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House Passes CASE Act

The Copyright Alternative in Small-claims Enforcement Act passed the House of Representatives in October 2019. Vote was 410 For, 6 Against.

An article on says "The CASE Act would create a small claims tribunal in the United States Copyright Office to hear copyright infringement cases, and provide photographers, graphic artists, illustrators, authors, songwriters and other individual creators and small businesses, for the first time an affordable and accessible venue to protect their creative efforts from infringement."

Wikipedia states that the CASE Act "...would provide a new means for copyright holders to seek payment for infringed works. It would establish a small-claims-court-like board of three judges within the U.S. Copyright Office to adjudicate copyright infringement cases.[1][2] Damages would be limited to US$15,000 for each infringed work, and $30,000 total per claim.[3] The measure was introduced into Congress in May 2019, and was passed by the House of Representatives that October." Its purpose is to "to make it easier for creators and small businesses to defend their copyrighted works via a small claims court versus having to maneuver the costs and complexities of federal court."

Professional photography organization like American Society of Media Photographers and Professional Photographers of America support the bill and have put their resources behind its passing. Executive Direct of ASMP Tom Kennedy said, "“From the moment I became Executive Director of ASMP it was clear to me that the copyright system needed this reform. Photographers, designers, illustrators, graphic artists, songwriters, musicians, authors, filmmakers, and creators all need a new mechanism to address the harm caused by infringements and an alternative to federal court – a venue that has often proven out of their reach because of costs and complexity. Passage of the CASE Act would give creators a new remedy to go with their right to intellectual property protection, and a viable alternative to federal court.”

Mike Klipper, ASMP’s copyright counsel, said “today’s resounding House vote is an important milestone in the longstanding effort to help ensure that small businesses and individual creators finally have access to a venue in which to defend their creative works from copyright infringement—unfortunately an increasingly serious problem in our digital world.”

ASMP article here

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