Uploading copyrighted video to YouTube could soon be a felony

YouTube-CopyrightIf you’re considering uploading a movie or TV show to YouTube, go ahead and get it out of your system now, because pretty soon, such an act could land you behind bars with a felony count on your rap sheet — at least if Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) get their way.

According to Ars Technica, the two Senators plan to introduce a bill that would boost the charges for streaming unauthorized content to a full-blown felony. That ingenious suggestion comes via Victoria Espinel, President Obama’s US Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (or “IP czar”), who recently laid out the penalty ramp-up as part of her proposed revamp of intellectual property laws.

Current laws dictate that “reproducing” and “distributing” copyrighted content are felony offenses. Streaming, on the other hand, is still considered a “public performance,” which carries lesser consequences. The new bill, currently known as S. 978, would add “public performance” of copyrighted material to the list of felonies.

Anyone who breaks the law — if, in fact, the bill becomes a law — could face up to five years in prison, as well as hefty fines. For such a penalty to apply, however, an illegal uploader must show ten or more illegal “public performances” within 180-day time period. Also, as Ars points out, “the total retail value of those performances  ” must exceed $2,500, or “the cost of licensing such performances” must top $5,000.

As you probably guessed, the bill comes with the full backing of movie makers, theater owners and our beloved Motion Picture Association of America.

“Criminals are stealing, trafficking, and profiting off the investment that our workers devote to creating the quality films and TV shows that entertain a worldwide audience and bolster the American economy,” said MPAA lobbyist Michael O’Leary in a statement. He added: “We thank Senators Klobuchar and Cornyn for introducing this important legislation to standardize the legal treatment of online content theft and helping ensure that federal law keeps pace with the changing face of criminal activity.  We look forward to working with Members in the House and Senate towards its swift passage.”

Of course you do.

Product Review

The iPad Pro is the best tablet ever. But don't sell your laptop just yet

Apple has unveiled a big redesign for the iPad Pro, slimming down the bezels, adding Face ID, and the ability to attach and charge the Apple Pencil. All of this comes at a high cost however, as the iPad Pro starts at $799.
Home Theater

Kill your cable and switch to streaming with our painless guide

If you're going to quit cable or satellite for a streaming TV solution, you're going to want to get it right the first time. We've outlined exactly how to get started, step by step. Follow our lead, and you'll never look back.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

Netflix paid $100M to keep ‘Friends,’ but viewers may pay the highest price

Netflix reportedly paid $100 million to keep '90s sitcom Friends on its service for another year, but the cost consumers might have to pay for access to their favorite shows and movies down the road could be much, much higher.
Movies & TV

‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ trailer unleashes a bevy of beasts

Legendary Pictures has released the first full-length trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the sequel to 2014's Godzilla, which pits the giant lizard against a host of new monstrous threats.
Movies & TV

Disney reveals epic first picture from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attraction

The Millennium Falcon is fueled up and ready to embark on its Smuggler's Run at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, the new theme park attraction set to open in 2019 at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
Home Theater

Looking for the best 4K Ultra HD TVs you can buy? Here are five great options

If it's time to upgrade your old 1080p to a new 4K model but you don't know what to look for, fear not, as we're here with a list of the best 4K Ultra HD TVs to help make your buying process as easy as possible.
Movies & TV

The best Amazon Original series, from 'Bosch' to 'Transparent'

Amazon Studios may not have as big a collection of in-house productions as Netflix, but there are still lots of shows worthy of your eyeballs. Here are our picks for the best Amazon original series.
Movies & TV

HBO Go vs. HBO Now: Which streaming service is right for you?

If you're looking to get access to HBO, you might be comparing HBO Go and HBO Now. We break down the differences between the twin streaming services and see how they compare to one another.
Movies & TV

Sit down and watch some of the best stand-up comedy on Netflix

Feeling a little funny? There are hundreds of hilarious comedy specials out there, and you can't be expected to comb through them all. Lucky for you, we've compiled a list of the best stand-up specials on Netflix.
Movies & TV

Lose the torrents. Here's how to watch 'Game of Thrones' online (legally)

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular shows on TV, but unless you're a cable subscriber, finding a way to watch isn't always easy. Check out our guide on how to watch online, whether you prefer using HBO, Hulu, or Amazon.
Cars

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what’s leaving in January 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for January 2019 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Movies & TV

Our first look at 'The Punisher' season 2 hints at January 2019 premiere

The Punisher is getting a second season on Netflix, with Jon Bernthal returning to play Marvel Comics' gun-toting antihero, Frank Castle. Here's everything we know about season 2 of The Punisher so far.