On October 4, Representatives Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Tom Marino (R-PA), as well as Representatives Doug Collins (R-GA), Lamar Smith (R-TX), Judy Chu (D-CA), and Ted Lieu (D-CA) introduced the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act of 2017. The legislation creates a voluntary small claims board within the Copyright Office that will provide copyright owners with an alternative to the expensive process of bringing infringement claims in federal court. This new board, called the Copyright Claims Board (CCB), would have a cap on damages of $15,000 per work infringed and $30,000 total.
Soon the House Judiciary Committee will likely consider and vote on the bill. Your Congressional representative needs to know that you support the bill. If you haven’t contacted your representative, now is the time to do so. And if you have contacted them, now is the time to remind them that the creative community needs their support. Organizations representing individual creators and small businesses have already voiced their support to legislators. Now we need your help!
Follow the links below to stay informed about Copyright Small Claims, including statements and other information regarding H.R. 3945.
Copyright Alliance Issues Statement on Small Claims Legislation Introduced by Reps. Jeffries and Marino | The Copyright Alliance commends Rep. Jeffries and Rep. Marino, as well as Reps. Collins, Smith, Chu and Lieu, for introducing the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2017, a bill to help America’s individual creators and small businesses enforce their copyrights. It’s an unfortunate reality that the high cost of litigation makes copyright enforcement beyond the reach of most professional creators and small businesses that rely on copyright for their careers and livelihoods.
Reps. Jeffries, Marino Lead Bipartisan Effort to Help Musicians and Artists Protect Their Creative Work | “The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act of 2017 will create a Copyright Claims Board (“CCB”) in order to provide a simple, quick and less expensive forum for copyright owners to enforce their intellectual property. The majority of the copyright owners that are affected by piracy and theft are independent creators with small copyright infringement claims. The CCB will establish an alternative forum to the Federal District Court for copyright owners to protect their work from infringement.”
Rep. Lieu Sponsors Bipartisan Bill to Protect Intellectual Property Rights | “More than 2 million hardworking artists in the United States rely on the U.S. Copyright Office to protect their livelihoods. For too long, our legal system skewed in favor of low-volume, high-value industries. But for many independent artists, whose claims of infringement often total a few thousand dollars, it is far too expensive to sue in federal court – essentially forcing creators to forfeit their rights. The Small Claims Board is an important step toward ensuring that digital photographers, graphic artists, illustrators and others have a way to resolve disputes quickly and affordably. I commend my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for supporting this crucial effort.”
Revised Small Copyright Claims Bill Introduced by Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers | “The legislation would give authors a much-needed tool to combat copyright infringement without having to go to federal court—an extremely expensive proposition for even the most straightforward copyright cases, and one that few authors can afford. If the bill is passed, individual creators and other small copyright owners will have the ability to enforce their rights without hiring a lawyer or travelling to federal court. This should effectively place copyright remedies for the first time within the grasp of an entire class of creators who otherwise could not afford to avail themselves of the legal system.”
House Bill Introduced for Copyright Small Claims | “A copyright small claims process is closer to reality today after a bipartisan group of Congressional representatives introduced the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2017, HR 3945, also known as the CASE Act.
The CASE Act creates a version of a small claims court within the Copyright Office, allowing copyright holders to present their claim before claims officers. In this process, which is voluntary, the damages awarded would be limited to $30,000 for any one proceeding. ”
ASMP Supports Introduction of CASE Act to Create Small Claims Tribunal | “Today, the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) announced its support for a bill introduced by Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) to create a small claims court within the Copyright Office—ASMP’s top legislative priority. The bill, H.R. 3945, entitled, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2017” (the “CASE Act”) is also cosponsored by Representatives Tom Marino (R-PA), Lamar Smith (R-TX), Doug Collins (R-GA), Judy Chu (D-CA) and Ted Lieu (DCA).”
Visual Artists Applaud the Release of New Small Claims Legislation | “A coalition of visual artists groups, representing hundreds of thousands of small businesses across America, strongly supports the introduction by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) and original cosponsors, Representatives Doug Collins (R-GA), Lamar Smith (R-TX), Judy Chu (D-CA), and Ted Lieu (D-CA) of a bill entitled, “Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2017” (“the CASE Act of 2017”) establishing an alternative dispute resolution program for copyright small claims. These visual artists commend Mr. Jeffries, as well as Representatives Marino, Collins, Smith, Chu, and Lieu, for their dedication to supporting the creative community—including their members, most of whom are small business owners—and for their keen appreciation of the plight faced by creative professionals who are all too often left with rights but no remedies under current copyright law. ”