You know when your favorite show or an extremely important sporting event is airing, and you're stuck at a place with your computer, Internet access, and a significant lack of cable television, and you just mosey on over to your favorite Internet streaming site and stream it live? Well, if a new bill introduced late last week becomes law, said streaming would be upgraded to a felony.
As Ars Technica points out, "reproducing" and "distributing" copyrighted works are felony charges, but the streaming of content was never classified as such because it was considered a "public performance," something that wasn't considered distribution. However, under the new bill, introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Cornyn (R-TX), "public performance" joins "reproducing" and "distributing" copyrighted works as a felony. Online streamers can now face up to five years in prison, and can be charged a fine if they are caught showing ten or more "public performances" via electronic means in any 180-day period, as well as if the total retail value of said "public performances" reaches over $2,500 or the price of licensing a single "public performance" breaches the $5,000 mark.
(via Ars Technica)