In a bid to end digital piracy, the Protecting Lawful Streaming Act of 2020 has recently made illegal streaming a felony in the US. But do the same rules apply for screen recording? The short answer is no. For the long answer, read on.
WHAT IS COPYRIGHT AND COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT?
With online infringements of copyrighted video and music on the rise, it’s important to know what is allowed and what isn’t allowed under US law which states that an original piece of work is automatically copyrighted when “fixed in any tangible meaning of the expression.” The term “tangible” may have made more sense back when VHS and DVD were a thing but what about a ‘pirate’ website that is easy to access for free and looks legal?
THE CRACKDOWN ON ILLEGAL FILE SHARING
Under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the legal definition of “tangible” has evolved to protect digital copies of work from copyright infringement and unauthorized use online. Broadly speaking, this covers everything from E-books, art, games and software to music and movies.
The legal penalties for copyright infringement are between $200 to $150,000 for each work infringed. This being said, since the rise and decline of file-sharing platforms like Napster and Limewire, the question of liability is still heavily disputed.
While both software companies lost their legal battles against the record industry for indirectly contributing to illegal file sharing, whether the user can escape responsibility for downloading content for free is still up for debate. With hundreds of thousands of music fans downloading audio copies from these websites back in the early 2000s, the lure of free music turned ordinary folk into pirates and thieves seemingly overnight.
IS SCREEN RECORDING NETFLIX LEGAL?– THE FINAL VERDICT
Fortunately, over the past decade, the mass emergence of subscription-based streaming services like Netflix and Hulu has seen a significant decline in online piracy. TV shows and movies are supplied t