Free Justin Bieber: Do We Really Want Congress To Make Bieber A Felon?
from the say-no-to-s.978 dept
We’ve talked a few times about s.978, the bill from Senator Amy Klobuchar, that attempts to make streaming videos potential felonies. The bill is poorly drafted (at best). It basically just adds “public performance” as a possible felony under the law. That seems simple, but it’s way too broad, in an era when all sorts of things can be a public performance. Defenders of s.978 again insist that it’s not that bad because the law would only apply to willful “commercial” infringers — but as we’ve seen repeatedly, the feds seem to interpret that extremely broadly.
Thus, the bill could, in fact, be used against people streaming videos via YouTube for their own benefit. People like… Justin Bieber. In fact, a new advocacy group has kicked off a campaign against S.978 by asking people to help free Justin Bieber.
Game, set, match. Under Klobuchar’s streaming felony bill, Justin Bieber likely committed a felony.
Now, I realize that many people don’t much like Bieber or his music, but does he deserve to go to jail? Now, obviously, defenders of s.978 will claim that they don’t intend to go after the likes of Justin Bieber. But just the fact that they could suggests a massively problematic bill. And, realistically, the problem isn’t the Biebers of the world, but the next kids who upload a video of themselves lip synching to some song. This is a massively problematic bill, and hopefully you’ll check out the Free Bieber site to help let Congress know that this bill is bad news.