The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act (CASE Act) would create a “Copyright Claims Board” in the Copyright Office empowered to levy large penalties (up to $30,000) against anyone accused of copyright infringement. The only way out would be to respond to the Copyright Office—in the specific manner it asks for—within 60 days of getting a notice. If that sounds complicated and potentially ruinous to you, you’re not alone.
When the House Judiciary Committee voted on the CASE Act, Representative Doug Collins of Georgia said the $30,000 cap on damages meant this process would apply only to “truly small claims.” But for many everyday Americans, coming up with even a couple hundred dollars on short notice is very difficult. At least in a lawsuit, you have the basic protections of the adversarial court system and the possibility to appeal. Claims under the CASE Act would be heard by neither judges or juries, just “claims officers.” And it has a very limited ability for you to appeal.
Copyright law in the United States does have problems. But the system created by CASE won’t stop bad actors who will know how to find the loopholes—it will only hurt regular Internet users who won’t.
Write Congress today and urge your senators and representative to stand against the CASE Act.
Activism Team | Electronic Frontier Foundation
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading organization protecting civil liberties in the digital world. Founded in 1990, we defend free speech online, fight illegal surveillance, promote the rights of digital innovators, and work to ensure that the rights and freedoms we enjoy are enhanced, rather than eroded, as our use of technology grows. EFF is a member-supported organization. Find out more at https://eff.org.