In September 2019, the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act. The CASE Act would give claimants the ability to enforce copyrights in their creative works without having to shell out for expensive federal copyright legislation, which can cost around $397,000, according to the American Intellectual Property Law Association.
If passed by both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, the CASE Act would provide claimants with a three-judge panel of experts to determine liability in cases of potential copyright infringement. Damages would be limited to $15,000 per work and $30,000 for overall damages. The CASE Act would create a “small claims court” for creatives and would change the game in terms of enforcing copyrights, as presently the costs of litigation are a huge hurdle to overcome for most claimants.
The bill can pass without a floor vote if an objecting senator does not put it on hold – which has already raised a few concerns. Further objections to the CASE Act come from “digital rights” groups who oppose strong protections of copyright fearing the exploitation of the system to simply get settlements. Though a valid concern, the claims court would have the ability to dismiss frivolous claims and prohibit the refiling of additional claims for a year. Plus, The Seay Firm believes that it should be easier for creatives to get compensated for unlicensed uses of their works, even if the change in the law does embolden some copyright trolls.
The bill can go directly to the White House if it passes Congress. The hope for those behind the bill is that it can get effectively passed by the end of this year. For further information regarding the CASE Act, read this.