On January 17 and 18, Cheryl Davis, the Author Guild’s General Counsel, made a follow-up visit to Capitol Hill with other members of the Copyright Alliance to advocate for the passage of the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2017, otherwise known as the CASE Act. The group met with Rep. Jeffries (D-NY), the bill’s co-sponsor, to find out where he believes the bill stands procedurally, as well as with the offices of Reps. Smith (R-TX); Collins (R-GA); Biggs (R-AZ); DeSantis (R-FL); Farenthold (R-TX); Lofgren (D-CA); Johnson (D-GA), now the top Democrat on the Judiciary Subcommittee for the Courts and Intellectual Property; and Nadler (D-NY), who will take former Rep. John Conyer’s position as ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. We have learned that Rep. Nadler has agreed to become a co-sponsor of the bill, which should speed the bill along its legislative journey.
The CASE Act would establish a “small” copyright claims tribunal in the U.S. Copyright Office, which would allow copyright holders to bring copyright actions without having to hire an attorney. For additional information about the bill, please see our prior articles on the subject.
The Guild’s efforts on behalf of the CASE Act are not limited to visits to the Hill—although these are certainly important. Along with other members of the Copyright Alliance, the Guild asked its members to post and tweet and reach out to their Congressional representatives as part of “Small Claims Day” on January 17. The Copyright Alliance said that this grassroots campaign has had some impact. As of January 19:
- Total letters sent so far: 1,970
- Letters sent this week (Jan. 14–19): 429
- Total lawmakers reached: 338
- Top 3 states: CA (499 letter sent), NY (269 letters sent), and TX/FL (120 letters sent each)
Please continue to reach out to your local Representatives and ask them to support the passage of the CASE Act. We will continue to advocate for the bill and will keep our members informed as things progress.