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Cara Duckworth



Support Voluntary Alternative to Federal Court for Small Copyright Disputes

The United States Congress yesterday passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and sent it to the President’s desk for his signature. By establishing a small claims tribunal within the U.S. Copyright Office, the CASE Act provides an entirely voluntary but sorely needed alternative to the high costs and considerable complexities of federal litigation.

Below is a comment on the passage of the CASE Act from Maria A. Pallante, President and CEO of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and former Register of Copyrights:

“Today, Congress established an innovative, voluntary tribunal for resolving copyright claims of relatively low economic value, and, in doing so, has stated unequivocally that the copyright economy depends on the inspired whirl of countless small transactions, which in turn depends upon clarity and confidence in the rule of law.  Hats off to the many current and former Members of Congress, Senate and House counsel, Copyright Office experts, and multitude of stakeholders who came together so productively to press for and create a more meaningful legal system.

“A big achievement, the CASE Act represents years of reasoned analysis, public feedback, and bipartisan leadership on Capitol Hill.  In 2013, I had the honor of delivering to Congress the Copyright Office’s comprehensive policy report, Copyright Small Claims, which concluded that, taken in the aggregate, the problem of lower-value infringements is not a small one for our copyright system.  Rather, small claims are a limitless frustration that deprive creators and their business partners of time, attention, income, and opportunity, to the ultimate detriment of the public good.

“We thank all of the bill’s supporters in Congress, and we are especially grateful for the leadership of the bill’s four lead sponsors, Senators John Kennedy (R-LA) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Representatives Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Doug Collins (R-GA), for their unwavering efforts to pass this bill. We thank Senate and House leadership for recognizing the critical importance of this legislation and including it in today’s legislative package, and we also extend a special thank you to the bill’s additional original co-sponsors, Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and Representatives Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Martha Roby (R-AL), Judy Chu (D-CA), Ben Cline (R-VA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA).”

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