White House Seeks to Make Audio and Video Streaming a Felony.

There has been a long discussion on Oneutah about wiretapping terrorists. Now the Obama administration has released a white paper recommending laws to authorize the government to wiretap anyone suspected of copyright infringement. They also want to give copyright owners heads up on all investigations and seizures prior to any government action.


Recommendation: The Administration recommends that Congress amend 18 U.S.C. § 2516 to give law enforcement authority to seek a wiretap for criminal copyright and trademark offenses.

The administration also wants to make streaming video or music a felony with up to 20 years in prison. So playing that Youtube video could get you put away for a long time if Obama gets his way. Senate bill S. 978 is running through Congress right now that will criminalize streaming of video or audio files. More and more we are seeing copyright laws used to squelch free speech and now they can use these proposed laws if enacted to remove sites deemed “Infringers” and put not only the website operators in prison but individual users as well.

Ensure Felony Penalties for Infringement By Streaming and by Means of Other New Technology: It is imperative that our laws account for changes in technology used by infringers. One recent technological change is the illegal streaming of content. Existing law provides felony penalties for willful copyright infringement, but felony penalties are predicated on the defendant either illegally reproducing or distributing the copyrighted work.2 Questions have arisen about whether streaming constitutes the
distribution of copyrighted works (and thereby is a felony) .

Soon even linking or accessing a site could become illegal in Obama’s IP Maximilist world.

Read more on this subject:


, , , ,

  1. #1 by Ken on June 5, 2011 - 6:29 pm

    At a time our prisons are over crowded and they are releasing violent prisoners the Obama Administration wants to fill our prisons full of down-loaders and streamers.

  2. #2 by james farmer on June 5, 2011 - 7:01 pm

    Ken: In all seriousness, I think you are being slightly hysterical. The Obama administration is not going to throw someone in jail for watching a YouTube video. 😉

  3. #3 by Ken on June 5, 2011 - 7:07 pm


    I wish that were true but the Bill running through Congress is about streaming video from sites that offer copyrighted material. Perhaps the bill’s sponsors have “rogue sites” on their mind but once these things become law the RIAA will not hesitate to use them to start rounding up down-loaders and streamers. Suing everyone is expensive so they want to make these things criminal so the tax payers will pay for the enforcement.

  4. #4 by brewski on June 5, 2011 - 10:00 pm

    James, the Obama adminsitration can throw someone in jail for no reason at all.

    Try to keep up.

  5. #5 by Ken on June 5, 2011 - 10:23 pm

    When we have an administration that will arrest people who resist getting molested at the airport and use economic blackmail against Texas by threatening to create a State wide no fly zone you know we are not dealing with an administration that cares a wit about rights.

  6. #6 by Larry Bergan on June 5, 2011 - 11:52 pm


    Sorry, but I got to say it: where were you when this was being set up by the Bush administration. Obama is utterly surrounded by the people you supported in the past. Can you admit to any complicity here?

    That goes for brewski too.

  7. #7 by Larry Bergan on June 5, 2011 - 11:54 pm

    I don’t believe for a moment that ANYBODY is gong to jail for watching a YouTube video. If we ARE, I suggest we all watch as many YouTube videos as we can!

    You silly wabbits.

  8. #8 by Richard Warnick on June 5, 2011 - 11:59 pm

    I think it was Senator Orrin Hatch who suggested the proper punishment for downloading copyrighted material was to fry the offender’s motherboard remotely. I guess he’s still working on the technology, but someday…

  9. #9 by Larry Bergan on June 6, 2011 - 1:06 am

    From Richards great – offshore, but accurate – link concerning Orrin Hatch’s typical tyraid:

    “If we can find some way to do this without destroying their machines, we’d be interested in hearing about that,” Mr Hatch said.

    There’s no excuse for anyone violating copyright laws

    “If that’s the only way, then I’m all for destroying their machines.”

    He said if a few hundred thousand people suffered damage to their computers, the online community would realize the clampdown was serious.

    Nobody’s ever going to be claiming Orrin Hatch isn’t a serious kind of guy; especially when his music doesn’t make squat.

    This dude needs to be removed from public life using the voting machines. Get busy, hackers!

    Of course I’ve always said I would like to have hand-marked, hand-counted ballots with absolute public scrutiny which doesn’t seem remotely possible in this crappy “democracy” of ours.

  10. #10 by Larry Bergan on June 6, 2011 - 1:28 am


    It’s a right dead certainty that an actual explosive charge would need to be included in the production of a computer or a cell phone. Can you imagine teenagers heads being blown off without somebody speaking out?

  11. #11 by jjohnsen on June 6, 2011 - 10:06 am

    Felony for watching Youtube, lol. Same old conspiracy Ken.

  12. #12 by Richard Warnick on June 6, 2011 - 12:46 pm


    Not to mention the problem with marketing exploding computers. 🙁

  13. #13 by Larry Bergan on June 6, 2011 - 1:33 pm

    I’m not going to try to find it because I’m sure it’s been purged from the internet, but I am absolutely positive that Orrin Hatch’s office had to admit they hacked into John Kerry’s computer. That story died before it was born.

    I guess you’d have to say it was aborted.

    And yes; even flag burning is OK if you’re a republican. Life just isn’t worth it unless you can conspicuously deny others, things you have in abundance.

