Stop DMCA: Will Twitch streamers go to jail? Why Rep Senator Thom Tillis's copyright proposal is causing outrage

Republican Senator Thom Tillis has proposed a bill that could potentially lead to influencers and content creators serving jail time over copyright offenses


                            Stop DMCA: Will Twitch streamers go to jail? Why Rep Senator Thom Tillis's copyright proposal is causing outrage
Thom Tillis (Getty Images)

DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) is back in discussion. This time because of US Senator Thom Tillis. He has proposed a bill that could potentially lead to influencers and content creators serving jail time over copyright offenses.

According to EDM, this year has been a bad year for Twitch in relation to the DMCA, and music companies have continued to crack down on music used on the platform. However, now Tillis, a Republican Senator for North Carolina, has suggested a new punishment for anyone invading copyright online. The proposal would mean potential jail time for anyone using copyrighted music on Twitch streams, YouTube videos, or Instagram stories. In the US, music copyright has been a misdemeanor offense, which means lawsuits and fines can be issued, but the risk of jail time in the average case may be low. EDM also states that included in the bill is the controversial CASE Act, which would create a small claims court within the US Copyright Office to handle copyright disputes. Critics argue the bill would give major companies the wherewithal to seek damages from ordinary Internet users.

But Tillis's bill would make streaming copyrighted music a felony crime, which would result in jail time in cases where that applies. The potential bill would have a lot of bad consequences for the content and gaming world. The Act, if passed, will provide the Department of Justice with the authority to bring felony charges against a digital transmission service that: Is primarily designed or provided for the purpose of streaming copyrighted works without the authority of the copyright owner or the law; or has no commercially significant purpose or use other than to stream copyrighted works without the authority of the copyright owner or the law; or is intentionally marketed by or at the direction of that person to promote its use in streaming copyrighted works without the authority of the copyright owner or the law. The Act, however will not affect normal practices by online service providers, good faith business disputes, noncommercial activities, or in any way impact individuals who access pirated streams or unwittingly stream unauthorized copies of copyrighted works, reports IPWatchdog.

In November, MEAWW had reported Faze Clan's Cizzorz has been banned from the streaming platform Twitch. Twitch streamers have seen more bans based on DMCA violations and fans wondered if Cizzorz is the latest addition to that list. On November 10, he took it to Twitter to let his followers know about the ban as well, posting “Banned on Twitch” when his fans started speculating the possible reason behind the ban. Not just him, Brazillian football star Neymar Jr has also been banned from Twitch due to unknown reasons. He joined the streaming platform a little over a month ago. Even, Rocket League pro player and streamer Mariano “SquishyMuffinz” Arruda was banned from Twitch for violating DMCA where he had some old clips which contained licensed music.

According to the DMCA rule, licensed music can only be played in a stream if there is explicit permission from the record companies. The latest proposal by Tillis sparked a lot of discussion on Twitter and #stopDMCA started trending. One user said, “The fact that this title isn't even exaggerated makes more worried. This is absolutely stupid decision and the Fact that @ThomTillis thinks this will pass as a good proposal is even more stupid.” Another said, “#stopDMCA This is absolutely absurd. Not much more else needs to be said on the matter. @ThomTillis You REALLY need to get your priorities straight over there and do something more productive.”  A user commented, “As a person who is a furry streamer, I am very anxious about this sh*t! I do not wanna go to jail and I don’t want any of my friends that I met around the Twitch Community to go to jail. Stop threatening us, please I am begging you @ThomTillis #stopDMCA.” One concurred, “Congrats on being the new villain of 2020 Thom, and we thought net neutrality was a crime.” One opined, “Assult, manslaughter, and homicide are different things for a reason. Accidental use of music should not be as serious as the intentional, continual use of music. Neither should the use, intentional or unintentional, of mere seconds of music.”



 

 



 

 



 

 



 

 



 

 

These remarks were made by the internet and individual organizations, MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and nor does it support these claims being made on the Internet. 

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