What The ‘Free Justin Bieber!’ Campaign Is All About [Corrected]


Credit: Getty Images / Larry Busacca

A proposed law has drawn the ire of copyright reformers for including prison sentences for those who stream copyright material. Now one group is having some fun with the law by drawing on the fame of a certain teen heart-throb.

A group called Fight for the Future is claiming that Justin Bieber could be extradited from Canada because he didn’t obtain permission to use the R&B songs in the YouTube (NSDQ: GOOG) videos that made him famous. It released the story this morning along with pics of a miserable-looking Biebs hunkered in a cell with an orange jumpsuit and a tear drop tattoo. The site notes that, under the terms of a proposed law, Bieber could end up doing five years of hard time for streaming copyrighted material without permission.

The law in question was proposed in the Senate last May and is titled “A bill to amend the criminal penalty provision for criminal infringement of a copyright.” It proposes to add the words “or public performance” into existing criminal penalties for reproducing or downloading copyrighted works. In plain English, the bill’s goal is to ensure that streaming videos to the public — this would presumably include YouTube videos — are subject to the same tough penalties as other types of unauthorized copying.

According to the Library of Congress, the bill has been in the Judiciary Committee since June.

The story was first reported by TorrentFreak is a popular source for original reporting on the ongoing clashes between copyright owners and individuals who like to share media through technologies like BitTorrent.

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