North Car­oli­na Repub­li­can Sen­a­tor, Thom Tillis, is attempt­ing to pass leg­is­la­tion that would make stream­ing copy­right­ed mate­r­i­al a felony, rather than a mis­de­meanor. He’s try­ing to push this with­in the major gov­ern­ment fund­ing bill. This bill is con­sid­ered a “must-pass” piece of leg­is­la­tion — the gov­ern­ment will shut down if it isn’t approved.

If this leg­is­la­tion pass­es, unau­tho­rized com­mer­cial stream­ing of copy­right­ed mate­r­i­al, which has been a seri­ous issue on plat­forms like Twitch, would turn into a felony offense that could come with prison time. Twitch stream­ers have been get­ting ham­mered with waves of copy­right strikes through­out this year, with some stream­ers hav­ing to go back and delete a num­ber of their clips (with any copy­right-pro­tect­ed music in them, of course).

Twitch has apol­o­gized for its poor response to the DMCA take­downs last month, but stat­ed the best way to keep away from copy­right strikes is to not stream copy­right­ed mate­r­i­al. How obvious.

Tillis’s push for harsh­er pun­ish­ment is a com­mon tac­tic when Con­gress must pass a spend­ing bill. Law­mak­ers insert con­tro­ver­sial leg­is­la­tion that might not pass on its own, because oth­er law­mak­ers will hes­i­tate to oppose a spend­ing bill. Tillis received a num­ber of dona­tions from groups affil­i­at­ed with enter­tain­ment com­pa­nies, includ­ing Motion Pic­ture Asso­ci­a­tion, Sony Pic­tures, NBCU­ni­ver­sal, among oth­ers, that have lob­bied for this type of copy­right enforcement.

The pos­si­ble law isn’t avail­able to the pub­lic yet, but the gov­ern­ment will shut down if the spend­ing bill does not pass by Decem­ber 18th.