The week of 12.14 saw Congress propose the second COVID-19 relief bill as part of a larger $2.3 trillion government spending plan. While there are important provisions made for the funding of independent arts venues, several other propositions were hidden, including a law change to help prevent illegal media streaming.
Included among the pages of the bill is the “Protecting Lawful Streaming Act,” which seeks to dispel “commercial, for-profit streaming piracy services” from illegally streaming copyright material, a practice that costs the U.S. economy an estimated $30 billion annually. Introduced by Senator Thomas Tallis (R-NC) in early December, the law does not affect individuals who use illegal streaming services or those “who access pirated streams or unwittingly stream unauthorized copies of copyrighted works.” Rather, it only applies to those who make such illegal means of streaming available (such as the platform or business itself). If prosecuted, violators could face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and could also be fined up to $30,000.
The Protecting Lawful Streaming Act would go into effect with the signing of the COVID-19 relief bill which may not be passed due to other concerns (such as billions being sent to other countries while United States citizens only receive a one-time $600 check to cover costs during the last 9 months) that many Americans, including President Donald Trump, have voiced concern over.