08 Jul

Democratic Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania recently responded to one of our reader’s inquiries about S.968, the bill that is looming on the minds of every video game loving internet user. Here’s his response. 

Titled “Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property (PROTECT IP) Act of 2011,” the bill  has many gamers and game sites worried that posting video reviews and “Let’s Plays” could result in serious fines and jail time.

Elder-Geek.com will try to keep you informed as more develops. However, we highly encourage you to contact your senators and voice your opinions on this matter.

For The Library of Congress Bill and Summary Status page, please visit: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:s.968:




8 thoughts on “Bob Casey Responds to S.968”

  1. I’m all for protecting IP’s; but there’s also going too far. Let’s Plays in large, encourage sales. It’s no different than you inviting your friend to the house to watch you play a game…it just so happens it’s a lot of friends.

    Just to throw something out. Minecraft literally was BUILT off of streaming and YouTube videos.

    Old age media just doesn’t grasp the present in many respects. It’s a sad thing.

    1. Well at least with Notch, he will not pursue any legal action for people putting videos up on Youtube, as he knows that is how the game sold so much.

      This bill just might encourage all of those “rogue sites” that haven’t already moved outside of U.S. domains or similar copyright domains to continue their “services” to the masses.

  2. I am all for this bill for music and movies… but video games…no. Livestreams are basically free advertising. Plus, people want to PLAY videogames, and if they watch it for whatever reason, they most likely will also play it.

    If this happens, I won’t be able to watch EU League of Legends or Korean SC2 matches :s

    1. Not only that, but some walkthroughs allow people to be helped in a tricky situation where they can’t advance and enjoy the rest of the game.

      I think being able to watch SC2 replays will be fine seeing as how Blizzard hasn’t gone after the big youtuber casters that have a couple hundred thousand subscribers (HuskyStarcraft, HD Starcraft, PsyStarcraft, Day9, etc.). Fighting game tournaments should also be fine seeing as how the developers help sponsor those tournaments and it makes for good advertizing. Not sure about everything else, but yeah, it could cause a lot of potential problems.

  3. I’m not from the US, so I’m not really familiar with the general legislation or the details of 968, but I think there are many more viable concerns here than just Lets Play. Honestly, seeing as the copyright holder would need to actively pursue those violating their copyrights, almost any copyright holder would only succeed in harming his / her own marketing if they disallow Let’s Play sessions. I reckon most parties would allow these events to continue.

    However, what I’m more concerned about is that this could have a tremendous effect on websites commonly used to violate copyrights, like Youtube and JTV… not to mention any website that facilitates data exchange in any shape or form between two users (TPB and similar sites are almost entirely dedicated to piracy, but the form of content distribution by means of torrents is a fantastic system. Even though 99% of the site is used for piracy, the minuscule portion that facilitates the distribution of ‘free’ content warrants the existence of the medium, in my opinion)

    What makes copyrights in these situations a messy affair is that the IP / copyright holders only facilitate the creation of content. You can’t livestream a game, you can livestream SOMEONE playing a game. The user creates the experience that is being watched (though this is again a complicated affair when story lines / cutscenes are involved), and therefore, both the developer and the user partake in the creation of the content that is being watched. In the case of music or film, the content is not being co-created by the user, so the situation is much more straight forward.

    I reckon there would need to be a specific, new type of copyright to effectively work with these new media, that regards the content that has been created by a developer as a sort of playground that is being used to create new content for other media… but like I said, it becomes complicated really fast. For instance, would there need to be a difference between a streamer who is playing the game itself from start to finish (streaming a story-driven experience), and a user who uses the open world to create his own story (ie. the adventures of our beloved Cannibal Space Lincoln in the Mohave)?

    As with all things, the easiest would be to let the industry manage it.

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