Sen. Ron Wyden (D–Ore.)
Photo: Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images
CASE Act Update: Why Won’t Senator Wyden Support Music Makers?
The Copyright Alternative Small Claims Enforcement Act (CASE Act) has gained bipartisan backing and widespread support from across the creative community – so why hasn't this bill become law? Sen. Ron Wyden (D–Ore.) continues his hold on the bill, unwilling to compromise.
Fortunately, a surge of grassroots activism from many types of creatives, including music creators, is turning up the heat on Sen. Wyden. Oregonians and creators across the country alike have built increase online activity to pressure Sen. Wyden to reconsider and remove the hold, including the hashtag #JustOne designed to highlight that only one lawmaker is standing in the way of this bill becoming law.
Most notably, a new billboard went up near Sen. Wyden's office in Portland that draws attention to Wyden’s hold on the creative community. Additionally, an op-ed ran today in the The Oregonian titled "Sen. Wyden, Please Don't Harm Oregon's Music Scene." Written by four current and past Recording Academy leaders, including Stone, Sylvia Massey, Amy Dragon and Amber Sweeney, outlines why the CASE Act is, "A vital piece of legislation that will empower music creators."
"Indie creators are uniquely vulnerable to the realities of the modern music industry. With the massive expense of litigation to protect intellectual property, they are crushed under the weight of a copyright system which leaves music creators unable to claim ownership of what’s rightfully theirs," the article states, concluding with, "Will Sen. Wyden support the music creators in our state, or will he go down in history as the senator who killed this important bill?"
As part of the rollout of the billboard, which went up earlier this week, Oregon creators shared their reasoning for erecting it during a press briefing today where they further articulated their frustrations with Sen. Wyden’s continued hold on the bill.
Participating in the briefing are several members of Oregon's creative community, including MIT Portraits' Bryan Welsh, photographer Lisa Dillon, Executive Director of Music Portland Meara McLaughlin, Polara Studios' Michael Shay, Immediate Past President of Oregon Professional Photographers Association and Light Science Studios' Sam Tarrel, as well as producer, vocalist, DJ and former Recording Academy Trustee Tyler Stone.
This diverse and passionate roster participants in today's briefing are a testament to the impact the hold on the bill has on creators in Oregon and beyond.
The CASE Act would fix the current system makes it expensive and complex for creators to fight against infringement of their work in a federal court by setting up a simpler and more streamlined small claims court. The bill recently passed by a landslide 410-6 vote in the House and will move to the Senate next. Sen. Ron Wyden's hold might come as little surprise, considering he also previously opposed the Music Modernization Act (MMA).
Indeed, the critical question remains whether Sen. Wyden will continue to decide the fate of the CASE Act. Now is the time to contact Sen. Wyden to let him know you stand with the bill that will simplify and streamline the process for all creators to defend their work against infringement.