Washington – President Obama’s "IP czar" Victoria
Espinel on Tuesday submitted a list of proposed changes to U.S. intellectual
property laws, including making the unauthorized streaming of copyrighted
content a felony, and authorizing wiretaps for criminal copyright and trademark
investigations, Ars Techica reported.
While the unauthorized reproduction and
distribution of copyrighted works is a felony, current law is unclear on the
issue of streaming, and Espinel has recommended that Congress act to
"clarify that infringement by streaming, or by means of other similar new
technology, is a felony in appropriate circumstances."
legal gap between two methods of equally destructive illegal behavior —
unauthorized downloading and streaming — adds more clarity to intellectual
property law and, frankly, makes good common sense," said Bob Pisano,
president of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
House and Senate are examining this issue and we look closely to working with
them and the Administration to combat this escalating threat."
report also suggests the creation of a public performance right for songs
played on terrestrial radio, which would compel radio stations to make payments
to the musicians who recorded a song, in addition to whoever wrote it.
payments are currently made by satellite and Internet music broadcasters, but
are steadfastly opposed by traditional radio broadcasters.