Illegally pirating streaming video could put guilty parties in jail thanks to a new bill that is expected to be passed. The Protecting Lawful Streaming Act introduced by Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) is being attached to the omnibus spending bill of the COVID-19 relief bill that is expected to pass sometime today, Dec. 21.
Under Tillis’ bill, any person that pirates video streams of copyrighted work will have committed a felony act and be subject to either fines or imprisonment. The previous penalty for pirating streaming content was a misdemeanor.
The bill targets large-scale, criminal, for-profit streaming services, not good faith business disputes or noncommercial activities. Nor does it target individuals who access the pirated streams, knowingly or unknowingly.