From Numa Numa Guy to Pogo to the recent spate of Hitler outburst videos, the internet is built on a foundation of people playing with existing material and putting it out there for everyone’s enjoyment.
Now a new law, Senate Bill 978 is threatening to not only ban this type of activity, but punish it with up to five years in federal prison. Who knew that a fun little mash up of My Little Ponies and Batman could end with you in prison as some dude’s bitch…
Keenan Cahill is one of the few Youtubers who is safe from this law. Turns out that record studios actually pay him to do whatever it is that he does while their songs play in the background.
Before you go blaming one side or the other for this new law. It is a bi partisan bill. Everyone here sucks equally. The bill was introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.).
A statement by Cornyn defends the law:
“As technology rapidly evolves, our laws must be updated to protect creativity and innovation.”
The goal of the law is to make it easier for the government to punish pirates… Arrgh!
Unfortunately, the senate, which still thinks that the internet is a series of tubes, leaves the same five year prison term that is meant for pirates open to anyone who publicly performs copyrighted material and embeds the video to sites like YouTube.
No more Pogo, No more mash-ups, no more fan edits, no more angry Hitler tirades. Hell, there should probably be an angry Hitler tirade video about this law!
Here’s is what supporters of the new law have to say:
The new law will not target “individuals or families streaming movies at home,” said a statement from Klobuchar. She said the bill will instead target “criminals that are intentionally streaming thousands of dollars in stolen digital content and profiting from it.”
While this is an admirable goal, it leaves the door wide open to go after the growing number of Youtubers who now earn a living making the videos that we all like to watch when we should be working.
This law can’t be allowed to pass. Just how long do you think Numa Numa guy will last in prison. He’d be passed around like a pack of cigarettes!