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The House Votes in Favor of Disastrous Copyright Bill

copyright-3197524 640Katharine Trendacosta
Electronic Frontier Foundation
October 22, 2019

The House of Representatives has just voted in favor of the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act (CASE Act) by 410-6 (with 16 members not voting), moving forward a bill that Congress has had no hearings and no debates on so far this session. That means that there has been no public consideration of the serious harm the bill could do to regular Internet users and their expression online.

The CASE Act creates a new body in the Copyright Office which will receive copyright complaints, notify the person being sued, and then decide if money is owed and how much. This new Copyright Claims Board will be able to fine people up to $30,000 per proceeding. Worse, if you get one of these notices (maybe an email, maybe a letter—the law actually does not specify) and accidentally ignore it, you’re on the hook for the money with a very limited ability to appeal. $30,000 could bankrupt or otherwise ruin the lives of many Americans.

The CASE Act also has bad changes to copyright ruleswould let sophisticated bad actors get away with trolling and infringement, and might even be unconstitutional. It fails to help the artists it’s supposed to serve and will put a lot of people at risk.

Even though the House has passed the CASE Act, we can still stop it in the Senate. Tell your Senators to vote “no” on the CASE Act.

 

TAKE ACTION NOW!

 

Katharine Trendacosta is the manager of policy and activism at Electronic Frontier Foundation, focusing on intellectual property, net neutrality, fair use, free speech online, and intermediary liability. She also writes for EFF, where this article first appeared. Used with permission.

 

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