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CASE Act Passed In The House, Moves To Senate As Congress Continues To Stand With Creators
Songwriters, artists and other creators of all levels of financial success scored a big win today in Washington. The Copyright Alternative Small Claims Enforcement Act (CASE Act) has passed in the House of Representatives by the vote of 410-6. The bill lays out a simpler and more cost-effective way for creators to defend their original works against infringement, ensuring basic copyright protection is no longer only afforded to those who can afford costly legal fees associated with Federal court action.
Since its inception, the bill has garnered bipartisan support in Congress as well as a strong backing from the Recording Academy. This month, Academy members across the country participated in District Advocate day and urged lawmakers to vote for this legislation that would eliminate the current unfair advantage against creators.
— GRAMMY Advocacy (@GRAMMYAdvocacy) September 11, 2019
"The Recording Academy applauds the House for passing the CASE Act today, another victory for music creators almost exactly a year after the Music Modernization Act was signed into law,” said Daryl Friedman, Chief Industry, Government, & Member Relations Officer for the Recording Academy. “We also thank the nearly 2,000 Recording Academy members who lobbied their legislators this month for the CASE Act. We now look to the Senate and the White House to get this bill into law and ensure music makers have access to the copyright protection they deserve".
Another voice of support raised up over the weekend in an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle by GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter Fantastic Negrito. The Oakland-based blues artist outlined the current problem quite clearly in his piece entitled "Protecting art from infringement."
"Right now, the only way for any creators to fight for their rights is to take the case to federal court. But who has the money for that?" wrote Fantastic Negrito. "The average federal copyright case costs nearly $400,000 to litigate — not to mention the months it takes to pursue these cases, which take us off the road and out of the studio."
— GRAMMY Advocacy (@GRAMMYAdvocacy) October 21, 2019
To address this dire need to change the system, the CASE Act will create the Copyright Claims Board at the U.S. Copyright office, establishing a small claims court and capping claim damages to provide better and more efficient copyright infringement protection. Simplifying this process and making copyright enforcement affordable to all creators will, in the end, serve everyone.
"It’s my hope that when the full Congress considers the bill, our elected officials will vote to support the tens of thousands of creators and small businesses who will stand to benefit from a stronger, more reliable copyright system," added Fantastic Negrito.
The CASE Act now moves to the Senate, one big step closer to being signed into law on the president's desk. For anyone who loves music and appreciates the creativity and hard work that goes into creating it, now is the time to contact your Senators and urge them to support all creators by co-sponsoring the act. After all, copyright infringement protection should not be reserved for superstar songwriters.