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-   -   Bill S.978, YouTube, Let's Plays, Reviews...May Be Going Away (http://ggftw.com/forum/rant-forum/98823-bill-s-978-youtube-lets-plays-reviews-may-going-away.html)

Rhinehart 07-06-2011 08:14 AM

Bill S.978, YouTube, Let's Plays, Reviews...May Be Going Away
 
Raeg. I just watched LuizPrower's newest video on YouTube and happened to skimmed through the comments a bit. I read something there that disturbed me more than the usual YouTube comments.

Apparently, congress has proposed "Bill S.978", which would make the vast majority of YouTube a felony. Yes, I said "a felony". AMVs, probably other fanmade music videos, Let's Plays, home-made reviews of video games...if it's not something you wrote and filmed yourself, you could recieve up to five years in jail or be fined anywhere between $1,500 to $5,000.

I have 388 videos on my YouTube channel, currently, and the vast majority of them are gaming videos. As I'm sure you can imagine, I am displeased. But here are a couple articles on the subject. Please go ahead and read them as they go more in-depth than I intend to.

Take a stand against Bill S.978
Senate Bill S.978 Makes Most of YouTube A Felony

Also, if you want to do something about it, check out the link below. Read the description, in the video, for the really vital links.

YouTube - Bill S.978: The End of Let's Plays and Gaming Streams?

MsSquid 07-06-2011 12:42 PM

If this bill passes (which it won't) it's not going to be enforced. Hell, 90% of stuff on youtube and other websites already break the law but the chances of anyone actually getting in trouble over it are 1 in a million, much like jaywalking. Besides, this law is enforced at discretion. Any game company with sense won't try to get rid of let's plays, gamplay videos or the likes, because they realize if they do they'll be alienating and pissing off their core customers. I think people need to start wondering why the government even humors passing useless laws that turn everyday people into criminals and less about if their let's plays are in danger.

Kusuriuri 07-06-2011 01:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Justice (Post 1564318)
I think people need to start wondering why the government even humors passing useless laws that turn everyday people into criminals and less about if their let's plays are in danger.

Honestly, this. No, I'm not pleased about it either, but let's face it, much of the content on the internet likely violates some copyright or another. I'm more concerned with the fact that the government even feels something like this is worth playing around with right now, along with all of those other internet related bills that have been springing up lately.

Rhinehart 07-06-2011 02:10 PM

Yeah, that and internet freedom in general. I have noticed it's not really enforced and I know that most (there are some rare ones that don't) video game companies don't really care about Let's Plays. Watching someone else play a video game is something you can do at someone else's house or online, really, but the whole point of video games is to play them. I'm sure they don't see them as a threat, but if it's left entirely up to the courts and government, I think it'd be a pretty sad day. I'm sure they'd make examples out of some people. Probably not me as I'm not THAT popular on YouTube, considering people like Cloud, LuizPrower, Helloween, LordVega and others, but I think it's the possibility that disturbs me.

cornpirde35 07-06-2011 02:17 PM

^Thats mostly likely whats gonna happen there going make an example out of few person by dropping a million dollar law suite. kinda reminds of the lady who got sued for pirating 24 songs from limewire and ended up paying millions that they know she couldn't pay back

NoeJeko 07-06-2011 03:32 PM

So here's an overlooked fact about this.

1) Civil copyright claims must be initiated by the copyright holder. If there is no complaint, there's no case. NO government agency goes out and tries civil cases on behalf of private companies.

2) Criminal cases are prosecuted by the district attorney or attorney general's office. This means that the government can press charges REGARDLESS of what the copyright holder says.

How it is now: ggFTW makes a "first 10" video of a new MMORPG game. Game company likes it and promotes it. Everyone is happy.

How it could be if S.978 passes: ggFTW makes a "first 10" video of a new MMORPG game. Game company likes it and promotes it. Game company is happy but FBI decides to investigate. NoeJeko could get arrested for federal copyright infringement facing up to 5 years in jail anyway.

If this bill passes in its current form, it'll come down to interpretation of fair use law. If commentaries, playthroughs, and reviews are ruled "derivative works" then it will not impact games. If they are NOT ruled derivative works, then yes we could all be shut down (at least in our videos).

There's currently no case law specifically addressing reviews because it's never gone to court (that I know of) because game companies don't litigate these claims. If this bill passes, however, it's no longer up to the game companies.

Lala 07-06-2011 03:33 PM

Well..



So IF the bill got passed, not really that big. But yeah, I think the U.S Government was bored and thought this would be a good way to worry the internet gaming folk.

Worry unnecessary.

NoeJeko 07-06-2011 03:39 PM

So I don't know who YouTube user JuryDutySummons is, but I've very recently done in-depth research on U.S. criminal and civil law as part of my master's program. My statement above is accurate; the YouTube video directly above this post is ignorant of how civil and criminal law differs.

Lala 07-06-2011 03:55 PM

The link I posted was before I saw yours lol.

I have a question then! Regardless of his in-depth knowledge (or lack of as Noe said lol) on it, is some of what he said true? This possible S.978 bill is an amendment of the Section 2319, so they're just adding to it? So would one have to meet all the requirements of both to be punished?

I think this is too vague at the moment for the panic that it is getting. A "Public Performance" has room to argue unless they narrow it down and say exactly what they mean by a "public performance."

A concert I went to a recorded with my camera? Yes, that is a performance that was held in public posted without consent.

A video of me playing Black Ops in my room? No, that is *I guess* a performance held in private that I posted for the general public to see.

Too much room for debate I find. :py39:


NoeJeko 07-06-2011 04:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MaidLatte (Post 1564395)
The link I posted was before I saw yours lol.

I have a question then! Regardless of his in-depth knowledge (or lack of as Noe said lol) on it, is some of what he said true? This possible S.978 bill is an amendment of the Section 2319, so they're just adding to it? So would one have to meet all the requirements of both to be punished?

I think this is too vague at the moment for the panic that it is getting. A "Public Performance" has room to argue unless they narrow it down and say exactly what they mean by a "public performance."

A concert I went to a recorded with my camera? Yes, that is a performance that was held in public posted without consent.

A video of me playing Black Ops in my room? No, that is *I guess* a performance held in private that I posted for the general public to see.

Too much room for debate I find. :py39:


The fact is all law is subject to interpretation. You perceive playing Black Ops in your room as a private activity. A court will see your post on YouTube as a public performance; this is established in case law.

In fairness, I did not watch the video at length; I read the poster's comments below the video.

He is correct in that this is an amendment to an existing section of the U.S.C. The danger, however, is the change from civil liability to criminal liability for activities such as streaming. I have read the text of the bill and yes, streaming is as directly covered as it can be by the exact words "public performances by electronic means."

Also, he is correct in stating all of the criteria in subsection b must be met. I have never seen a copyright claim where the total damages did not exceed the values set forth in sections B and C.

Streaming is not the wildcard; "fair use" becomes the wildcard. Because there is no precedent, no one really knows what would happen. But the risk is very clear and do you really think that smaller publishers will risk 5 years in jail and a felony on their records just to post some gameplay videos?

Harlequin 07-06-2011 04:05 PM

My only opinion is that I don't really have an opinion. It's pretty doubtful that this bill would get passed anyway, as many people make a livelihood off of these things, and the members of Congress should already be aware of that. While it won't have an immense effect on me personally, I know several people who it would.

The bill itself is also actually very vague, and applies to much more than just gaming videos. If I recall correctly, it basically applies to streaming any copyrighted content, including such things as TV shows, music, etc., without express written consent of the copyright owner.

Summarized by OpenCongress: "Makes unauthorized web streaming of copyrighted content a felony with a possible penalty of up to 5 years in prison. Illegal streaming of copyrighted content is defined in the bill as an offense that "consists of 10 or more public performances by electronic means, during any 180-day period, of 1 or more copyrighted works" and has a total economic value, either to the copyright holder or the infringer, of at least $2,500."

If you're interested in reading the actual bill, have at it: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-1...-112s978rs.pdf

NoeJeko 07-06-2011 04:20 PM

We've written a more in-depth news article about this with links to more information and where to go to help:

U.S. Bill S.978 and ggFTW - ggFTW MMORPG Community

Lala 07-06-2011 04:56 PM

Thanks for all the info! I guess all one can do is wait. It's all too vague and to up to interpretation until they specify it.

I (guess) I hope it doesn't pass. It won't *directly* affect me, but it will sure as hell inconvenience me.

Gaap 07-06-2011 05:39 PM

Thanks NoeJeko for the news/heads up. (Well Equestria Daily posted about this a while ago and the worries about MLP:FiM Season 2 (as I do not own the Hub channel).)

I have mixed feelings, like other past "bills" we faced before. But IF the bill ever passes, then I got to say good bye to most of my Trickster and StepMania videos. (Unsure on cam-corded ITG videos. ) The only material I did with my own hands (drawings and animation) is my old semi-animation portfolio and my animated trailer made in After Effects...

So I did what I can do with the petition, share the news at FB about the link... And let's hope that this bill does not pass. :S

Rhinehart 07-06-2011 06:39 PM

Thanks for picking this up, Noe. I didn't really know all that much about the bill when I first wrote this rant, 'cuz the LCC library's computers don't really have sound, so I came here to watch the video I embedded and it was more informative than I thought. That guy was pretty brilliant. As are you, Noe. But yeah, I'm glad to know now that the bill is in a very early stage and still may or may not be a threat to us, depending on what the government decides to do with it, even if the bill is passed as is. But given the amount of response and attention it's received, I'm pretty sure it'll undergo a revision, at the very least.

kag 07-06-2011 07:05 PM

I don't see how this will benefit anything at all.
Creative Commons licensing will become useless? (Youtube just went into that)

Internet will no longer be fun.

But youtube videos are all hosted elsewhere and if games aren't developed or licensed by an american company is the bill able to do anything?

Lala 07-06-2011 07:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kag (Post 1564483)
But youtube videos are all hosted elsewhere and if games aren't developed or licensed by an american company is the bill able to do anything?

Time to start a Canadian run Youtube?

WhatThePho 07-06-2011 08:56 PM

Quote:

The bill, S. 978, would make illegal video streaming for commercial purposes a felony punishable by as much as five years in prison if it involves 10 or more instances of streaming copyrighted works during a 180-day period. The retail value of the video must exceed $2,500, or the licenses to the material must be worth more than $5,000.
http://www.businessweek.com/news/201...-property.html

I guess we got extra cash to spend on FBI investigators but not on innovation :psyduck:

k0n 07-06-2011 09:49 PM

This sounds like a bogus law to attain more money from citizens. I don't even see how this will help business either. I don't buy games in which I don't know the game play itself.

Rhinehart 07-13-2011 08:20 AM

Well, I just heard back from Demand Progress and apparently nearly 150,000 people stood up against this bill (including me and anyone else here who sent that email petition thing). It stunned congress and now they're considering killing the bill. It's probably a little early to say "Victory for us!", but it's certainly a good sign.


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