House Passes Copyright Small Claims Legislation

BY Heather Greenfield
October 22, 2019

Washington — Legislation to create a separate small claims tribunal within the Copyright Office has taken another step with House passage of the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2019 (CASE Act) today. The CASE Act would allow an alternative small claims court to award penalties of up to $30,000 for copyright infringement and there are concerns it would fast track legal action against anyone from internet users to small businesses without the existing due process of the federal judicial system.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association has advocated against so-called copyright trolls and has expressed concerns, including in testimony last year before the House Judiciary Committee, that this legislation would empower bad actors and expose individual citizens to more frivolous legal action with less effective due process.

The Senate would need to pass similar legislation before it becomes law.

The following can be attributed to CCIA Chief Operating Officer Matt Schruers:

“This small claims process would expose internet users to high penalties without effective due process, enabling trolls or other abusive litigants to circumvent the existing safeguards provided by the federal judicial system.”

 

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