MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Justin Bieber might be the admiration of teenage girls, but the singer has no time for one Minnesota politician.
“Whoever she is, she needs to know I’m saying she should be locked up, put away in cuffs,” Bieber said. Those words were directed at Sen. Amy Klobuchar during a radio interview Bieber did in Washington D.C.
He was reacting to a bill Klobuchar proposed that would make it a felony for anyone to profit from unlicensed online content.
“I just think that’s silly,” Bieber said.
A website called FreeBieber.org even ran with it, suggesting Klobuchar’s bill could put him behind bars for 5 years.
Problem is: Bieber might have been misinformed and misled.
“It’s just equalizing the penalty,” said attorney Ken Abdo. “It’s not creating any new crime.”
Abdo represents Johnny Lang, Owl City, Three Dog Night and other artists. He said Klobuchar is simply trying to create stiffer penalties for people who do illegal bootlegging and selling online, making the penalties similar to bootlegs done on the street.
“There’s so much illegal downloading,” Abdo said. “It’s billions of dollars in any estimate.”
Klobuchar’s office also responded with a statement, saying, “Justin Bieber may have been misled about the content of this bill.” And added, “The bill only covers intentional commercial theft of things like books, music, and movies.”
Abdo says Klobuchar is actually trying to protect Bieber’s music so others don’t illegally make money off it.
“Justin Bieber is really an innocent in the whole story. If it wasn’t for his celebrity it wouldn’t even be an issue,” Abdo said.
Performing another artist’s song and then posting it on Youtube is still OK under Klobuchar’s bill.
It’s when the poster starts trying to make money off the video without permission that the problems start. Klobuchar is looking to make that a felony in some cases.