12 Sep On to the Full House and Senate! Ask Congress (Again and Again) to Support The CASE Act
Since The CASE Act was introduced in early May, we’ve witnessed the Senate version of the Bill. S 1273 pass the Senate Judiciary Committee. and we’ve applauded the House Judiciary Committee for passing HR 2426, the House version of the Bill.
Now that The CASE Act is before the full House and Senate, the real work begins.
Your letters, calls, and emails are working! We’re back on Capitol Hill this week, and we’re hearing again that the grassroots work everyone is doing is making an impression.
But we have a much steeper hill to climb now. Contact your Senators and Representative and tell them – again and again! – why creators need a small copyright claims tribunal!
If your Senator or Representative hasn’t yet co-sponsored the Bill, ask them to sign on as a co-sponsor. If your they have cosponsored the Bill, thank them – and ask them to continue to support the Bill (and support you and other creators by doing so). (View the House cosponsors here. and view the Senate cosponsors here.)
Message to Congress in support of The CASE Act
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.
Background Information on The CASE Act
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.