Business News Legal

House Of Representatives passes the CASE Act

By | Published on Wednesday 23 October 2019

US Congress

The House Of Representatives in the US has passed a thing called the CASE Act, which aims to simplify the process for American copyright owners seeking to enforce their rights in disputes where damages wouldn’t exceed $30,000.

It would do that by setting up a new three judge copyright claims board within the US Copyright Office. The board would only hear simpler copyright infringement claims, with the aim of making it quicker and cheaper for smaller copyright owners to enforce their rights, compared to pursuing traditional litigation through the courts.

There are plenty of critics of the proposed new claims board, who argue that it will be open to abuse. Such criticism stopped earlier proposals for such an initiative from getting through the law-making process, but supporters hope that this time the required new laws will be passed.

Those supporters argue that the new system is to benefit grassroots creators – including photographers, film-makers and musicians – rather than major record companies and Hollywood studios. The Copyright Office will also be charged with the task of monitoring how the board is utilised to ensure that there is no abuse of the system.

The House Of Representatives passing the CASE Act was welcomed by, among others, the Recording Academy. It’s Chief Industry, Government & Member Relations Officer, Daryl Friedman, said: “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”.

The proposals will now head to the US Senate for further scrutiny and voting. Thanking the nearly 2000 Recording Academy members who have been lobbying for the CASE Act to be passed, Friedman added: “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”.