Washington, DC — Today, Copyright Alliance CEO Keith Kupferschmid released the following statement applauding Congress for including and passing the CASE Act and the Protecting Lawful Streaming Act as part of the end-of-year omnibus and COVID-19 relief package, titled the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.
“We commend the House and Senate for including and passing the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, legislation that will bring much needed economic support for thousands of creators who have lost jobs, gigs, performances and significant income due to the pandemic. The bill, which will now go to the President’s desk for signature, also includes the long-awaited Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act (the CASE Act) and the Protecting Lawful Streaming Act (PLSA).
“The CASE Act has been a critical legislative priority for hundreds of thousands of photographers, illustrators, graphic artists, songwriters, authors, bloggers, YouTubers and many other creators and small businesses across the country. For far too long, these individual creators have had rights but no means of enforcing them due to the expense and complexity of federal court. With today’s passage of the CASE Act, creators will have a voluntary, inexpensive and streamlined alternative — a small claims tribunal that will be housed within the U.S. Copyright Office — enabling them to defend their copyrighted works from infringement. In addition to enjoying widespread bipartisan support in Congress, as evidenced by the 410-6 vote in the House and by diverse stakeholders across the country supporting it, the CASE Act has been the culmination of years of Congressional deliberation, U.S. Copyright Office research and expertise, and stakeholder input, as well as negotiations to address concerns with previous versions of the bill. Today’s passage is a momentous victory for individual creators and small businesses who, despite strong opposition by certain internet behemoths and the organizations that they fund, did not give up their decade-long fight for a level playing field.
“The Protecting Lawful Streaming Act (PLSA), which was also included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, will finally close the so-called streaming loophole in criminal copyright law. By passing the PLSA, Congress has taken a significant, bipartisan, bicameral measure intended to correct an unintended gap in the law and has modernized copyright law by harmonizing criminal penalties for illegal streaming to be consistent with those that have long existed for illegal downloading and distribution. At the same time, the PLSA ensures that such penalties are available only against large criminal enterprises and not ordinary internet users and non-commercial activities. By updating criminal copyright law, the PLSA will provide prosecutors with an effective tool to deter harmful criminal activity and protect the rights of creators and copyright owners.
“There are numerous members of Congress who we would like to thank for their support of the CASE Act — including Representatives Jeffries (D-NY) and Collins (R-GA); and Senators Kennedy (R-LA), Durbin (D-IL), and Hirono (D-HI). Their unbridled support for small creators and their belief in the bill throughout the legislative process was essential and inspiring.
“Further, we thank numerous others who assisted with getting the CASE Act passed, including Senate Judiciary Committee IP Subcommittee Ranking Member Coons (D-DE), House Judiciary Chairman Nadler (D-NY), the thousands of creators who voiced their support with their Congressional representatives, and all of the organizations that stood firm in supporting this bill.
“We also send a very special thanks to Senate Judiciary Committee IP Subcommittee Chairman Tillis (R-NC) for his support of the CASE Act, as well as for his tireless advocacy on behalf of the Protecting Lawful Streaming Act. If not for the efforts of Chairman Tillis, the streaming loophole would still exist and streaming piracy by large criminal enterprises would continue to thrive.”
ABOUT THE COPYRIGHT ALLIANCE
The Copyright Alliance is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest and educational organization representing the copyright interests of over 1.8 million individual creators and over 13,000 organizations in the United States, across the spectrum of copyright disciplines. The Copyright Alliance is dedicated to advocating policies that promote and preserve the value of copyright, and to protecting the rights of creators and innovators. For more information, please visit www.copyrightalliance.org.