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Update on The CASE Act: Advocating for a Copyright Small Claims Process

Posted by Advocacy Liaison on April 30, 2018

The Guild joined representatives from our coalition of visual artist associations for Congressional visits in January and in April in support of H.R. 3945, The CASE Act. The visits were part of our ongoing efforts to get copyright small claims legislation passed. Representatives Hakeem Jeffries and Tom Marino introduced the bill last October. 

To demonstrate support for the Bill, the associations have urged visual artists to contact their Representatives to co-sponsor H.R. 3945 in order to move the Bill into the House Judiciary Committee for markup and a vote.

If and when the bill passes the House Judiciary Committee, it proceeds to the House floor for discussion and a full vote. If the House votes to pass the bill, it will be referred to the Senate, where it must follow a similar procedure. If the bill passes the Senate, it will be sent to the President for signing into law – unless the Senate bill is significantly different than the House version. 

In that case, the differences in both bills must be reconciled in a conference committee before proceeding and approved by both the House and the Senate. All this must happen before the end of the year, when this term of Congress ends. 

The April lobbying visit coincided with the passage of the Music Modernization Act by the House Judiciary Committee. The Act modernizes music licensing law which predated digital streaming and downloads and will better meet the needs of both songwriters and music providers. 

Advocating for the bill brought together an unprecedented coalition of stakeholders: musicians, songwriters, music publishers, and recording industry interest groups. Two weeks later, the House of Representatives unanimously passed the Music Modernizations Act. Individual creators and copyright holders are hoping this is a harbinger for The CASE Act.

Below: Guild Advocacy Liaison Rebecca Blake (second from left) joined (left to right) David Trust of PPA, PPA lobbyiest Cindi Merifield, and Tom Kennedy of ASMP in going over the schedule of Congressional meetings. Photo courtesy of Matthew Rakola, APA member. 

Strategizing on The CASE Act Congressional meetings, photo by Matthew Rakola

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