What Bieber Said
Bieber made several comments during the radio appearance regarding the proposed legislation, co-sponsored by Klobuchar, "Whoever she is, she needs to know that I'm saying she needs to be locked up - put away in cuffs." He added, "People need to have the freedom... people need to be able to sing songs. I just think that's ridiculous."
And finally, when asked if he is comfortable with people posting videos singing his songs, he replied, "Are you kidding me? I check YouTube all the time and watch people singing my songs. I think it's awesome."
Why Bieber is Right
Hint: Because Klobuchar Doesn't Understand The Details of Her Own Bill
Klobuchar's office and other "IP" attorneys have failed to point out that what is considered "performance" and "commercial infringement" is open-ended, so courts can argue that Bieber performed the cover songs, and that it was commercial infringement. They should know better: this bill adds extreme penalties to a very grey area in copyright law, and that's dangerous to all of us who express ourselves online.
Here's what experts are saying:
Lateef Mtima and Steven D. Jamar
Howard University School of Law, Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice
"Proposed Bill S 978 is rife with critical deficiencies particularly with respect to its impact on the public's interest in using and building upon copyrighted material. Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of the Bill is that the conduct it would criminalize is so poorly defined."
S.978 co-sponsor Senator Chris Coons (D-DE)
Senator Coons said it perfectly himself, saying that the legislation would criminalize both "individuals and sites providing the streamed content."
Jonathan Band, PLLC
"Streaming section is much, much broader than the Klobuchar bill. In essence, the Klobuchar bill allowed felony (as opposed to just misdemeanor) penalties for a public performance for commercial advantage or private financial gain. However, the Klobuchar bill left the status quo of no criminal penalties for public performances without purpose of commercial advantage or private financial gain. SOPA makes the same amendment as Klobuchar for commercial performances. But, it also imposes criminal penalties for public performances by means of digital networks with a retail value of more than $1,000. Felony penalties will be available if the retail value is more than $2,500. So, it sweeps in non-commercial streaming. Additionally, as I mentioned on the phone, the bill by implication lowers the standard of willfulness. Thus, unless an individual has a good faith reasonable belief that his streaming is lawful, he arguably is willfully infringing, and is subject to felony penalties, even if he had no commercial purpose."
A Line of Cases
There is a line of cases that says a transmission that ultimately results in a performance to the public is, itself, a public performance. See the following:
Free Bieber Campaign
Great Firewall of America - The PROTECT IP / SOPA Bill (video)
Bieber's comments about the bill and more from copyright experts
Klobuchar's criticism of Bieber
Some of the Many Groups who oppose PROTECT IP / SOPA / E-PARASITES ACT
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Center for Democracy and
Investors at Twitter, Zynga, Foursquare, Tumblr
And many more..