Thursday, July 18, 2019

closer to small claims court option to fight art theft: CASE Act, S 1273, moves to full Senate floor UPDATED 7.21.19

Today the CASE (Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement) Act passed out of Senate Judiciary committee. Next it moves to the floor to be voted on by the full Senate.

This important step brings us closer than ever to small claims court actions possible for fighting indie art theft!! (photo below from the Graphic Artists Guild Facebook page)
Quote from link below:
"Under the law, when a creator’s work is infringed, the only option they have is to take their copyright infringement case to federal court. But federal court is often far too expensive and complex to navigate for most individual creators and small businesses that own copyrights," said Copyright Alliance CEO Keith Kupferschmid. "What this means is that America’s creators have rights under the law but no practical way to enforce those rights when someone steals from them. The CASE Act will help change that by providing creators with a voluntary, inexpensive, and streamlined alternative to federal court that they can use to protect their creativity and their livelihoods, and in doing so fulfill the purposes of the Constitution."

Read more here:

The Graphic Artists Guild (GAG)
has been advocating for the CASE Act for some time now, and inspiring indie artist/creators to get involved. You can follow their efforts via the GAG Facebook page. 
Here's a post from the GAG Facebook page today:

We are so happy to announce The CASE Act, S 1273, was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee! Thank you to our members — illustrators, designers, artists — and supporters for sending in your emails and letters and for calling. Your grassroots support made this happen.
We gathered with other creators to thank Senator Kennedy for introducing the Bill. Next step: getting the House Judiciary Committee to mark up the House version of the Bill, H.R. 2426. Stay tuned!! 

UPDATING THIS POST with important QandA I exchanged with GAG on 7.21.19
  • Amy Wagner Graphic Artists Guild Someone asked me this question and I'm not sure, so asking here: Would the CASE Act/small claims court option only be available to artists who registered the copyrights for the work(s) in dispute???
  • Graphic Artists Guild Amy Wagner An artist would have to register the copyright to use the small claims tribunal, but would be able to possible get the total award the small claims tribunal can offer ($15,000 for a single claim or $30,000 for multiple claims). That’s unlike federal court, where the potential outcome is limited if the registration occurs after the infringement. Did you know that you can now register 10 works at one time? It’s a new registration option the Copyright Office put into place this Spring.
  • Amy Wagner Thank u for the quick reply and clarification— especially regarding the ability to register 10 works under a single registration. That hard won benefit (to register multiple works under a single registration) via the photographers guild seemed to be under review for other visual mediums. So many of my artist friends produce and post a steady stream of images due to voracious appetites of social media platforms an online portfolios. I am always encouraging them to register anything they post, so knowing this specific amount of 10 per registration has been protectable starting since the spring is vital for budgeting to invest in their IP. 👍👏
Graphic Artists Guild CASE Act support signs by Edfredned Illustration

More blog posts on fighting indie art theft here:

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