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Cara Duckworth



New Law Permits Justice Department to Pursue Blatant Criminal Streaming Services 

The United States Congress yesterday passed the Protecting Lawful Streaming Act (PLSA) as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and sent it to the President’s desk for his signature. The bill gives the Department of Justice long-overdue authority to pursue illicit, commercial, digital transmission services that stream copyrighted works with impunity.

Below is a comment on the passage of the PLSA from Maria A. Pallante, President and CEO of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and former Register of Copyrights:

“Today, Congress addressed the harmful ‘streaming loophole’ in the Copyright Act, giving the Department of Justice long-overdue authority to pursue felony charges against criminal organizations that stream copyrighted content to the public in blatant contravention of the law.

“Piracy is a perpetual challenge that affects every kind of creative work: it does not happen by accident and it inflicts serious economic harm on the legitimate interests of copyright owners and lawful markets for creative works.  We applaud this major modernizing amendment, which gives prosecutors the tools and discretion that are necessary to combat streaming piracy in the digital age, including bringing felony charges when felony charges are appropriate, much as they are able to do when pursuing large-scale, illegal reproduction and distribution under the law. As many have concluded, this narrowly crafted bill is a commonsense measure that goes a long way toward protecting the valuable, vibrant, and ever-evolving copyright economy. 

“We thank Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) for leading this effort, and extend our thanks as well to Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), John Cornyn (R-TX), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Coons (D-DE), Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), David Perdue (R-GA), and Jacky Rosen (D-NV) for their support.”

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