CASE Act Passes US House of Representatives

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The bill intending to streamline copyright disputes now heads to the Senate.

The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act passed 410-6 in the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday evening (Oct. 22). It now goes to the Senate for a vote before it can become law. 

The bill, which has bipartisan support, would create a copyright claims board within the U.S. Copyright Office that could rule on cases of copyright infringement that are too impractical to bring to federal court.

The bill would give independent creators a practical way to enforce their rights without the expense of federal copyright litigation, which costs an average of $397,000, according to the American Intellectual Property Law Association. Cases would be decided by a three-judge panel of experts, with statutory damages limited to $15,000 per work and overall damages limited to $30,000 total.

The non-profit Copyright Alliance is applauding the U.S. House of Representatives for its overwhelming passage of the CASE Act on Tuesday evening (Oct. 22), echoing numerous advocates of the landmark copyright bill that will make it easier and less expensive for independent creators to fight copyright infringement.

"The Recording Academy applauds the House for passing the CASE Act today, another victory for music creators almost exactly a year after the Music Modernization Act was signed into law,” said Daryl Friedman, chief industry, government, & member relations officer for the Recording Academy, in a statement. “We also thank the nearly 2,000 Recording Academy members who lobbied their legislators this month for the CASE Act. We now look to the Senate and the White House to get this bill into law and ensure music makers have access to the copyright protection they deserve."

Added Copyright Alliance CEO Keith Kupferschmid: "The CASE Act continues to be a legislative priority for hundreds of thousands of photographers, illustrators, graphic artists, songwriters, authors, bloggers, YouTubers and other types of creators and small businesses across the country. These creators are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy. Unfortunately, they currently have rights but no means to enforce them because federal court is too expensive and complex to navigate.

“Today’s vote by the House demonstrates not only the tremendous support for the bill but also the fact that members of Congress could not be bamboozled into believing the numerous falsehoods about the CASE Act that were proffered by those who philosophically oppose any copyright legislation that will help the creative community and who will use any means to achieve their illicit goals.”

The next step for the bill will be a full vote on the floor of the Senate, where it has already been voted out of the Judiciary Committee.