Senate Committee Votes to Make Illegal Video Streaming a Felony

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Score one for the MPAA.

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee voted to make illegal video streaming a felony. The proposed law still has to go through to the full Senate for voting before you start having to be more careful about where you’re clicking.

(MORE: Study: 32% of Netflix Customers Plan to Cut Their Cable Costs)

The move, not surprisingly, is largely backed by the guys who run Hollywood: It’s mainly supported by the Screen Actors Guild, the Motion Picture Association of America, the Independent Film & Television Alliance and many other people in the entertainment business.

National Association of Theatre Owners President John Fithian points out: “To the technicians, designers, construction workers, and artists who support their families through their work in entertainment, there’s no difference between illegal downloading and illegal streaming – it’s all theft that hurts their work, their wages and their benefits.”

The upgrade of the offense to a felony is fairly serious, considering the fact that illegally streaming 10 videos over a six-month period is now enough to land you in jail for five years. Yowza.

(MORE: Warner Announces China’s First Video on Demand Service, but Is It Legal?)

It won’t become law until it passes through the Senate and Obama, but how about just saving yourself the hassle and getting a Netflix account like the rest of America already?

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