Justin Bieber on Thursday was like, “baby, baby, baby, no.”
On a radio show, the tween pop sensation called out Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who’s sponsoring legislation to make it a felony to profit from streaming unlicensed content online, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
“That guy needs to be locked up,” Bieber said after hearing about the bill, apparently not immediately remembering Amy is generally a woman’s name. “Whoever she is, she needs to know that I’m saying she needs to be locked up, put away in cuffs.”
But no bother, Bieber fans are rallying. As the Washington Post reports, Fight for the Future, a technology advocacy group, has launched a website called FreeBieber.Org, with a whole bunch of cutesy photos of Bieber behind bars. “Justin faces 5 brutal years in prison,” the website reads. Ironically, Bieber’s lawyers sent the group a cease and desist order over the site.
The bill, though, doesn’t threaten artists like Bieber. It only goes after those who illegally stream unlicensed content, those who are trying to make a profit on web streaming. The Washington Post reports:
At Copyhype, a blog devoted to copyright issues, IP attorney Terry Hart argues that “someone who uploads a video to YouTube is not performing the video — YouTube is,” meaning a person cannot be prosecuted under S.978 any more than they could have been in the past.
“In short,” Hart said, “Justin Bieber is not going to jail.”
Klobuchar spokesperson Brigit Helgen put the bill in perspective:
“Bieber must have been misled about the content of this bill,” she said in an email statement to TPM. “It’s not about people posting their personal work on the web. This is common sense legislation that passed through the Judiciary Committee with no objection from either party. The bill only covers the intentional commercial theft of things like books, commercial music, and movies, including foreign piracy.”
Listen to Bieber’s audio clip, via Hot 99.5:
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com