Owners of websites that stream music and videos without the permission of copyright holders could soon be prosecuted as felons if Congress passes a new proposal from United States Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante. The Hill reports that Pallante is urging Congress to make illegal content streaming a felony that’s on par with illegally making copyrighted content available for download. Pallante said that “there is a gap in the law” between content streaming and more traditional content piracy while contending that going after content streamers for misdemeanors wasn’t enough to dissuade them.
“If there is illegal streaming happening, especially in an egregious, willful, profit-driven kind of way, how do you get at that activity if the best that you can do is go after them for a misdemeanor?” she said. “Whether you’re streaming the Super Bowl, whether you’re streaming music, a movie, the point is that you don’t always need to have a copy, and the consumer may not want a copy.”