Press releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) introduced Wednesday the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act, S.1273.  This bipartisan legislation establishes the Copyright Claims Board at the Copyright Office to make it easier and less expensive for creators, like photographers, musicians and graphic designers, to defend their intellectual property from theft.

Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, and Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday.

“Creative ideas are your property, whether you’re a photographer or an independent movie director,” said Sen. Kennedy. “It shouldn’t cost you a fortune to protect your creativity from copyright infringement.  This bill creates a legal avenue for artists to pursue copyright violations more quickly and less expensively.  Louisiana’s rich culture and history are rooted in the successes of talented artists, musicians and authors.  We need to make sure that Americans’ creative spirit is preserved and protected.”

“Independent artists who rely on copyright laws to protect their work play an important role in our communities, but the current system makes it difficult for them to receive damages in a cost-effective manner,” said Sen. Tillis.  “This bipartisan bill will provide a more efficient way for copyright holders to protect their intellectual property and ensure that our content creators can be properly paid when their work is used without authorization.”

“I am pleased to join my colleagues in introducing the CASE Act, which will provide individual content creators and small businesses with the option of using a small claims Copyright Office tribunal to address infringement claims.  Copyright infringements that involve several thousand dollars in damages can have a huge impact on an individual creator or small business, but claims this size are rarely brought in federal court.  Our bill would create a voluntary small claims process to allow content creators to seek meaningful recourse for their small dollar claims,” said Sen. Durbin. “We have worked to make this bill fair to all participants in the copyright system, and we look forward to advancing it in both the House and Senate this Congress.”

“In its current form, the copyright system leaves no practical way for many creators to protect their rights as copyright holders.  Federal district court litigation is simply too expensive and too complex for small photographers, artists, and the like to pursue valid claims against copyright infringers.  The result is a system where those who rely most on their copyrighted works for their livelihoods are forced to sit back and watch while others use those copyrighted works free of charge,” said Sen. Hirono. “The CASE Act will go a long way toward fixing this situation.  By creating the Copyright Claims Board, the CASE Act establishes a venue where small creators can actually enforce their intellectual property rights and finally bear the fruit of their work.”


On Wednesday, Sen. Kennedy met with country music artist Raelynn and members of the Nashville Songwriters Association to discuss the positive impacts of the CASE Act on the music industry.

Supporters of the CASE Act include:

  •          American Association of Independent Music
  •          American Intellectual Property Law Association
  •          American Photographic Artists
  •          American Society for Collective Rights Licensing
  •          American Society of Journalists and Authors
  •          American Society of Media Photographers
  •          Association of American Publishers
  •          Authors Guild
  •          Copyright Alliance
  •          Digital Media Licensing Association
  •          Dramatists Guild of America
  •          Future of Music Coalition
  •          Garden Communicators International
  •          Graphic Artists Guild
  •          Horror Writers’ Association
  •          Nashville Songwriters Association International
  •          National Press Photographers Association
  •          National Writers Union/UAW Local 1981
  •          News Media Alliance
  •          North American Nature Photography Association
  •          Novelists, Inc.
  •          Recording Academy  
  •          Professional Photographers of America
  •          Recording Industry Association of America
  •          Romance Writers of America
  •          Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America; Screen Actors Guild?American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA)
  •          Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators
  •          Songwriters Guild of America