"Congress Shouldn’t Turn the Copyright Office into a Copyright Court"

Mitch Stoltz and Corynne McSherry have published "Congress Shouldn't Turn the Copyright Office into a Copyright Court" in Deeplinks.

Here's an excerpt:

The current bill, the "CASE Act of 2017" (H.R. 3945), would set up a "Copyright Claims Board" within the Copyright Office, staffed by three judges called "Claims Officers" and empowered to hear copyright complaints from all over the country. Proceedings at the Claims Board would be voluntary, but if a respondent fails to opt out, the proceedings become binding, and the outcome can be enforced in federal court. The Board can issue damages awards of up to $15,000 per work infringed, or $30,000 per proceeding. If the parties consent, it can also issue "agreements to cease infringing activity" that become binding injunctions.

Unfortunately, the Copyright Office has a history of putting copyright holders' interests ahead of other important legal rights and policy concerns. We fear that any small claims process the Copyright Office conducts will tend to follow that pattern.

See also: "CASE Act of 2017"

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Author: Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Charles W. Bailey, Jr.