Congress Passes CASE Act as Part of COVID-19 Relief Bill

After 10 years of haggling, Congress officially passed the The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act late Monday evening (Dec. 21) as part of the Omnibus COVID-19 Relief Bill. The bill will streamline copyright disputes by creating a small claims tribunal within the U.S. Copyright Office that will adjudicate small claims infringement cases.

Cases would be decided by a three-judge panel of experts in a forum where damages would be capped at $15,000 per claim and $30,000 total. Providing an avenue for copyright infringement disputes to be heard outside of expensive federal copyright litigation creates an affordable process for independent creators to enforce their rights without having to hire attorneys or pay hefty court fees.

1 Like

I’m not convinced this is a positive development, and dumping it as a rider on what was perceived as “must-pass legislation” demonstrated that there was otherwise a lot of resistance. Plenty of legislators appear not to have even been aware that this slid in under their radar. My understanding is that this cuts both ways, and that it’s likely to throw a lot of cold water on what has been considered fair use.

Color me very skeptical.

1 Like

It is no secret that the bill is full of pet issues.

I just let my eyes glaze over trying (as not a lawyer) to digest the entirety of Section 212, pages 2544-2606 of

If, as a respondent, you fail to timely opt out, you lose all recourse to appeal, with a narrow opportunity to request reconsideration by the same board. This means a potential liability of $30K with unusual barriers to appeal, if I’m reading this right.

Am I missing something? It was certainly hard to try to digest all that legalese. :frowning: