Part of SOPA Could be Back

The part that could send Justin Bieber to jail
By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2013 3:05 PM CDT
Justin Bieber.   (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

(Newser) – Thought SOPA was dead and buried? Its corpse could be reanimated—or at least a body part, anyway. The Washington Post has picked up on a recent government report, which recommends that one part of SOPA be brought back to the table: making it a felony to stream copyrighted works. It's already a felony to reproduce or distribute copyrighted material, but streaming it online is just a misdemeanor. But the recommendation from the Department of Commerce's Internet Policy Task Force is that they should all be equal, as "streaming (both audio and video) has become a significant if not dominant means for consumers to enjoy content online."

The last time this debate played out, much of it centered around the notion that it could potentially send some bedroom vlogger to jail for posting a video of a "Somebody That I Used to Know" cover on YouTube. Even Justin Bieber, who started out singing covers online, spoke out against the provision (and also inspired a campaign called "Free Bieber"). "I check YouTube all the time and watch people singing my songs," the baggy-panted one said at the time, per Ars Technica. "I think it's awesome." (Read more SOPA stories.)

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