by Kat Powell and Deb Shaw
The year 2017 isn’t over just yet, which means there is still time to join the copyright community in asking your Congressional Representative to cosponsor H.R. 3945, the CASE Act of 2017. This bipartisan bill (how rare is THAT these days!!) was introduced on October 4, 2017 by Representatives Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Tom Marino (R-PA), Doug Collins (R-GA), Lamar Smith (R-TX), Judy Chu (D-CA), and Ted Lieu (D-CA). H.R. 3945 will create a Copyright Claims Board, which, similar to Small Claims Court, will provide a simple, quick and less expensive forum for copyright owners (we artists!) to enforce our copyrights.
For many botanical artists, artists, photographers, illustrators, authors, songwriters, filmmakers and other creators who own copyrighted works, enforcing our rights is simply not feasible. Litigation is expensive and, even when it’s undeniable that our copyrights have been violated, frequently, we simply can’t afford to go to court. In effect, the U.S. copyright system currently provides creators with rights but no effective remedies.
The majority of copyright owners that are affected by piracy and theft are independent creators with small copyright infringement claims. The CCB will establish an alternative forum to the Federal District Court for copyright owners to protect their work from infringement.
It’s important that Congress hear from creators like us on the importance of protecting our rights and creating a small claims court.
The Copyright Alliance has made it easy to contact your Representative to ask him/her to support H.R. 3945 by asking them to cosponsor the bill. The Copyright Alliance has a quick and easy tool on their website to help you find all of your Representatives. They also have provided a sample letter you can email or send, but it is easy to modify it or use your own if you prefer. The important thing is to let your voice be heard on this critical issue.
To send your letter, please click here.