As previously reported, ASMP’S top legislative priority in Congress is H.R. 3945, the “Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2017” (the “CASE Act”) introduced by Representatives Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Tom Marino (R-PA. The bill is currently co-sponsored by Representatives Lamar Smith (R-TX), Doug Collins (R-GA), Judy Chu (D-CA) and Ted Lieu (D-CA). The overriding purpose of the legislation is to finally provide individual creators with an effective and affordable means to combat infringements of their creative works—an especially vexing problem in a digital environment where piracy occurs at the click of a mouse.
In an effort to build additional support for HR 3945 and to urge the House Judiciary Committee to take prompt action on the legislation, earlier this week, ASMP Executive Director, Tom Kennedy, and ASMP copyright counsel, Mike Klipper, joined with other organizations that support the legislation and visited the offices of several members of the House Judiciary Committee.
Among the organizations participating in the lobbying effort alongside ASMP, was the Copyright Alliance (of which ASMP is a member) which, among others, represents the interests of authors, photographers, performers, artists, software developers, musicians, journalists, directors, songwriters, game designers, and many other representing individual creators such as book publishers, motion picture studios, software companies, music publishers, sound recording companies, sports leagues, broadcasters, guilds, unions, newspaper and magazine publishers. Also participating were representatives of American Photographic Artists (APA), Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA), Graphic Artists Guild (GAG), National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA), Professional Photographers of America (PPA). and Authors Guild.
Among the House Judiciary Committee offices visited were House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Representatives Steve Cohen (D-TN), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Ted Poe (R-TX), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Louie Gohmert (R-TX). These visits followed dozens of prior visits to House Judiciary Committee offices by ASMP and fellow proponents.
Highlighting this week’s meetings was a discussion with House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). The bottom line from Chairman Goodlatte was clear: grassroots efforts by supporters of HR 3945 are needed to convince members of the House Judiciary Committee to support the bill. These grassroots email and phone messages are absolutely critical to the Chairman Goodlatte’s ability to schedule a hearing on the legislation, and move the bill out of Committee and onto the floor of the House of Representatives. Chairman Goodlatte’s statements reinforced the need for ASMP to continue unabated its already aggressive grassroots efforts to garner support for the legislation from Members of the House Judiciary Committee and beyond.
To get this accomplished, we need all ASMP members to write emails or call their Representative to request support for HR 3945 by February 1, 2018.
Resources for Action on HR 3945:
Background of Small Claims Copyright Legislation
Sample Member Letter to Representative
For additional information on ASMP’s Small Claims advocacy efforts and actions, go to Small Claims Report. If you have additional thoughts or questions, please post them in the ASMP advocacy forum and/or reach out to Tom Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org.