The “Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2019” (the CASE Act) is a bill that would create a “small claims court” within the U.S. Copyright Office to handle copyright infringement claims from individual creators and small businesses that cannot afford to defend themselves in federal court.
At this time, federal courts have jurisdiction over copyright, and federal litigation is expensive. Many professional creators and small businesses cannot afford to defend their rights when someone infringes their copyrighted works. You can learn more about this issue here in this piece written by Oregon Creators, Lisa Dillon and Bryan Welsh. As a result, these infringements regularly go unchallenged, leading many creators to feel disenfranchised by the copyright system. As a result, many creators have rights but no remedies.
On October 22, 2019 the CASE Act was passed by the House by an overwhelming majority. However, the bill still needs to pass through the Senate (and then be signed by the President) before it can be enacted into law. Currently, Senator Wyden (D-OR) has a hold placed on the bill preventing it from going to a full Senate vote. To learn more about the hold, you can read this article in Billboard. We need the support of all creators in the U.S. to email, call (202-224-5244), and tweet Senator Wyden, urging him to release his hold and support the CASE Act.