WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee has pushed forward a bill that would make it illegal for website operators to profit from streaming pirated movies to consumers.
The legislation, expected to be go before the full Senate later this year, is called the Commercial Felony Streaming Act and would make profiting from online streaming of pirated films a felony offense.
The act is similar to the Protect IP Act, an anti-piracy measure that was recently approved by the committee giving the Justice Department more tools to crack down on websites that pirate content.
Current anti-piracy laws target the downloading of movies from peer-to-peer sites but do not address online streaming of pirated content, making it difficult for prosecutors to obtain convictions against operators of those sites.
The Felony Streaming Act seeks to address the streaming issue. Supporters of the legislation say it’s a critical step forward in fighting piracy, while opponents believe that it gives the government too much power.