House overwhelmingly approves contentious new copyright bill

House overwhelmingly approves contentious new copyright bill

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to approve a measure that would shake up the Copyright Office if it were made into law, creating a small claims court where online content creators can go after their infringers.

The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act, or the CASE Act for short, was approved by 410-6 vote. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) introduced the measure last year with the goal of giving graphic artists, photographers, and other content creators a more efficient pathway toward receiving damages if their works are infringed. Under current law, all copyright suits must go through the federal courts, a system that is often costly and time-consuming for creators who decide to litigate their cases.

With the CASE Act, Congress is hoping to streamline the process for both parties. If the measure were to become law, the Copyright Office would house a tribunal of “Copyright Claims Officers” who would work with both parties involved in a lawsuit to resolve infringement claims. As outlined in the bill, damages would be capped at $15,000 for each infringed work and top out at $30,000 total.

“The internet has provided many benefits to society. It is a wonderful thing, but it cannot be allowed to function as if it is the

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