A bill introduced to the U.S. Senate by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D – Minnesota) and co-sponsored by John Cornyn (R – Texas) and Christopher Coons (D – Delaware) may soon make it a felony to post any type of let’s play, walkthrough, or other gameplay video on Youtube.
The bill, S. 978, would make “10 or more public performances by electronic means, during any 180-day period, of 1 or more copyrighted works” a felony with a possible jail sentence of up to five years and a fine between $2,500-5,000. While technically the DMCA has been able to use this criteria to take down videos, such “infringement” currently does not constitute a felony, a fine, or jail time.
The language is so broad that let’s plays, video reviews of games, a video of your little sister singing karaoke, and even the use of a song as a background track to a personal video would constitute a felony and be subject to up to five years in jail. In addition, not only would the people who post these videos be held liable, but any site that embeds said videos would be subject to the same penalties. If the Youtube video contains any type of game footage or content, and it gets more than 10 views in a six month period, it will fall under this law.
Obviously this has serious implications for gamers everywhere, Youtube let’s-players, and game journalists. Demand Progress has set up a contact form which you can fill out and send to your lawmakers here.
For the full text of this bill as well as more pertinent information, check out the OpenCongress page about the bill.