Issue Related News
This is the moment we have all been waiting for!
Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Representative Tom Marino (R-PA) have introduced HR 3945, a small claims bill entitled Copyright Alternative in Small Claims Act of 2017, or "CASE". This bill will enable photographers to pursue copyright infringement in a more cost-effective and timely manner!
Many of you remember December 2016, when Representative Chu (D-CA) and Representative Smith (R-TX) introduced the Fairness for America's Small Creators Act or FASCA. Instead of proceeding with that bill, Representatives Chu and Smith have both agreed to sign on as co-sponsors to CASE.
Both understand the importance and need for a Copyright Small Claims process and thought it was best to sign on and push one bill. Additionally, Vice Chair Doug Collins (R-GA) has also agreed to co-sponsor CASE, highlighting how important it is to for creative artists to have a remedy to protect their copyright.
The CASE Act of 2017 features the following policy:
- The claim must be brought within 3 years of the infringement.
- There will be a small fee associated with filing a claim. This is to be determined.
- The claim will be heard by a tribunal that consists of two copyright attorneys and one copyright arbitrator.
- Before filing a claim, the copyright owner must provide the tribunal with a completed registration application filed with the Copyright Office or a certificate of registration.
- Bring a copyright infringement claim valued at up to $30,000:
- If the work was registered prior to infringement the max amount of statutory damages recoverable is $15,000.
- If the work was not registered prior to infringement the max amount of statutory damages recoverable is $7,500.
- The photographer will not need an attorney, since, similar to other small claims processes, this is a self-represent system, allowing you to bring a claim without a large financial investment.
- You can hire an attorney but you will pay for your own attorney fees.
- No need to travel for hearings or proceedings. Everything will be done online through video communication channels such as Skype.
- Partaking in the Copyright Small Claims process is voluntary.
- If the infringer decides to opt-out, you still have the option to bring a claim in Federal Court.
- A final decision will be not handed down by the tribunal until a final registration certificate has been issued by the Copyright Office.
- The decision will be held until the registration certificate has been issued.
To view the entire bill, click here.
- Bill Cosponsors
- Rep. Marino, Tom (R-PA-10)
- Rep. Collins, Doug (R-GA-9)
- Rep. Smith, Lamar (R-TX-21)
- Rep. Chu, Judy (D-CA-27)
- Rep. Lieu, Ted (D-CA-33)
- Rep. Nadler, Jerrold (D-NY-10)
- Rep. Cicilline, David N. (D-RI-1)
- Rep. Cohen, Steve (D-TN-9)
- Rep. Cramer, Kevin (R-ND-At Large)
- Rep. Deutch, Theodore E. (D-FL-22)
- Rep. Napolitano, Grace F. (D-CA-32)
- Rep. Poliquin, Bruce (R-ME-2)
- Rep. DeFazio, Peter A. (D-OR-4)
- Rep. Moore, Gwen (D-WI-4)