Monday, July 4, 2011

Bill S.978 - Fuck you, America

This bill, while not targeted at the gaming community, will incredibly adversely affect us.  It will make it a felony to upload footage of copyrighted material to the internet.  It's targeted primarily at movies, tv shows, etc., but video games are copyrighted material as well.

Technically, the copyright holders already have all the tools they already need to stop any individual from doing this.  It's called a Cease and Desist.  Think about this: why haven't game companies been sending out Cease and Desist orders to let's players, people who host livestreams, people who post video reviews of games, etc.?  It's because they recognize that we as gamers can perform a very important aspect of advertising their game.  Watching a let's play isn't at all the same as playing the game yourself.  It may be a fun series of videos to watch, but an aspect of let's plays that adds to the experience is the person playing the game.  In most games you don't always have to do the same thing to get through the same part of it, whereas, TV and movies are completely static experiences.

I myself am watching several Terraria let's plays and it's only making me want the game more.  Whenever I get my check from the city for jury duty, there's a bunch of stuff I'm grabbing on Steam and Terraria is one of those.

This bill as it stands is too broadly worded.  It would basically make it so anyone who wants to do a let's play or whatever would have to contact the publisher and/or developer and ask for permission.  Given that these companies are most likely swamped with emails and phone calls all day every day anyway, it would be difficult to get through the cracks and even be noticed by the company you're trying to obtain permission from.

The easy way out would be to simply modify it to exclude video game footage.  Then 90% of the internet would stop caring about this problematic bill.

What are the odds that our government is going to listen to us anyway?  They probably consider anyone who opposes this bill to be a criminal anyway.  That's how things work.  Presumed guilty until proven innocent.

Also, happy Independence Day, or something.

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