Three weeks after signing off on the PROTECT IP Act, the Senate Judiciary Committee today approved the Commercial Felony Streaming Act, which classifies illegal online streaming of copyrighted content a felony. The bill essentially cleans up the language to make illegal streaming the same level of crime as illegal peer-to-peer downloading, which is already a felony. The move was praised by the Hollywood creative community, which is backing the tougher law. “The illegal streaming of motion pictures and television programming is as financially devastating for our industry as is illegal downloading,” said Jean Prewitt, president and CEO of the IFTA, which is part of an industry coalition that includes the MPAA and NATO. “Stealing is stealing, regardless of the means in which the product is being received. This legislation is a critical step forward in the piracy fight and, we commend the Committee for their support.” Said a joint statement from AFTRA, the DGA, IATSE, SAG, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the American Federation of Musicians: “As the Guilds and Unions that represent more than 400,000 entertainment industry workers including craftspeople, actors, technicians, directors, musicians, recording artists and others whose creativity is at the heart of the American entertainment industry, we are dedicated to the passage of strong legislation that will help us to protect the jobs, residuals and pension & health benefits that allow our members to make a living creating the movies, television shows and sound recordings that are enjoyed by millions around the world.”
Senate Panel OKs Felony Streaming Act
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