15 Aug What to Tell Your Senators About the CASE Act
This summer we worked on touching base with Senatorial staff and letting them know why it’s so important for graphic artists to have The CASE Act, S 1273, passed into law. Since travel to Washington for in-person meetings isn’t possible in the age of COVID, we were worried that our ability to advocate on behalf of the bill would be hampered. In fact, the opposite happened.
Typically only our Advocacy Liaison engages in in-person meetings with Members of Congress and staff.* It’s just too expensive to send many people on these trips, and there is often a limit on the number of people who can attend these meetings. However, with meetings going virtual, none of those constraints are relevant. That meant we were able to schedule three meetings with Senate staffers with Guild board members who were their constituents Crisy Meschieri, James Bratton, and Dawn Mitchell. All three have had experience with having their work stolen by copyright infringers, as well as anecdotes from their colleagues – designers, illustrators, and printshops — who deal with ongoing infringement.
The reception those three received from from the Senatorial staffers confirmed what we’ve known for a while: members of Congress want to hear from their constituents. They also need to hear from us. Members of Congress don’t know how we license our work, what kind of financial pressure we’re under, how we market ourselves online, and why we are so vulnerable to having our work stolen by copyright infringers. Members of Congress need to understand how the bills they are considering will impact their constituents.
That’s where you come in. Despite some good meetings, we haven’t made the progress we need on The CASE Act. We’re down to the wire to get this bill passed this Fall. With Senator Wyden continuing to hold up the bill, we need to keep contacting Senators and ask them to support or co-sponsor S. 1273. We’ve posted the links to the contact pages and social media accounts of the Senators who still haven’t co-sponsored the bill below. Contact them by sending them a note via their contact forms and tag them on Facebook.
Good things to tell your Senators:
- Why it’s so crucial for them to support S 1273, The CASE Act
- How you as a small business owner (yes, that includes freelancers!) and as a graphic artist, earn a living
- Why your work is so vulnerable to copyright infringement and how you need to publish your creative work online to attract new clients
- If your work has been stolen, how you discovered it, and what steps you took to try to address it
- How necessary copyright is for licensing your work and for controlling where and how your artwork is used
We’re going to keep pushing for the bill, telling your stories of copyright infringement to convey to Senators why a small copyright claims solution is so necessary. If you have had first-hand experience with copyright infringement, get in touch with us. If you’d like to participate in a meeting with your Senator’s staff, let us know, and we’ll do what we can to set up a constituent meeting with you. After all, you’re our best weapon to get The CASE Act passed.
*With the exception of last year’s road trip to lobby the House for The CASE Act!
You can pull up links to your Senators’ contact forms and social media accounts below. If one or both of your Senators are not listed , that means they are already co-sponsors of the CASE Act (along with Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana, the original sponsor).