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Cheryl L. Davis

2017 was eventful on a number of fronts, not least of all in terms of legislation affecting the entertainment and arts industries. On Oct. 4, 2017, a bipartisan bill was introduced: the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2017 (CASE). CASE would establish a “small” copyright claims tribunal in the U.S. Copyright Office, giving small copyright holders a much-needed tool to combat copyright infringement without having to bear the expense of going to federal court—which we know can be an extremely expensive proposition for even the most straightforward case of infringement.

If the bill passes, individual creators and other small copyright owners will not be forced to hire a lawyer (which some readers might deem a drawback) or go to federal court. Proceedings would be conducted remotely so that claimants do not have to travel. Damages in such cases would be limited to $15,000 per act of infringement with a $30,000 maximum, and injunctive relief would not be available.

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