Rep. Cline Bill to Protect Small Creators Passes the House
WASHINGTON – A bipartisan bill co-sponsored by Congressman Ben Cline (VA-06), H.R. 2426, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act passed the House last night with near unanimous support.
This legislation, which was introduced by Cline and Representatives Hakeem Jeffries, Doug Collins, and Jerrold Nadler would create a Copyright Claims Board within the Copyright Office to provide for an efficient and less expensive forum for small creators to better enforce their rights.
“The CASE Act is a much-needed solution for copyright claims that are small in nature but nevertheless important for the copyright holders it intends to help,” Cline said. “The passage of this bill is a win for copyright and small business owners as it establishes a low-cost method for such owners to settle claims and protect their works from infringement.”
Federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over copyright. However, because of the high cost of federal litigation, small creators, such as graphic artists, authors, songwriters, photographers, and others across the country, often have difficulty enforcing their rights and protecting their works from infringement. Due to the comparatively low value of their work compared to the high cost of federal litigation, most attorneys do not even consider taking these small cases. This leaves small creators with little remedy to protect their works and their livelihoods. The CASE Act, largely based on a Copyright Office study from 2013, provides these creators with an alternative option to protect their rights.
Congressman Ben Cline was sworn in as the new Congressman for the Sixth Congressional District of Virginia in January of 2019. He was an attorney in private practice and served both as an assistant prosecutor and Member of the Virginia House of Delegates prior to his election last November. Cline and his wife, Elizabeth, live in Botetourt County with their two children.