  14. #14 by Ken on June 6, 2011 - 2:56 pm


    Yes this bill will put streaming on par with downloading. So if you stream a song on Youtube that is infringing you could be prosecuted with a federal felony. Like others have mentioned this really is not a partisan issue because both Democrats and Republicans are taking us to copyright maximilism where the Internet will become a very dangerous place.

  15. #15 by Larry Bergan on June 6, 2011 - 3:09 pm


    Get a grip.

    There’s a reason they didn’t arrest everybody at Woodstock.

  16. #16 by cav on June 6, 2011 - 3:09 pm

    Fried Muthahboard and piss in a cup, points to the necessity for a really good ‘eat the rich’ cookbook.

    We can’t be havin’ no lame recipes when surviving the downfall is concerned.

  17. #17 by Larry Bergan on June 6, 2011 - 3:49 pm

    We need a more accurate timer at OneUtah. I can’t tell if I posted before cav!

  18. #18 by Larry Bergan on June 6, 2011 - 3:59 pm

    Richard said:

    Not to mention the problem with marketing exploding computers.

    He, he!

    All you have to do is change the meaning of explosion.

  19. #19 by Richard Warnick on June 6, 2011 - 4:04 pm

    Maybe more like a “Mission: Impossible” style recording, “this computer will self-destruct in five seconds.” Then a vial of acid melts the CPU with a puff of smoke. 😉

  20. #20 by Larry Bergan on June 6, 2011 - 4:19 pm

    Ah, yes!

    But by then, Marshall Dillon will have sent the pertinent information through the tubes.

  21. #21 by cav on June 6, 2011 - 5:12 pm

    A lot can happen in 60 seconds. We could be saying goodbye to Cheney.

    :kneels prayerfully:

  22. #22 by Larry Bergan on June 6, 2011 - 5:23 pm

    On bended knee; with the speed of the stock market, but MUCH less boring.

  23. #23 by Ken on June 7, 2011 - 6:47 am

    A study conducted in 2009 by two Harvard professors showed that “piracy” costs the music and movie industries very little and the estimated costs the RIAA likes to kick around is highly exaggerated. One download does not equal a lost sail infact they found that downloaders are often times the music and movie industries best paying customers destroying the myth that downloaders only get their music and movies for free. and those who download and never pay for music would not pay even if the downloading was not avail.


    What this shows is that heavy handed copyright laws are unneeded and infact our having the opposite effect of stifling creativity rather than promoting it.

  24. #24 by Rico on June 7, 2011 - 8:55 am

    Whichever marketing method makes the most business sense is a matter for the artist to decide, not some schlep who merely wants a freebie. Metallica has been very heavy-handed in its approach to protecting its intellectual PROPERTY and has been quite successful from a business perspective. In contrast, Radiohead has been rather liberal in allowing others free access to its work product and they too have been very successful. So the argument that is makes more business sense to force artists and others to make their intellectual PROPERTY available more freely is a diversion (and an unsuccessful one at that) it seems to me.

    In terms of stifling creativity, exactly how is that occuring Ken? And Brian Hill’s potential inability (potential, because the issue has not been tested) to use a copyrighted photograph on Flickr without the copyright holder’s consent doesn’t count.

    Copyright laws are unneeded? What about conversion laws? Trespass?

  25. #25 by Ken on June 7, 2011 - 6:27 pm

    No one is saying artists should be forced to do anything. I would be just as opposed to forcing companies or artists to share their wares as I am opposed to companies that are heavy handed about it. Both are wrong. As you suggested artists and companies that make their works widely available are having great success, while many companies that are heavy handed are doing relatively poorly which is a lot of the reason for their heavy handedness.

    The irony of Metallica is they actually got their start encouraging fans to freely share their tapes and they became very successful at it. Often times people forget what brought them success if the first place.

    No I am not about forcing. The only legitimate force is the market itself and the market wants music readily available for download and not have inconveniences thrown at them or told when and how they can use it.

  26. #26 by Ken on June 7, 2011 - 11:06 pm

    Even Cuba is complaining about censorship via copyright and they know censorship.


  27. #27 by demandprogress on June 14, 2011 - 10:32 am

    This week, a bill could pass that would alter Internet freedom forever. The 10 Strikes Bill, put forth by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MI), classifies streaming copyright infringing music or movies over the Internet a felony, and after 10 strikes, you could face jail time. Sign our petition to stop this madness:

    Techdirt asserts that you could face five years in jail for simply embedding a youtube video, and that the laws apply to children who put videos of themselves lip syncing to popular songs on youtube.

    Once again, the government shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the Internet and Internet freedom. Instead of writing a set of laws that would be quickly evaded, we should be working towards a new set of standards to protect Intellectual Property while accommodating the freedom of information the Internet provides. The force behind the bill, the Motion Picture Association of America, acts solely in Hollywood’s interest.

    Protect your own interests and sign our petition to keep the Internet free!

  28. #28 by Ken on June 17, 2011 - 2:37 pm

    This study back in 2010 shows that fair use accounts for 18% of the US economy which amounts to trillions of dollars and tens of millions of jobs. Far surpassing the publishing, music, and movie industries by several magnitudes but these short sighted laws are tightening the noose around fair use and costing our economy trillions of dollars.


    Washington is now criminalizing exactly what the Internet was designed to do.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: