From Publishing Perspectives:
On last Wednesday (May 1), the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2019 (called the CASE Act) was introduced on the floors of the US House of Representatives . . . and in the Senate
. . . .
As the Copyright Alliance puts it, the “creates a voluntary small claims board within the US Copyright Office that will provide copyright owners with an alternative to the expensive process of bringing copyright claims, including infringement and misrepresentation under 512(f), in federal court. This new board, called the Copyright Claims Board (CCB), would allow recovery in each case of up to US$30,000 in damages total, with a cap of US$15,000 in statutory damages per work infringed.”
The Association of American Producers and the Authors Guild have joined with other major advocacy and service groups in the United States in support of the bill. Those groups include:
- The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
- The American Society of Journalists and Authors
- The National Writers Union
- The Dramatists Guild
- The Garden Communicators International
- The Horror Writers Association
- The Romance Writers of America
The publishers’ association’s statement of support stresses the practical need for an affordable, sensible pathway that rights holders can use to defend copyrighted content, saying, “AAP has long advocated for a modern and effective copyright system that works for all stakeholders in the creative economy, providing meaningful rights and real-world remedies for creators large and small.
. . . .
“The CASE Act would create a streamlined, much less formal process than currently exists in federal court,” according to the guild staff’s messaging. “The parties would not need to hire attorneys and all proceedings would be conducted remotely, drastically reducing the cost. A three-‘judge’ tribunal within the Copyright Office would hear small copyright cases. … The process would also be entirely optional for both parties.”
. . . .
There is disagreement about the bill, albeit respectful, coming from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the nonprofit that works to defend civil liberties issues as they pertain to the digital space. “Though it’s well-intentioned,” a letter from April 23 on the subject from the EFF reads, “this bill would re-ignite the nationwide problem of copyright trolling, just as the federal courts are beginning to address this abusive practice.”
The foundation’s position is that the CASE Act makes it easier, not harder, for copyright trolls to operate, and that it raises potential threats to the privacy of “home and business Internet subscribers.”
Link to the rest at Publishing Perspectives