Cross-posted from thehill.com[by Judy Perry Martinez]
Congress has an opportunity to join together and pass legislation that will provide authors, artists and other creators with a meaningful way to protect their work. Both houses of Congress will soon be voting on the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2019 (the “CASE Act”), which creates an alternative forum to pursue low value claims of copyright infringement.
Under the current system, authors whose work has been copied or infringed upon have no cost-effective way to get compensated. The high cost of legal action they need to take (sometimes tens of thousands of dollars) could significantly outweigh the damages they might be awarded. They also can’t bring a claim in a state court because the law requires copyright cases to be heard in federal court.
Copyright owners with small infringement claims essentially have a right without a remedy. When the cost of bringing a federal lawsuit significantly outstrips the value of their claims, this hinders copyright law from fulfilling its central function of incentivizing the creation of new expressive works.