One of the biggest flaws in North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis’ proposed and politically named, “Protect Lawful Streaming Act” or PLSA, would be enforcement. If this managed to pass (I don’t think it will) it would be a ridiculous exercise to throw this felony at the streamer.
Let’s run this out…
1) Let’s say Band X spots little Billy playing their song on his stream. They have to report Billy to the authorities and say they want to press charges.
2) Already overwhelmed authorities, who already have to deal with COVID and protests in the street, have to sit down and watch Billy’s stream until they find the offense. This takes resources off other violent felony cases.
3) Band X is in California. Billy is in New York. California law enforcement has to call the cops in Billy’s town and ask the state attorney to press charges.
4) The state attorney, who is already shorthanded, also has to investigate and watch the stream. Then they have to decide to prosecute. And this is a felony they’re trying to get for playing a video game over music. Their own voters will remember that.
5) The state attorney has to call the already overwhelmed police department and send them to Billy’s house. This while there are real criminals on the street in their own town.
6) Billy goes to jail. He’s bailed out. He goes back home and activates his followers. They go after Band X and they lose the PR war and their bottom line takes a hit.
7) Billy pleads down and now this kid has to carry that charge around for the rest of his life. It will cost him selection for educational opportunities. It will cost him job opportunities.
8) Band X loses fans. Their next record doesn’t sell and they can’t tour because Billy was their audience.
9) The record companies win. And maintain their power over the artists.
10) The politicians continue bringing in hundreds of thousands in campaign contributions from the record companies and win re-election.
Repeat this process for every single time the PLSA is enforced.
And that’s why this terrible legislation must be defeated.