Illegal Streaming to Make a Profit Can Now Get Up to 10 Years in Prison and Be Considered a Felony!
(Photo : Screenshot From Pxhere Official Website) Illegal Streaming to Make a Profit Can Now Get Up to 10 Years in Prison and Be Considered a Felony!

As of recent, the Congress has now officially passed a brand new stimulus bill that is COVID-related. On top of the $600 that Americans will be receiving, there will also be a bill that includes a wide range of different disparate regulations. One of the biggest impacts of the bill would be to make illegal streaming for a profit now a felony.

What happens if you commit copyright infringement?

According to the report by, the main definition of what constitutes "profit" is still a bit vague. As of the moment, it is still unclear if this particular bill is now aimed at those seemingly flouting copyright laws for huge checks or whether it could possibly encompass other small players like the streamer that uses a small piece of commercial music without a license to do so.

The 5000-page bill is more popularly known for its contents pertaining to the COVID-19 stimulus package that comprised $900 billion out of the enormous $2.3-trillion spending bill. This new copyright legislation reportedly falls within the much broader scope of the long bill. It was Senator Thom Tillis that proposed the said bill.

Can you go to jail for copyright?

With regards to copyright, the bill does two things. One is that it establishes a sort of Copyright Claims Board for the small claims copyright decisions and it also more specifically makes the digital transmission of certain copyright-protected works a serious crime that is punishable all the way up to 10 years in prison for those repeated offenses. The details of this 5000-page bill include many more topics aside from the COVID-19 stimulus package and the copyright legislation.

The official Motion Picture Association of America released a statement saying they are very pleased with regards to the package that includes the new Protect Lawful Streaming Act. This is aimed to protect innovators, creators, and even consumers. The protection is done through ensuring that the operators of certain commercial pirate streaming services will face the meaningful criminal penalties within the appropriate circumstances.

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What is the extent of copyright law?

The full text of the said bill was only made public as of yesterday and was even reviewed by Congress members. The full implications of the whole tightening of copyright law, as of the moment, have yet to be understood. It is clear that the word "streaming" implies both video and music content according to the article by

A certain caveat that now sets the new copyright regulation way apart from the previous attempts to actually felonize streaming is that it now applies specifically towards those who earn a rather commercial profit coming from their own illegal streaming. Those that are only pirating the latest Taylor Swift album or Disney movie won't really be committing a felony. The major change is aimed at certain commercial operators. It is still unclear, as of the moment, what is the difference between commercial advantage or just private financial gain.

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Written by Urian Buenconsejo

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