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Senate Bill Calls For Tougher Penalties for Unlawful Streaming of Content

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee members Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), John Cornyn (R-Tex.) and Christopher Coons (D-Del.) this week introduced S. 978, a bipartisan bill aimed at more effectively combating the online theft of copyrighted works by classifying the illicit streaming of music, movies and other content as a felony.

Under current law, illegal uploading and downloading of protected works is already a felony but not streaming.  The bill follows upon the recommendations of U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel who in March outlined several steps Congress should take to improve intellectual property protection in the America.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) offered the following statement from its Executive Vice President, Public Policy and Industry Relations, Mitch Glazier on the legislation:

“On behalf of a music community that has lost thousands of jobs to piracy, we are frustratingly familiar with the damaging impact of online theft,” said Glazier.  “As the music industry continues its transition from selling CDs to providing fans convenient access to a breadth of legal music online, laws that provide effective enforcement against new and developing forms of content theft are essential to the health of our business.

“We thank and applaud Senators Klobuchar, Cornyn and Coons for their important work on S. 978 and we look forward to working with Senate and House members as they continue to develop effective legislation that provides enforcement against the piracy that robs the creative community and American economy of jobs, innovation and compensation.”

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The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is the trade organization that supports and promotes the creative and financial vitality of the major music companies. Its members comprise the most vibrant record industry in the world. RIAA® members create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 85% of all legitimate recorded music produced and sold in the United States.

In support of this mission, the RIAA works to protect the intellectual property and First Amendment rights of artists and music labels; conduct consumer, industry and technical research; and monitor and review state and federal laws, regulations and policies. The RIAA® also certifies Gold®, Platinum®, Multi-Platinum™ and Diamond sales awards as well as Los Premios De Oro y Platino™, an award celebrating Latin music sales.

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