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New Stimulus Bill Comes With Harsher Illegal Streaming Penalties

Congress has finally agreed on a new stimulus plan. However, this time around, there are several stipulations, including a bill prohibiting illegal streaming for profit.

North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis released his proposal nearly two weeks ago to increase punishment for those who stream unlicensed films. But Tillis’ proposal is gaining popularity after making some minor adjustments toward commercial operators rather than individual users. If this bill is passed, that will make illegal streaming of movies and songs a felony that could result in up to ten years in prison. This is not the first time that a senator has called for harsher penalties for illegal streaming. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) made a similar proposal nearly ten years ago. However, it did not progress.

The CASE Act would create a network of “Copyright Claims Officers” tasked with resolving infringement claims. If copyright holders find that their work has been shared online, they can be awarded up to $30,000. Advocates against the bill, such as the Electronic Frontier, said that people partaking in their daily behavior and internet usage would be the primary target of this bill, which also prohibits sharing memes in some cases.

“This is why Congress needs time to actually read this package before voting on it,” Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter. “Members of Congress have not read this bill.”

Lawmakers held a vote late Monday on the package, though no decision has been announced.

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