Dear Ms. Klobuchar:
This bill is targeted at children. It is calculated to stifle creativity and prevent the emergence of new talent. You may not have intended these results, but if your bill becomes law it will turn kids (and many adults) into criminals while doing little to protect copyright holders.
First, you haven't been honest about what the bill would do. You said it would only apply to people who post video covers in order to make money. That's not what your bill says. It says it applies if the video is viewed 10 or more times and the copyright holder values the "infringement" at $2,500 or more, or if the fair market value of a license to perform the material is greater than $5,000. There isn't any requirement that the performer actually make any money from the video, and both of the "objective value" components are set by the copyright holders.
Pretty much every video posted to the internet is viewed 10 or more times. And so far, copyright holders have claimed that even one unauthorized copy of a song should be valued at more than a million dollars. So, contrary to your assertion, it seems like this bill would apply to pretty much everyone who posts a cover to the internet, whether it's a four-year-old girl covering Nicki Minaj or Justin Bieber covering Usher or thousands of people dancing along to Beyonce's "Put a Ring on It."
Second, do we really want to criminalize this? This isn't stealing, it's (arguably) copying. The losses suffered are purely financial, and they are often theoretical. There's no fraud going on here. Just people who are such big fans of their favorite artists that they want to sing along on video with hundreds or thousands of other people doing the same thing. If this is really copyright infringement, shouldn't civil damages be enough to cover it?
Moreover, the people you are targeting with this bill are mostly kids. They are doing the 21st-century equivalent of singing along with their favorite music on MTV in their living room with a group of their friends. Except that there isn't any music on MTV anymore, so kids film themselves singing along and share those videos with their friends who also film themselves singing along.
Third—and this is the really important one, for me—what the heck were you thinking? This bill was obviously drafted by the music or movie industry and put on your desk by a lobbyist. You can't have come up with this on your own, because you've actually done some pretty great work for consumers during your time in the Senate.
I can only assume you had a lapse, which I hope was momentary, and forgot one of the most important rules: don't trust lobbyists. They are in sales, and you are the customer. Lobbyists may be knowledgeable and well-intentioned, but they are still selling their client's product. Don't trust them. They aren't looking out for the best interests of your constituents; they are looking out for the best interests of their constituents. In this case, the lobbyist was selling the last schemes of a dying industry that is so utterly bereft of ideas and value that all it can come up with is raiding the savings accounts of children.
This cannot be what you meant to do. This was a mistake. We know that. We'll forgive you if you own up to it and kill this bill. But you have to really kill it. Own up to your mistake. Admit that this bill was pushed across your desk by a lobbyist, so that the next representative that gets it won't have any excuse for promoting this kind of thing.