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Fairness for Small Creators Act Introduced

Posted by Advocacy Liaison on December 08, 2016

Washington DC, Dec. 8, 2016

Rep. Lamar SmithRep. Judy ChuThe Graphic Artists Guild applauds the introduction of H.R. 6496, the “Fairness for Small Creators Act” introduced by Rep. Judy Chu [D-NY] and Rep. Lamar Smith [R-TX]. The bill seeks the establishment of a “small claims system within the Copyright Office,” which would provide individual creators an affordable avenue to enforce their copyrights. Small rights holders, such as illustrators, graphic designers, and other visual artists, find the cost of the current system is prohibitively expensive, and are deterred from enforcing their copyrights. This is occuring as online distribution channels and technologies have facilitated rampant infringement of visual works, and as visual artists see income from licensing plummet.

The establishment of a small claims system could go far to redress this situation. H.R. 6496 is the second bill to be introduced which proposes a copyright small claims solution. In July of this year, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries [D-NY] and Rep. Tom Marino [R-PA] introduced H.R. 5757, “The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act of 2016”. We look forward to working with members of Congress in seeing coypright small claims legislation enacted.

Working with a coalition of visual artist organizations, the Graphic Artists Guild has long advocated for small claims legislation. In a white paper released earlier this year, the coalition recommended the establishment of a copyright small claims tribunal consistent with “Copyright Small Claims,” a report issued by the Copyright Office in September 2013. Coalition members include American Photographic Artists (APA), American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA), Graphic Artists Guild (GAG), National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) and Professional Photographers of America (PPA).

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