08 May Take Action: What is The CASE Act, and How Can You Support It
On May 1st, the latest iteration of The CASE Act was introduced, this time into both the House and the Senate, and with bipartisan co-sponsorship by nine Representative and four Senators. This is a great achievement for artist advocates! For years we’ve been pursuing legislation that would make a small copyright claims tribunal a reality. And while we’ve had bills introduced before, this is the first time we’ve had The CASE Act introduced into both chambers of Congress!
What Is The CASE Act?
The CASE Act, or the Copyright Alternative in Small Claims Enforcement Act, would establish a small copyright claims tribunal within the Copyright Office. Much as a small claims court handles disputes with small claims quickly and easily, the small copyright claims tribunal would handle small copyright disputes where the potential award is less than $15,000, or $30,000 for multiple infringements. The process would be expedited and inexpensive, and legal counsel wouldn’t be required. While the awards given in the small claims tribunal are limited, it’s entirely optional; artists with a large copyright infringement to pursue could opt to go to federal court.
The CASE Act was introduced into the House as H.R. 2426 by Reps. Jeffries (D-NY) and Collins (R-GA), co-sponsored by Reps. Nadler (D-NY), Johnson (D-GA), Roby (R-AL), Chu (D-CA), Cline (R-VA), Lieu (D-CA), and Fitzpatrick (R-PA). It was introduced into the Senate as S. 1273 by Senators Kennedy (R-LA), Tillis (R-NC), Durbin (D-IL), and Hirono (D-HI).
Why do we need The CASE Act?
Right now the only option for copyright holders whose work has been infringed is to sue the infringer in federal court. That is hugely expensive; the legal costs often outstrip the potential award from a small copyright infringement. On top of that, it can be difficult to find a lawyer who will take a small infringement case. The result is that for many small infringements, copyright holders are left with few viable options to defend their copyrights.
We’re off to a great start, but we need to build momentum. Ask your Senators and Representatives to support The CASE Act!
We need to build as much support for The CASE Act before Congress takes its summer break. We’re asking graphic artists – designers, illustrators, and their supporters – to contact their Representatives and Senators and ask them to co-sponsor and support the bill.
Here are a few ways you can easily contact Congress:
Option 1) You can use the web portal at copyrightdefense.com/action.
Enter in your name and address, and be taken to a page to send your Members of Congress an email. You can either use the message on Copyrightdefense.com, edit the message to write your own, or use our message supplied below.
Option 2) You can use the Add Your Voice portal on the Copyright Alliance website.
Enter in your street address and zip code to pull up form to contact your Senators and representatives. You can either use the Copyright Alliance’s message, eidt the message to write your own, or use our message supplied below.
Option 3) Contact your Member of Congress through their contact pages.
Visit the Find Your Representative and Find Your Senators pages to find your Members of Congress and get a link to their contact pages. From there, you can write your own message or use our message supplied below.
I’m writing you today to ask you to please support The CASE Act, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act (H.R. 2426/S. 1273) by co-sponsoring the bill, and by voting in favor of it. The CASE Act would establish a small copyright claims tribunal that would provide me with an affordable, practical, and voluntary option to the federal courts.
I am a graphic artist and a small business owner who relies on the protection copyright affords my work. Right now, it’s very difficult for me to enforce my copyrights. The federal court system is expensive, and many lawyers won’t take small copyright claims cases. The result is that I have little recourse to address copyright infringement.
The CASE Act is important to creators like me – visual artists, photographers, writers, songwriters, and others – and small copyright holders. It’s a fair and balanced bill that protects our rights while preventing abuse. A small copyright claims tribunal as proposed in The Case Act would even the playing field for individual creators like me, and deter the rampant infringement of our work.