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Recent U.S. legislation affecting forum owners

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You're likely thinking of Section 230, which makes users responsible for posted content, not the sites that host it. Understandably, removing that protection would be a significant problem for most small, independent communities.

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Posted (edited)

The "Protecting Lawful Streaming Act"

Have one user post a few short videos from a publisher with a friend in Law Enforcement and you could go to jail?

What about 2 copies of a magazine that the user considers fair use but the publisher disagrees. Jail for the forum owner? Felony offenses?

Is the enjoyment of being a forum owner no longer worth the potential risk?


Or am I overreacting?

Edited by TheWorldNewsMedia.org
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The Protecting Lawful Streaming Act of 2020 is a United States law that makes it a felony to engage in large-scale streaming of copyright material. ... The CAA passed the house and the senate on December 21, 2020, and was signed into law by President Donald Trump on December 27, 2020.


The bill specifically targets commercial or for-profit websites that operate as "digital transmission service[s]", that primarily function to stream copyrighted material without authorization of the copyright holders.[3]

An example of one such website is NFLBite. The website provides its visitors with unauthorized sources that stream National Football League (NFL) games for free. The NFL has taken NFLBite to court through civil lawsuits in attempts to stop their streaming of full NFL games, but are unable to seek criminal charges due to limitations of U.S. copyright law.[4] The bill adds to Title 18 of the United States Code that would make operating these sites a criminal felony, with a maximum penalty of up to ten years imprisonment, and additional fines if convicted.[1] This brings the act of offering such unauthorized streaming media at a large scale to the same scope of penalty as for offering illegal downloads or physical copies of the same content, closing the streaming media loophole.[3]

Tillis stated that the bill is tailored to specifically target the websites themselves, and not "those who may use the sites nor those individuals who access pirated streams or unwittingly stream unauthorized copies of copyrighted works".[3] Tillis' office and the tech advocacy group Public Knowledge clarified that the bill was not aimed at video game live streamers on platforms like Twitch, or their viewers.[4] 

- Wikipedia

Next question..... who wants to be the guinea pig to find out what happens when your next user uploads some video or photo from a well connected author?   

I posit that the chilling effect is already happening.

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I suspect that very few legislators or their staff have even read the text of these new laws let alone old ones.  This will likely end up being a case of throwing the baby out along with the bathwater. One would hope that prosecutors will only target individuals that are flagrant offenders to make examples of them. 

Websites will need to change how they operate.  They will need to ensure all of their content is based on original thought and content, not a rehash of someone else's thoughts or content.

It will be a painful transition but those that can do it successfully will thrive and those that aren't up to the task will have to shut down their sites. 

It will likely require "really" involving our communities in the process for any kind of chance of success. If our sites don't have sufficient original content and members that respect other peoples intellectual property then one wonders what our site's real value to society is. 


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The law is mainly targeting sites such as Twitch, DLive, Facebook Gaming, etc. The streaming services where people stream copyrighted content such as video games. Game publishers don't mind but they suggest muting the sound to avoid any copyright issues regarding the music from the games as some music in games is copyright a music company that could come after you for criminal charges for copyright infringement. This is more of a scare tactic against big time streamers and I see this law getting revoked once Biden is in office. I'm a streamer myself and this doesn't scare me as I always have copyright free music playing in my background instead of game sounds. Copyright free music is provided by a YouTuber that saw this coming and decided to provide streamers with free music to use on their stream copyright free.

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