If bill S.978 passes, you could be jailed for streaming video games

The United States Senate is in the process of considering bill S.978, a bill “To amend the criminal penalty provision for criminal infringement of a copyright,” or as you might know it, the Anti-Streaming Bill. There’s been some discussion about what it really means and how it would affect stuff we care about, so I’d like to clear everything up. To be blunt, if passed it would pretty significantly reconfigure American copyright law in ways that could honestly really hurt internet culture in general and our video game communities specifically.

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Paradicia2643d ago

Sucks if it gets passed.

I_find_it_funny2643d ago

It's for things like posting playthroughs on youtube and streaming gameplay on, but I believe every publisher is in full power to clam copyrights infringement. Just look how many of those playthroughs are on youtube or amount of stream on jtv, publishers don't seem to bothered most of the time.
This whole this started as protection for movies, games are only kind off side effect.

I don't see a point in watching such playthroughs on youtube unless the game is old and I don't have a platform and emulating sucks. I think a number of such viewers in insignificant comapring to overall sales so publishers don't care.

nix2643d ago

does it also mean we won't have "walkthroughs"???

Arksine2643d ago (Edited 2643d ago )


I really doubt it will affect things like video walkthroughs and live play broadcasts. As I_find_it_funny said, it would be up to publishers and developers to press charges. Some games have the ability to record gameplay and upload to youtube integrated, so I don't think they have an issue with people posting gameplay.

This bill is really aimed at unauthorized streaming of movies, tv, and public events (such as concerts, plays, sports). Its important to note that the bill doesn't make anything illegal that isn't already illegal. Instead it makes unauthorized streaming a felony crime (rather than a misdemeanor) after a certain threshold is met.

pixelsword2643d ago (Edited 2643d ago )

Ed: Download all the porn you can while you can!!!

Smitty: They're talking about streaming software and live video

Ed: Who's talking about what now?

HSx92643d ago

This is where Annon steps in and fights for you people, just saying.

TheDivine2643d ago

It shouldnt affect gaming walkthroughs those are helpful and its not like watching a movie it helps people who already own the game or want to buy it. Im thinking mainly illegal movie streaming sites and big sports games people stream. Sucks though, they should just go after copyright stuff not stop streming thats redic.

nix2643d ago

i raised the question because it is kinda similar. if one searches it's easily available on net. it's just that one is in video format. the other in text/pics. both can ruin your gaming experience or help you figure out if you're stuck. i use youtube vids to find out how to get out of difficult situations when i'm stuck badly. i use walkthroughs too.


SilentNegotiator2643d ago (Edited 2643d ago )

A FELONY?! 5 years in jail? Yeah, our jails and prisons aren't filled enough.

Screw that. Continue with your frivolous lawsuits that require REAL issues (Mostly distributors, not users) for success, don't toss me in jail for recording my karaoke sessions and putting music in the background of videos that I make for friends and make no sort of profit from.

dredgewalker2642d ago


I don't know, I'll have to hear you sing before agreeing with the authority to put you in jail :)

MaxXAttaxX2642d ago (Edited 2642d ago )

having background music in your videos, even if singing karaoke.

F***ed up!

Imagine all the kids lip-syncing to their favorite songs. Jailed.

dredgewalker2642d ago


If the kids were singing Beiber or Lady Gaga songs then I agree with having them jailed :) Just kidding, it seems too extreme to get jailed for such a simple reason.

nickjkl2642d ago

no you idiota if bill s.978 passes you can get jailed for steraming illegal content god dammit this is why i hate gamers who think they know laws

LastDance2642d ago

are you guys for real?

It means if you stream stuff from websites, its a felony.
Steaming movies, video shows and all other copyrighted media is illegal.

It DOES NOT mean ALL streaming is illegal lol.

killcycle2642d ago

The internet is really great.
They want to go and limit us so much!

+ Show (12) more repliesLast reply 2642d ago
subtenko2643d ago

Leave the internet alone!! >:P

MRHARDON2643d ago

Werid thing is, if this passes, there will be alot of 10 year old kids in jail :L

ShoryukenII2643d ago

For some strange reason, I really like this site's name.

On topic: There's always room up here in Canada!

Don't worry, I sent a letter too. This is mega BS and will affect the entire world.

Pl4sm42642d ago (Edited 2642d ago )

There goes

Dlacy13g2643d ago

Even if this gets passed (which I doubt it will) this won't effect 99% of the population. Youtube as the author cited would be a non-issue. Youtube the service would be the ones at risk not users posting into it. This would affect pirates and those people bootlegging games or movies and allowing people to stream free from their server, etc... and also those people who try and sell those kinds of services with out licensing.

If you are going to pirate shit and try to profit or just "get back at the man" because you think its cool then maybe stiffer penalties should be on the table and make you think twice.

R8342643d ago

No they wouldn't - YouTube is just a medium through which users can post their content and they can't moderate every single video, so it would be the users posting the content that would be in trouble, which is the whole problem as a lot of people, myself included, put footage of games on YouTube.

Dlacy13g2643d ago

@R834... Youtube makes money off the advertising they have on site that is viewed by users of their service. They put the tools in the hand of the users. They do in fact moderate content on Youtube. When they find items that are counter to terms of agreement they pull that content and warn users. You say Youtube cant moderate every video? Actually they can, but they choose not too as its part of their current model.

As for someone specifically like you, if you are posting up video of something like clips of video from something you will be fine. The heart of this is more about individuals pirating software then distributing for free and/or charging other for it..i.e. making profit without license. Additionally posting full episodes of a TV show or Movie for someone to watch via Youtube or stream off your server for a fee would be liable if you are not licensed to do it.

Sony3602643d ago

Not American.

Problem U.S Senate?

peowpeow2643d ago

Would Youtube actually remove their whole 'gaming' part?

marinelife92642d ago

Congress has passed enough laws already to pretty much cover everything. I'm not sure why they keep trying to create new ones.

Mikeyy2642d ago


Heh... That used to be the case, indeed, until anon decided to take away our playstations for a month.

You can't blame us for being upset and bitter about it.

JsonHenry2642d ago

Welcome to the police state. There is no "Land of the Free" anymore.

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 2642d ago
Warshade2643d ago

I think onlive would be ok since it gets the required legal license read the whole article it targets sites that stream gaming live and they take donations so no more mario marathon or speed gamers or youtube videos of you playing the games. Stuff like that. Also any streaming of live tv, movies or saved tv would get you jail time if you watched more then 10 in 6 months.

ShadowKingx2643d ago

wow that would free a shit load of space on youtube. buts it is also kinda dumb. i think instead of passing a bill that stops streaming. i think yall need a pass a bill stoping the hackers.

bozebo2643d ago

there is one, its called: "oy, don't hack!.. plz?.. No? ok then :("

Butt0n_m4sher2643d ago

u forgot to add, "we will just give you a job."

bozebo2643d ago (Edited 2643d ago )

Stream a game? The author obviously means download because the only games I know of that can be streamed are Runescape and OnLive games.

It seems he means streaming video footage of games being played. Obviously that is completely fine and would not be covered by the bill. Recorded footage of publicly available software operating is not and cannot be copyrighted material. The copyright relates to the executable playable game itself and the assets and programming logic resources in their original or released form (the latter also meaning reverse engineering would be required, which is often illegal in itself). Author @ point missed, lol.

iforgotmylogin2643d ago

its a open ended law

they mean uploading copyrighted material to the internet
that's the secret agenda

its been a gray area for a long time
- uploading
game play

i think this law will have an effect. its basically to stop low level pirates from pirating to easily, why download and put yourself in danger when you can just stream it. smh

BlackKnight2643d ago

When they say "stream a game" they mean if I am playing my xbox/ps3/pc and I STREAM video of my gameplay to the net, it could become illegal.

Insanity. More corporations using the government rape the consumer.

shayol33t2642d ago

and it continues to happen :(

bozebo2642d ago (Edited 2642d ago )

Why would streaming the game be illegal? They can't copyright the output that the software makes from a graphics chip, that is like Microsoft copywrighting the pages you print through your printer using Word.

The copywright laws for games cover resources, programming logic and IP. You can't "steal" a stream of a game.

pepsilover_20072643d ago

we are in big debt and a bad economy right now and this is what they are worrying about... gezz

Saladfax2643d ago

Tell me about it. Minnesota's bloody government is shutting down today because they can't pass a bloody budget. Not that the MN gov has much to do with this bill, but it's somewhat indicative of odd priorities.