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I'm traveling out of town this weekend, so we're doing this week's look at the Reel Web a bit differently: we're doing it vlog style! I quickly look at a couple stories that stand out to me and share them with you guys in a slightly different format than normal. What do you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!

Is Bill S.978 The End Of Fair Use On YouTube?

Our main story covers the potential end of Fair Use on YouTube. Bill S.978 will make it a felony to stream any kind of copyrighted material, especially music or audio. That means you could go to jail even if you post a little video of you in a restaurant while there's a copyrighted song playing in the background.

QUESTION: Do you think Bill S.978 will pass?

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  • Grant Crowell

    Ok, now this I have to comment on. While I'm against the passing of this bill, even if it was passed in Congress and signed by the president, there are clear exceptions for not going after most people who are lip-synching to music or featuring other copyrighted works. It's supposed to be going after perennial bootleggers who do this kind of thing and have made, or have the great propensity to make, ongoing revenue streams (such as YouTube overlay ads or Google AdSense), or even selling that digital performance. It would be the same thing as someone making copies of all of Tim Schmoyer's ReelWeb videos and putting them on their on YouTube channel and elsewhere online, and then trying to monetize them for themselves.

    The main problem is the introduction of criminal penalties. That's likely done to serve as a deterrent. But in truth, everything else on the purely civil level is already restricted by our current copyright law.

    I'm no lawyer, though. But law colleague and friend-of-ReelSEO Daliah Saper is; and she actually was interviewed by Fox Business News on bill S.978 back in June. You can watch that interview here:

    http://saperlaw.com/blog/2011/06/15/daliah-saper-interviewed-on-fox-news-to-discuss-senate-bill-978/