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May 28, 2019

Bi-Partisan CASE Bill May Make Copyright Disputes Easier



If passed, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act [CASE], HR2426 and S1273, could create a low-cost, more efficient method for authors and other copyright owners to litigate claims. Rather than being forced to file copyright disputes in federal court, CASE would establish a three-judge panel within the Copyright Office. The panel would be authorized to hear copyright cases seeking up to $15,000 per work, or $30,000 in total. Perhaps most importantly, copyright disputes would be conducted remotely - an option that makes the proceedings far less expensive. Lawyers would not be required.

In an effort to discourage unintentional default judgements and malicious "trolls," the bill imposes fees upon and/or bars bad actors and chronic offenders.

Judges would be chosen by, and serve at the pleasure of, the Librarian of Congress. Two-thirds of the panel would be required to possess diversified knowledge of copyright issues.

CASE is a bi-partisan bill supported by authors and writing organizations including the Authors Guild, National Writers Union, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Horror Writers Association, Romance Writers of America and others. It was introduced on May 1, 2019 by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries. It must pass committee before being sent to the full House or Senate. ~TRP


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