09 Oct Call to Action: Ask Your Representative to Co-Sponsor Copyright Small Claims Legislation!
The Guild is calling on graphic artists contact their representatives and ask them to support the CASE Act, the Copyright Enforcement in Small Claims Act. Click here to be taken to the Take Action page on copyrightdefense.com. There is an easy portal to use to email or telephone your representative.
Currently, small copyright holders – individual designers and illustrators – are disenfranchised from the copyright system. Copyright cases must be heard in federal court, and the cost of bringing a copyright infringement lawsuit forward is beyond the means of most graphic artists. On top of that, many lawyers won’t take small infringement cases – a survey conducted by the American Bar Association indicated that less than one-third of IP attorneys would take an infringement case of less than $30,000. In fact, copyright is so difficult for small rights holders to enforce that it’s been called a “right with no remedy.”
To address this, 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 H.R. 3945, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act of 2017. The act calls for the establishment of a small claims tribunal to which individual creators can bring small copyright claims – ones valued at $30,000 or less. This new tribunal would provide an easy and streamlined process, is 100% voluntary with opt-out provisions, and is inexpensive.
It’s imperative that individual artists come out in support of this bill! We need a groundswell of support from individuals to show Congress that there is grassroots support for the CASE act. We need more representatives to co-sponsor the bill. Click here to be taken to an advocacy page on copyrightdefense.com. You can choose to either telephone or email your representative. Copyrightdefense even has a field for you to find your representatives, and has provided talking point and a sample email.