By now, I hope you have heard of the “fantastic” Bill the US Senate is trying to pass. The Bill called S.978 is trying to “amend the criminal penalty provision for criminal infringement of a copyright,” you guys might know it as “The Anti-Streaming Bill” or … the bill that will effectively kill fan made video game movies… like Machinima, Red v/s Blue, or any other video game fan who uploads walk through videos, video game documentaries, game commentaries, “epic” gun fights, or simple “this is how you pass this portion of the game” videos.
The main part that I am interested in is the video game community. But, as the writers at TechDirt point out, under this bill you could go to jail for posting video of your friends singing karaoke:
The entertainment industry is freaking out about sites that embed and stream infringing content, and want law enforcement to put people in jail over it, rather than filing civil lawsuits…. We already pointed to one possibility: that people embedding YouTube videos could face five years in jail. Now, others are pointing out that it could also put kids who lip sync to popular songs, and post the resulting videos on YouTube, in jail as well.
So, good bye future Justin Bs, or any other musician who does a cover of a song on YouTube or any other site who is trying to get found by the big record labels. Parents, you too can say good bye to your child who is having fun imitating a singer…
The way the bill is written will completely change the phase of the internet, and possibly destroy gaming communities and internet industries. Read the bill here ->S.978 <- it calls for the following changes in Copyright Laws:
(you/me) shall be imprisoned not more than 5 years, fined in the amount set forth in this title ($150,000), or both, if–
‘(A) the offense consists of 10 or more public performances by electronic means, during any 180-day period, of 1 or more copyrighted works; and
‘(B)(i) the total retail value of the performances, or the total economic value of such public performances to the infringer or to the copyright owner, would exceed $2,500; or
‘(ii) the total fair market value of licenses to offer performances of those works would exceed $5,000;
‘(2) the terms ‘reproduction’, ‘distribution’, and ‘public performance’ refer to the exclusive rights of a copyright owner
If you put up “video game performances by electronic means” 10 or more times over the period of 180 days, you could be arrested, and put in jail for 5 years, or you could be fined with $150 THOUSAND dollars per infringement. Also, if the performances exceed $2500 you can suffer the same consequences. UNLESS you have express permission for the copyright license holder.
So, let me give you an example: IF you ever play a video game and decide that “hey that was an awesome flag capture, I need to upload this to youtube so all my other friends can enjoy it!” you only have 9 chances to do that, but, if you upload 10 videos to youtube, or anyother website, then you go to jail… for 5 year… or have to pay a $150k fine. Unless you have the UNREALISTIC license from Blizzard, EA Games, etc. I say unrealistic, because how many e-mails do you think they receive per day?
Think about it, if you e-mail any video game company right now, and ask, “Hey can I upload this video please” you will go a couple of months before they respond with a yes or a no, if you are lucky. I own an actual company outside of the blog sphere, and on any given day I have to sort through 50 or so different e-mails. Sometimes I get an email and i don’t see it until 5 or 6 days later, now think about a company as big as Blizzard, or EA, they may never get to your e-mail.
The whole purpose of the Bill is to generate more money to the video game companies, apparently they are “losing” so much money on all these gamers uploading their videos to youtube that they need to find a way to regulate what is going on. Instead of bringing up simple law suits against each one of us, they might as well throw out a blanket law and cover everyone, including the ones who aren’t doing anything. Here is the whole deal, I am Against people who upload the “intro scene” to video games so they can generate income by claiming it as their own. I believe the video game companies own that video, but when it comes to doing a commentary on a video game, that’s a completely different ball game. Heck, even if you do upload the intro scene but start talking about why the video game intro sucks so much, or why it’s such a great intro and review it, that would be okay since you are adding 100% content.
The mere act of playing a video game, changes the video game’s outcome, if I record myself playing Mortal Kombat against a friend of mine, I can ALMOST guarantee that no one else is going to make a video that looks the exact same way. Every. Video. Game. Play. Is. Unique… I might be using your video game characters to make movie, but the idea, the actual story line, the language, and the commentary, belongs to me as an individual.
A video game character is a TOOL to create movies, or other types of media. For Example, vehicles are designed as a way of transportation, if you buy one, the companies like Ford, Chevy, or Dodge, etc. expect you to travel in the vehicle… Now if you make a movie using that vehicle do they have the right to sue you because you are not using the vehicle the way it was intended? No… that’s stupid… video games are the same way. If I buy a video game and decide to make a movie out of it that is my choice. If I make a commentary of the video, I automatically create a new type of content that belongs to me, the characters and art may not belong to me, but my commentary, and actions do. I’m not running blizzard out of business, they won’t even know who I am, their $150 Million video game release sale, won’t even freaking compare to my $1.50, not even enough to super size a burger at McDonald’s.
In reality, instead of “helping the economy” what this bill is going to do is damage the gaming companies, I don’t go out to get the newest game before actually knowing what I’ll be buying with my $60 bucks.
How many times have you gone on youtube to search for a game review to see if you are going to like it enough to buy it? We do it all the time… I also go online to search for the newest video game commentary, which will now be illegal, or when I’m trying to get tips on how to defeat a “Boss,” also illegal, or how to pass a hard level.
The internet created a whole new type of industry, and this bill is going to end that industry. Hundreds of websites will have to shut down because their videos will be breaking laws. Blogs will seize to exist, the basic act of delivering news about upcoming films, video games, songs, will be a gamble on whether or not you will be in jail.
Every time I write a story about XYZ Video game, or BXY Company coming up with their new movie, it’s not me stealing their revenue, I’m not going to put them out of business, for every one of my readers that decide to check them out, it’s a potential customer, I make .001 cent for one reader, they make 100 + bucks if that reader is convinced into buying something.
What’s going to happen to companies who make video game reviews? Or video game films like Machinima, Red vs. Blue, G4’s X-Play? They will all need to get licenses, and if they can’t get them they will be forced to go under. Once they are taken down, we’ll have to go back to the pre-internet era of calling your friends for their review about the game. Or. calling your friend to describe how to pass a video game zone.
I’m not saying that I’m pro piracy. I’m 100% against streaming movies, or TV Shows, or videos that don’t belong to you. But I am against this bill, and I believe that modifying and taking small bits of video should be legal. If I make a movie that is 3 hours long, but I have a
3 second segment of a TV show, I can guarantee you that my viewers will be watching my movie for MY MOVIE, and not to see that stupid 3 second segment, because if they were in it for the 3 second segment, I’d be doing something wrong. They need to either modify or change this bill. Because as it is right now, half of YouTube will be in jail. And I’m not going to pay for all that tax money to keep them there. No one is going to have $150K so they will more than likely take the 5 year sentence in super high security gaming prison.
If you want to stop this you need to visit this site and e-mail your politician because this is just stupid. Yes, this is a rant, it is in no way a news article, but seriously, someone needs to know what the heck is going on before the US Senate screws everything up.
Here is a video that I found online while I was writing this article, He pretty much has the same belief as me… I might want to play it safe though so here we go:
DSPGaming, OWNS 110% NOT 90% not 100% but 110% of this video, HE is the SOLE OWNER! I’m merely borrowing it! DSP Gaming, should you want for me to take this video down, message me and I will…