Yesterday saw a House Judiciary Committee hearing in the US into unauthorised internet streaming, which the US government wants to upgrade from a misdemeanor offence to a felony. “It is clear that unauthorized copyrighted content is a significant problem that will only increase in severity if technology outpaces legal reforms,” said new register of copyrights Maria Pallante during the hearing. The problem (for rightsholders petitioning for the change) is that unlicensed streaming of movies and other content is less likely to be pursued by prosecutors and punished. The Copyright Alliance’s Sandra Aistars said that the change is “simply a technical clarification” to US copyright laws, but also “another phase in the battle between creators and lawful distributors of copyrighted works on one hand, and on the other parasitic websites that expropriate their property, diminish the compensation and pension and health benefits of creators and workers, and harm communities across the United States by depriving them of jobs and diminishing their tax revenues”. Source: Ars Technica

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