One step closer to the CASE Act
From the Graphic Artists Guild:
Washington, DC (September 11, 2019): The Graphic Artists Guild thanks the House Judiciary Committee for passing HR 2426, The CASE Act Amendment in Nature of a Substitute, out of committee by voice vote with no dissensions. The small copyright claims tribunal proposed by The CASE Act is a voluntary, affordable, expedited option that is balanced and fair to both copyright holders and copyright users.
The bill has already passed the Senate, so now it moves forward to be voted on by both chambers. According to Billboard.com, “Industry sources say they are hopeful it will come to a full vote in both legislative arms before the October recess.” Also from Billboard:
“The legislation would create the Copyright Claims Board at the U.S. Copyright office, who would hear and rule on small claims cases of copyright infringement where damages would be capped at $15,000 per claim and $30,000 in total, which means that smaller independents can file claims without taking on the added expense of an attorney.”
But the CASE Act does have its detractors. From the Electronic Frontier Foundation:
“The CASE Act’s goal is to make it simple and fast for copyright holders to get paid for infringement claims. The method it employs is to create a quasi-judicial body in the Copyright Office called the “Copyright Claims Board,” which would be able to award damages as high as $30,000 per proceeding, while also strictly limiting the ability of parties to appeal the decisions. $30,000 judgments issued by people who are not judges but rather officers of the Copyright Office, who see copyright holders—not the general public—as their customers, are not “small claims”. These are judgments that could ruin the lives of regular people; people who are engaging in the things we all do when we’re online: sharing memes, sharing videos, and downloading images.”