Senate Advances Bill That Makes Streaming Video a Felony

Current law distinguishes between downloading and streaming copyrighted video

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The Senate Judiciary Committee moved one step closer to cracking down on illegal video streaming today by approving a bill under which sites that profit from streaming copyrighted video would be committing a felony punishable by up to five years in prison if they've committed the offense ten or more times in a 180-day period, according to Bloomberg. The retail value of the streamed video or the licenses to the material must also meet certain thresholds. The Wrap points out that, as things currently stand, illegal video streaming is only considered a misdemeanor, and sites that offer illegal movie and show downloads typically face stiffer penalties than those that simply stream content The bill now moves to the full Senate. "This isn't about individuals or families streaming movies at home," one of the bill's sponsors, Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), told Bloomberg. "It's about criminals streaming thousands of dollars worth of stolen digital content and profiting from it."

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