Senator Amy Klobuchar has introduced a bill S. 978, which would make it a criminal act to post movie clips or video of games online. This includes videos that are not downloadable and that are simply video clips of you taping what is happening on your own TV screen.
This has particularly enraged gamers as online walkthroughs or instructions to unlock achievements in a video game would become illegal. This means no more Youtubing how to defeat Nazi Zombies or how to unlock the sweetest gun in Halo.
Perhaps the worst part of the bill can be summed up from this paragraph of the story:
Critics of the bill believe that it could create extensive “gray areas” in the law, empowering prosecutors with huge amounts of discretion to target Web Sites, indiviudal internet users, or even entire video platforms like Youtube or Vimeo.
Although the story does not go as far to call this bill an assault on free speech or a shifty tactic to enforce the intellectual property racket, I will. Is it really a criminal act to tape how you managed to beat a level in a game and post it online? Or to put a funny clip of South Park online that people can watch?
Of course not, but it is a new way corporations have found in collusion with the state to make money off of unsuspecting people. IP law is something that is largely accepted in the left and right circles but is something that is still debated amongst libertarians. Here is a good article from Mises that is worth reading on the matter.
IP law has managed to creep its way into many things in our society including our food, but I suspect that this bill will garner more resistance from the gamer community once it goes viral.Published in