a quarter late for everyone

The proposed US law that has Twitch streamers on edge and worried about possible jail sentences



DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) is back on the table, and this time by Republican Senator Thom Tillis. This senator (for North Carolina) proposed a bill that could lead influencers and content creators to confront sentences of up to ten years in prison for copyright-related offenses.



This proposal was added to a set of measures that seek to reduce the economic impact that COVID-19 is leaving, and is intended for those who obtain economic benefit using content for which they do not have permission.



More uncertainty and problems for streamers on Twitch



Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez He criticized on his Twitter account that he needs more time to read this proposal before voting: "Members of Congress have not read this proposal. There are more than 5,000 pages, which arrived at 2:00 p.m. today and it is expected that let us cast a vote in two hours. This is not a government. It is hostage-taking. "






Tillis' proposal seeks to punish anyone who infringes on copyrights on the Internet, and could land those streamers who use copyrighted music in their Twitch broadcasts, YouTube videos or Instagram stories.



It's a significant changeSince in the US copyright-related offenses so far could result in fines, but it is quite unusual to end up with jail time in such a case.



As expected, this proposal is generating a lot of controversy on social networks, where we can find many publications with the hashtag #stopDMCA. Anyway, Tillis himself used his Twitter account to clarify that he is looking for go after "criminal organizations, not individual streamers":






David Graham ("UltraDavid") is a well-known eSports and video game lawyer said in his Twitter account that "it assumes that this proposal aims to prevent companies from hosting streaming platforms that run ads on unauthorized free content, such as live sports broadcasts or new movies."




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This proposal comes a month after Twitch warned creators to stop using music in their streams and to delete videos that contain unlicensed songs. Let's not forget that Neymar himself was banned from the platform after carrying out a stream with the music of FIFA21 in the background.



Is a complex and delicate moment for Twitch creators, who are seeing music related DMCA notifications increase month by month. Until May 2020 they used to receive less than 50 notifications, while as of May the major record companies began sending thousands of DMCA notifications per week.






What seems to be clear is that important changes are coming related to streaming, and we will have to be vigilant to know exactly who they are aimed at and what penalties breaking these rules could imply.



We also remember that the european parliament approved in March 2019 the reform of the copyright directive (in development since 2016). Among the countries that voted in favor of the text was Spain, and at that time a period of two years (of complete uncertainty) was set to bring the directive to each country.