you must first demonstrate the material you post is non-infringing or has the necessary clearances before sharing in any revenue. Correct or not?

     

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      Jay (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 11:15pm

      Re:

      They aren't the only revenue sharing. There are other partnerships available. They pay for commentary or "original content", but you can still participate in the revenue sharing for games and such. It's just much harder.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 9:58pm

    It's a shame that people protest only protest if someone interfers with gaming shit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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