ASMP applauds the introduction by Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) and Lamar Smith (R-TX) of H.R. 6496, the Fairness for American Small Creators Act, which would create a small claims copyright board within the Copyright Office. The prospects for enacting small claims legislation in the new Congress of a small claims copyright process—ASMP’s top legislative priority—are enhanced significantly by the leadership and involvement of Representatives Chu and Smith, both members of the House Judiciary Committee which has jurisdiction over this legislation and longtime supporters of a robust and effective copyright system.
The introduction of H.R. 6496 is a critical step in the legislative push in Congress to correct one of the great inequities in the current copyright system in the United States: the longstanding inability of individual creators and small businesses to protect their creative works when they are infringed—a problem exacerbated greatly by the ease with which infringements occur in our digital economy.
Tom Kennedy, Executive Director of ASMP, praised the introduction of H.R. 6496, underscoring that under such legislation that “small creators would no longer be frustrated in their efforts to protect their works by the prohibitive and burdensome federal court process–the sole avenue for them to seek redress under current law. Small claims legislation will help ensure that small creators have a fair, effective and streamlined process for seeking relief in the face of relatively modest copyright infringements.”
ASMP, along with its colleagues in the visual artist community, are greatly encouraged by the introduction of H.R. 6496 and look forward to working with Representatives Chu and Smith and their colleagues in Congress in making much-needed small claims copyright legislation a reality in the near future.