The Obama White House's IP Czar, Victoria Espinel, produced a white paper recently in which she called for unauthorized streaming to be made a felony, and would allow law enforcement agencies to deploy wire-taps to catch those responsible for the streams.
Under the proposed changes, streaming may be reclassified as "distribution of copyrighted works". Streaming is currently classified more like a public performance, which is not a felony. And by making unauthorized streaming a felony, law enforcement agencies will then have an easier time daealing with suspected stream operators, with access to the full range of enforcement tools, such as wire-taps.
However, music industry expert Moses Avalon thinks that this will mean just more than a harsher penalty for streaming website operators. Avalon believes that the proposed changes are also aimed at P2P users, perhaps because P2P has a upload component that could be considered streaming. But Avalon, who has also authored several books and is also a Grammy award winner, hopes this will also put an end to websites that discusses any form of P2P, specifically citing TorrentFreak as an example.
In fact, on the list of websites that Avalon says should/could be shut down includes legal streaming service GrooveShark and even the RIAA approved iMesh. When an user commented on that TorrentFreak was a news website, and that both GrooveShark and iMesh were legal websites, Avalon's response on his website was "Yes, actually I am aware of all those things. Your point…?"
Avalon also listed websites that he hopes will have their first amendment rights be curbed, to stop "promoting" P2P usage. He hopes that Internet rights groups, such as the EFF, will be curbed by any new laws, hoping to see "far less promotion of the P2P lifestyle on these sites now that use of the services themselves may become a felony". wired.com, slashdot.org, and even cnet.com also made Avalon's list.
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