CCIA Expresses Concern With Copyright Proposal In Spending Bill

BY Heather Greenfield
December 7, 2020

Washington — Reports indicate there may be a package combining several pieces of proposed intellectual property legislation with a spending bill that must be signed by December 11th. The intellectual property part of the legislation may include the CASE Act, Trademark Modernization Act, and a proposal regarding “streaming.”

The Computer & Communications Industry Association has serious concerns about substance and process in particular with copyright small claims legislation, S. 1273/H.R. 2426 (the CASE Act). CCIA does not oppose compromise language reached with respect to “streaming.”

As CCIA previously testified before Congress, the Association would support a small claims framework that provides individual rightsholders inexpensive relief from infringement, while not enabling abusive litigants to short-circuit existing federal safeguards. Unfortunately, the way that the CASE Act is structured has serious problems. As the Copyright Office noted in its 2013 report, parties’ consent to a small claims proceeding is predicated upon litigants affirmatively waiving their constitutionally guaranteed rights of trial by jury and appellate relief.

The following can be attributed to CCIA President Matt Schruers:

“While CCIA does not oppose compromise language regarding streaming, the inclusion of the CASE Act, a controversial new venue for federal litigation in spending legislation is inappropriate. Exposing small businesses and Internet users to high penalties without effective due process in a new venue would enable litigants to circumvent the existing safeguards provided by the federal judicial system.”

The following can be attributed to CCIA CEO Emeritus Ed Black:

“These issues are complex and important, and we are confident they can be dealt with best in the next Congress with new leadership that will have a chance to better understand their impact on thousands of businesses of all sizes. Industry looks forward to working with leaders in the next Congress to address controversial proposals that would have a particularly serious impact on small businesses and the users that rely on them.”

The following can be attributed to CCIA VP of Public Policy Arthur Sidney:

“CCIA has serious concerns with the opaque and unconventional process of putting forward controversial intellectual property legislation that has not received a hearing this Congress and attaching it to a must-pass spending bill. Permitting the CASE Act and Trademark Modernization Act to go forward in this manner without hearings or markups on both sides of the aisle is a repudiation of due process and democratic principles. Following this pattern, the Congress could attach a host of controversial bills onto must-pass legislation, surely this was not intended by the legislative process or our system of fair governance to attach bills that have not been fully vetted.”

Related Articles

Supreme Court Decides Landmark Google v. Oracle Case On Copyright, Interoperable Tech Products

Apr 5, 2021

Washington — The Supreme Court has issued its ruling in the Google v. Oracle copyright case, which has been litigated for more than a decade. The outcome, which has sweeping implications for the tech industry, means the reuse of certain program elements necessary for interoperability is fair use and not an infringement of copyright law.…

Unvetted Copyright Measures In Spending Bill Concern CCIA

Dec 22, 2020

Washington — Congress has wrapped several controversial copyright measures into a must-pass end of the year spending bill.  The intellectual property part of the legislation includes the CASE Act, the Trademark Modernization Act, and the Protecting Lawful Streaming Act. While the Computer & Communications Industry Association doesn’t oppose the language of the streaming proposal, it…

CCIA Response To Proposed Digital Copyright Act

Dec 22, 2020

Washington — Senator Thom Tillis, R-NC, has introduced a discussion draft of a controversial copyright bill that reads like a Christmas wish list for Hollywood and big content companies, and takes cues from contentious copyright reforms in Europe. Among other sweeping changes to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the bill increases the role of…