Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina has proposed a new Bill that will target illegal enterprises that illegally sell streaming content. The Protecting Lawful Streaming Act of 2020 if made law would allow for tough prosecution of companies that are set up to distribute content that they are not authorized to distribute.
The language of the Act protects users who subscribe to the services concentrating the enforcement on those who profit through stealing and reselling content. There have been numerous cases and rulings between major TV distributors and studios regarding illicit services advertising as cable substitutes. Often they target budget-conscious consumers with over the top offers like every five hundred cable channels and every movie and TV ever for $20.00 a month. The too good to be true deals are absolutely too good to be true as a single content deal with ESPN could cost a provider close to that much per customer.
“The shift toward streaming content online has resulted in criminal streaming services illegally distributing copyrighted material that costs the U.S. economy nearly $30 billion every year, and discourages the production of creative content that Americans enjoy,” said Senator Tillis. “This commonsense legislation was drafted with the input of creators, user groups, and technology companies and is narrowly targeted so that only criminal organizations are punished and that no individual streamer has to worry about the fear of prosecution. That’s why groups as diverse as CCIA and Public Knowledge are neutral on this proposal.”
The legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), John Cornyn (R-TX), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Coons (D-DE), Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), and David Perdue (R-GA).
The penalty for violating the proposed law increases depending on the number of violations. Repeat offenders can end up with as many as 10 years in prison.