Earlier this month, Republican senator Thom Tillis managed to graft an act that would turn streaming copyrighted material into a felony onto the much-debated omnibus spending bill, which also includes a paltry second covid relief check, among many other things. After even more debate (and many concessions), Congress is poised to pass the bill this evening. The felony streaming rider is still part of it, but it no longer seems to directly threaten Twitch streamers and other content creators.
The United States government is, as we all know, extremely functional. It’s so functional, in fact, that it regularly struggles to pass spending bills in order to prevent itself from shutting down. The latest “must-pass” bill, like many of its predecessors, includes controversial measures that wouldn’t be able to pass on their own, negotiated with the high stakes of this particular bill in mind. One of them would turn unauthorized streaming of copyrighted material into a felony.