Bill calls for felony prosecution of uploaders.

The House of Representatives this afternoon (Sept. 28) passed the Piracy Deterrence and Education Act of 2004, considered one of the most important pieces of anti-piracy legislation to be approved by the 108th Congress. The bill now goes to the Senate floor for consideration.

The main provision of the bill, H.R. 4077, would allow for the felony prosecution of egregious uploaders of unauthorized copyrighted files. The bill would also require peer-to-peer services to post warning notices stating the legal dangers of file-sharing, and it provides for extra federal copyrght-enforcement funds and training programs.

The legislation contains an unrelated amendment approved by the Judiciary Commitee on Sept. 8. The so-called Family Movie Act would allow companies to remove sexual, violent or other adult scenes from movies and offer a sanitized version for sale without fear of being prosecuted for copyright infringement. Companies using the ClearPlay software, which enables such editing of movies, are now involved in lawsuits filed by directors and movie studios.