Justin Bieber inspired musicians, who post YouTube videos of themselves covering popular songs, could face up to five years in jail if the S.978 bill is passed this week. Known as the 'Commercial Felony Streaming Act', S.978 is currently pending introduction into The House of Representatives, with a decision due on Wednesday (26th October 2011).
According to the website CensorshipInAmerica.com, the bill would make web streaming of copyrighted content a felony, with a prison sentence of up to five years for those found guilty. That would mean up-and-coming artists could go to jail for posting a YouTube video featuring copyrighted content, i.e., major chart hits. Organisation 'Fight for the Future', pointed out that teen stars such as Bieber, who found fame by posting videos of himself singing unauthorized covers, could potentially face jail time themselves. A statement said, "Music and film companies are pushing a law that would make streaming any copyrighted material a felony with a five-year jail sentence. The irony is, if they succeed, even their own stars would face jail time". Although aspiring singers are more likely to fall foul of the new law, plenty of commercially successful artists are known to have posted their cover versions online too.
Bill S.798 has already been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and now only needs the backing of the House of Representatives.
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