The US Congress simply hasn’t approved a $ 600 per person COVID-19 relief package, unemployment aid, rental aid, and more. Actions related to the coronavirus epidemic Today. It has voted to pass a dual government funding plan that includes thousands of pages of legislation unrelated to COVID-19, including some significant changes to copyright law.
The change most relevant to you, anyone using the internet, comes in a verb called CASE, but I’m going to start with a different copyrighted part of the package, because some are misunderstood. There’s a section of Republican Senator Thom Teles defining a crime for operating a service dedicated to providing illegal streams, and I’ve seen this described as something that “will make illegal broadcasting a crime” in general – as in, “you can go to jail for broadcasting Nintendo games on Twitch” . This is not really what he says.
What is this felony flow law about
If you see panicked posts on social media claiming everyone will be arrested for putting Dua Lipa tracks behind their Twitch streams, you can rest easy. While the entertainment industry (parts of it, at least) can find interesting ways to exploit any new law, Telles’ law rhetoric does Not Target individuals who stream on Twitch, YouTube, or other large streaming services, even if they are streaming copyrighted material without a license. It’s only targeted, and the wording is pretty straightforward about this, people who provide a dedicated streaming service solely to make money streaming copyrighted material without a license.
Specifically, in order to be found guilty under this law, you must prove that you “offer or provide” a “digital transmission service” that is “designed or primarily provided” for broadcasting unlicensed material that “has no significant commercial purpose” other than broadcasting unlicensed material that is Marketed this way. Therefore, that shouldn’t mean anything to Twitch Streamers, or even Twitch himself. However, if you run a site called ultrastreamz5431.biz Which has been set aside to make money through illegal broadcasting of UFC fights, you may be convicted of a crime punishable by a fine and a maximum of three or five years in prison (depending on certain conditions) for committing a first offense.
“In general, we don’t see the need for more criminal penalties for copyright infringement,” said Meredith Rose, senior policy advisor for the Open Internet Defense Group. General knowledge. “However, this bill is narrowly designed and avoids criminalizing users, who may do nothing more than click on a link or upload a file. It also does not criminalize banners that may include unlicensed works as part of their streams.”
So, while the bill specifically targets those who provide services intended for unlicensed streaming – not anyone who happens to stream some unlicensed music on Twitch, for example – the fact remains that there is some kind of criminal copyright violation with the potential for imprisonment. For the duration violators are defined here, and there may be ramifications that we do not expect (such as an unusual interpretation of the wording of the bill) or beyond the bill itself (such as an increase in legislation like this). This isn’t a cause for alarm, some of the more obscure claims may make you believe, but there is cause for concern nonetheless. However, the one you most likely notice is the CASE.
That’s why Congress needs time to actually read this package before voting on it. Members of Congress have not read this bill. It’s over 5,000 pages, it arrived at 2 pm today, and we are told to expect a vote on it within two hours, that’s not governance. It is taking hostages. https://t.co/JpBbEHHkVGDecember 21, 2020
What the CASE Code does
A much broader change to US copyright law comes from CASE, which was first introduced in 2017 and is an alternative to copyright in small claims enforcement. Passed on with that big spending bill, too.
The CASE Act creates a new small claims system in the United States that allows copyright holders to pursue damages for copyright infringement without filing a federal lawsuit. These claims will be decided by copyright officials, not judges and juries, and may include no more than $ 15,000 per infringed work, and $ 30,000 in total. Anyone who has had a claim under CASE can, if on top of things, unsubscribe from the system, which means the copyright holder will have to file a federal lawsuit (which he may not be interested in doing).
Supporters of CASE say it would enable small copyright holders – for example, individual graphic artists – to challenge copyright infringement, which is difficult at present due to the cost and complexity of starting a federal case, and something more willing than large companies do than individuals.
“The small copyright litigation court proposed by CASE would be a fair and affordable option for graphic artists with small cases of copyright infringement,” Wrote National President of the Graphic Artists Union Lara Kiseliuska last year. “It is a long-awaited solution for individual creators and young copyright holders, for whom copyright has often been a right without compensation. It is a necessary correction of a system in which violators have been able to act with impunity.”
CASE is also supported Recording Academy (Who puts on the Grammy).
CASE opponents, like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, say it could be a disaster for ordinary internet users. “CASE may mean netizens face $ 30,000 in penalties for sharing a meme or creating a video,” EFF Books Advance in this month. “It has no place in the legislation it must be enacted.”
In other words, the view of the EFF is that a person who uses the internet in an exemplary manner, without necessarily making any money from their social media participation, could be exposed to CASE demands simply for sharing memes or using copyrighted music in a video. “The only way out is to respond to the copyright office – in a very specific way, within a limited time,” writes the EFF. “Regular netizens, those who can’t afford this $ 30,000” small claims “board can force you to pay, will be most likely to get lost in the shuffle.
So, on the one hand, you’ve frustrated content creators who feel they have no recourse when larger entities use their copyrighted work without permission – sometimes, for example, you’ll see a fashion company tear up the work of a freelance illustrator – and on the other hand, you have concerns. It is an abuse of these courts, particularly by larger copyright holders, that 30,000 claims against people who may not know how to respond to them are ignored. The argument goes that if the young innovators tried to legitimately use the CASE to challenge companies, the companies would simply choose to withdraw anyway.
“ Seasoned accusers – the kind of frequent abuse that artists express concern about – probably won’t be common in [Copyright Claims Board], Wrote Rose from Public Knowledge back in 2017. “Instead, the typical allegations to pursue against defendants are likely to be less complex, such as single households and small businesses. After all, it is these defendants – not the large corporations or the mass abusers – that The likelihood of canceling a subscription will be reduced, in many cases because they fail to properly understand and respond to the complaint, and thus end up with default. Unfortunately, these are the types of situations where the risk of abuse is highest. Thus, they are not who It’s hard to see how trolls and virtual judgments can dominate the system. “
Congress did not have time to read the bill
Aside from these copyright measures, $ 600 incentive checks for adults and other COVID-19 relief work, the government spending package contains a bundle of other legislation – more than 5,500 pages long, hundreds of billions of dollars allocated, and received only in Its current shape by members of Congress this afternoon.
“This is not a judgment,” Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said of the pressure to vote on the huge bill. “It’s a hostage taking.”
Republican Senator Mike Lee had similar feelings. “I’ve been in the Senate now for 10 years, and this is by far the longest bill I’ve seen in my life,” he said in Video on Twitter. “One of the unusual things about this is that because of its height, it’s impossible for anyone to have a chance to read it from now until the time we’re going to vote.”
Could you See the full text of “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021” here. Now that the Senate has approved the package, he heads to President Trump’s office to be signed.