A proposed bill would offer copyright owners an alternative to federal lawsuits when attempting to protect their intellectual property.
The newly drafted piece of legislation– proposed by Democratic Senator Hakeem Jeffries– is an effort to help copyright owners who lack the resources to pursue costly federal claims when their copyright becomes infringed. Named the CASE act (Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement), the bill would provide copyright owners with an "efficient forum–" a tribunal consisting of two attorneys, appointed by the Register of Copyrights, and three Library of Congress appointed officers — to preside over "small copyright claims."
For all parties involved, participation in the tribunal would be voluntary and would not infringe on the right to a federal trial.
The bill is supported by Authors Guild Executive Director, Mary Rasenberger. “This legislation will finally provide authors with a means of enforcing their rights,” she told Publishers Weekly, going on to argue that the lack of financial incentive caused by copyright infringement "deprives society of the benefit of new and expressive works of authorship.”
The bill is based on legislation drafted in the United States Copyright Office's 2013 Report on Copyright Small Claims.