US President Trump recently signed a new Covid-19 relief bill into law that, buried within its 5,593-page package, includes provisions that make illegal streaming a felony. Streamers on YouTube and Twitch, as well as their subscribers, fear the feds could go after them.
Multiple copyright-related bills were snuck in to be part of the relief bill. One is the felony streaming law, formally known as the Protecting Lawful Streaming Act, which can be used to prosecute violators and imprison them for up to 10 years plus fines over multiple offenses.
Also worth noting are the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act and Trademark Modernization Act. These two essentially solidify the ability of US agencies to go after and settle copyright disputes, even disputes in foreign countries.
Proponents of the measures, however, claim that there’s no need to worry. Apparently, it is specified in the law that people who use illegal video streaming services, those who stream using copyrighted material, and casual Internet users are not the targets. Instead, the entities that qualify as felons according to the law are website and service owners that allow streaming of unlicensed content.
Source: The Verge