With a new Congress the Case Act (Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act) will be reintroduced with new numbers this year.
This week the Case Act of 2019 will be introduced into the House (H. R. 2426) and introduced into the Senate (S. 1273). And is designed to create a small claims court that would be operated by the U.S. Copyright Office. This would greatly help small business owners where they could not afford to go to federal court.
Hundreds of thousands of professional creators and small business owners across the U.S. who rely on copyright to earn a living, but have been neglected by the copyright system that gives us rights but does not give us any means of enforcing those rights!
The problem lies when a copyright violation needs to be taken to court, it can only go into Federal Court. And most Attorneys won’t take a case for less than $30,000. The average cost of litigation through the appeals process averages around $350,000!!! As a result most infringements go unchallenged.
Photographers, authors, song writers and small businesses are hurt most because of the high cost to litigate based on the value of their work is just not worth the cost. Try to litigate for $1,000 - it just is not gonna happen. While this may seem like a small amount it all adds up. This is especially true when there are multiple infringements. Losses could have covered the small business persons overhead, and other operating costs.
Small creators report that most infringements are valued at $3,000 or less, which are hardly worth filing in federal court. And surveys show that most small creators earn on the average about $35,000 dollars a year.
Passing the Case Act does not mean there will be an increase in litigation either. Rather it most likely will level the playing field with infringers as it did in the UK starting in 2012. After the change in their system infringements decreased and more out of court settlements increased. Click here to learn more on how copyright might affect you?
In conclusion the Case Act is just not good for owners of copyright but rather it is good for everyone that is involved.