ECA Action Alert: Bill S. 978

July 8, 2011 -

The Entertainment Consumer Association (ECA) has issued a call to arms to its members and the gaming community at large, urging everyone that will listen that Bill S. 978 (the anti-streaming law) is bad for everyone. The law has the potential to affect everyone - from YouTube video posters that make gameplay videos to Netflix users that share their account information. You can check out the alert here and send a letter to your Senators voicing your strong objection to this bill.

The alert can also be found below:

Don't Make Me a Criminal For Playing Video Games

Bill S. 978 has recently been introduced before the United States Senate. The legislation, if passed, would impose stricter copyright laws and penalties when it comes to streaming, playing, or reproducing copyrighted material. While we believe in the rights of copyright holders, this legislation’s broad language would make criminals out of millions of Americans.

People could face prison for up to 5 years if they:
 

  1. Make or offer 10 or more public performances by electronic means, during any 180-day period, of 1 or more copyrighted works; and


  2. If the total retail value of the performances, or the total economic value of such public performances to the infringer or to the copyright owner, could exceed $2,500; or


  3. the total fair market value of licenses to offer performances of those works would exceed $5,000



In plain terms this means that if you stream your game play to show your friends and it’s viewed by 1 or more friends ten times or less, you could go to jail for up to five years. Yeah, really.

Everyone is at risk. The vagueness regarding value leaves it to copyright holders to determine the possible costs to them. If they want to prosecute through that loophole, they can. A child playing piano of their favorite performer on YouTube, a video of a child dancing to their favorite songs and video game players showing off walk-throughs, speed trials and live streaming their games are all examples of items that’d be prosecutable under this legislation.

There are already strong laws on the books for copyright holders to protect their intellectual property. We don’t need this draconian measure that’d make criminals out of millions Americans who just want to share their enjoyment of their favorite entertainment.

 

[Full disclosure: GamePolitics is an ECA publication.]


Comments

Re: ECA Action Alert: Bill S. 978

Considering the amounts of money that the RIAA has been able to extract per song in court cases, which borders on squeezing blood from a stone, the whole $2500/$5000 'threshhold' seems pointless.

Re: ECA Action Alert: Bill S. 978

And this article is a great example of all the problems inherent in a bill like this:

Hollywood is about to repeat the mistakes of the music industry

http://www.slate.com/id/2298871/pagenum/all/

"The trouble facing the movie industry right now is the same one the music industry had to confront 10 years ago. This is the summing-up sentence I referred to above:

The easiest and most convenient way to see the movies or TV shows you want is to get them illegally."

Sue, legislate, make getting TV shows and movies legally as difficult as possible... but never embrace new technology. Yes, it's the music industry's woes all over again.

Re: ECA Action Alert: Bill S. 978

"A child playing piano of their favorite performer on YouTube, a video of a child dancing to their favorite songs and video game players showing off walk-throughs, speed trials and live streaming their games are all examples of items that’d be prosecutable under this legislation."

The first example is the only one in this list that would not be affected under this law. This law is actually more about transforming a tort into a crime and that just shouldn't be done.

Re: ECA Action Alert: Bill S. 978

Couldn't streaming game playing fall under fair use? There is a fair use exception for material used for educational purposes, and if you are posting gaming videos as a how-to guide so people learn how to beat the game, couldn't that be considered educational?

Austin from Oregon: One of your Senators, Ron Wyden, seems to be a particualrly good target for a letter. He is already opposing PROTECT IP, and if you alert him to this (he will only accept letters and emails from fellow Oregonians), he might be one of our best bets as an ally.

Re: ECA Action Alert: Bill S. 978

Fair use doesn't matter to big content industries and the DMCA. So why would it matter here?

E. Zachary Knight
Divine Knight Gaming

 
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MattsworknameFrom rares golden days they come, thse clasics of old. Plus, the battletoads arcade game08/03/2015 - 8:30pm
Andrew EisenI am a big Rare fan though. Many of its games are some of my absolute favorites.08/03/2015 - 8:09pm
MattsworknameAndrew: Thats fair enough, most of the games on it are games i've not played in long times, and some are games I never heard of , so I want it, but, in some cases, its may not appeal, and I can understand that08/03/2015 - 7:56pm
Andrew EisenAs for Rare Replay, I wouldn't get it even if I owned an Xbox One because I already own or have played all the Rare games that interest me.08/03/2015 - 7:54pm
Andrew EisenSounds like the packs the Ghostbusters were wearing during their hospital visit the other day were just early prototypes, not evidence of multiple packs in the film. Maybe they couldn't get the actual props off the set?08/03/2015 - 7:45pm
benohawkI won't be getting it soon since I don't have an xbone, but it's getting me to put serious thought to picking one up08/03/2015 - 7:37pm
PHX Corp@MWN I'm Probaly going to get it after my birthday08/03/2015 - 7:28pm
MattsworknameAnyone else going, or anyone else getting rare replay?08/03/2015 - 7:06pm
MattsworknameON another subject, Im super pumped, cause tomarow I get rare replay, and wensday Im going to DBZ resurection of Freeza08/03/2015 - 7:01pm
MattsworknameDoc:: Thanks for the link, but im not interested in bickering with IP about anything. as ive noted, ive not need to argue with him'08/03/2015 - 6:58pm
Andrew EisenOne of the major points of contention seems to be whether or not TB shared or linked to a specific video, something that should be fairly easy to verify.08/03/2015 - 6:53pm
Andrew EisenNice to know what TB was referring to. What I'd like to observe is that this Kaiser chap was merely stating his opinion on his Twitter. He didn't tag in TB or GOG. So, I wouldn't classify this (and just THIS specifically) as harassment.08/03/2015 - 6:48pm
DocMelonheadAnd TB's Response: https://soundcloud.com/totalbiscuit/enough08/03/2015 - 6:41pm
DocMelonheadMWK and IP: but if you want something recent for both of you to bicker about in regards to TB, I present you the Rowan Kaiser Slandering TB: https://archive.is/LEA5T08/03/2015 - 6:41pm
Mattsworknametreatment. might have made him just a bit bitter08/03/2015 - 6:38pm
MattsworknameDOC: Tb is an opionated dude who holds extremely strong beliefs and has a severe distaste for those he views as being on the other side of the gamergate isue. I think a big part of it might be all those who went after him when he was undergoing cancer08/03/2015 - 6:38pm
DocMelonheadIP: You have to remember the human, everyone shouldn't be treated as gods or devils. Otherwise, we could've kill Bill Cosby for raping 40 women over the course of his career.08/03/2015 - 6:37pm
DocMelonheadIP: So yeah, he did spread misinformation about the victims of Gamergate Harassment: And that's bad. But It's not worth calling him out as a horrible person because of those lies that he helps spread.08/03/2015 - 6:33pm
MattsworknameAndrew: i know, I know, im just being a bit over serious today.08/03/2015 - 6:33pm
DocMelonheadIP: Should we call out Game Politics for their refusal to exclude all of Gamergate that isn't Hate speech or harassment? Because that is what your attitude tells me.08/03/2015 - 6:28pm
 

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