On October 22nd, H.R. 2426 passed the House, as the EFF explains:
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 rules, would 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.
The EFF also criticized the bill in a previous article, pointing out its potential for abuse.
The president of the American Bar Association wrote in support of the bill:
While the CASE Act will provide more cost-effective protection for plaintiffs, copyright defendants will also benefit from the proposed legislation. Currently, defendants can be burdened with significant legal costs and drawn out suits, even where their use is a fair use or otherwise lawful. Participation in a small claims proceeding would cap their damages and likely provide a faster resolution of the dispute.
Participation in the program would be entirely voluntary, and parties could proceed with or without attorneys. Proceedings could be held through phone or videoconferences. Lawyers well-versed in copyright and alternative dispute resolution would decide the claims.
(Score: 4, Insightful) by Mojibake Tengu on Wednesday November 06 2019, @09:45AM (6 children)
This is exactly how I imagine the USA works inside. What's wrong with bankruptcies and ruining lives for profit? Serious crimes against idolic market require serious deterrent... And you Americans voted those lawmakers into power, did you?
The edge of 太玄 cannot be defined, for it is beyond every aspect of design
(Score: 3, Insightful) by sgleysti on Wednesday November 06 2019, @02:51PM
Given the way the vote on this bill turned out, it appears the politicians running against the people we voted in would have done the same thing. Three cheers for a two party system and functionally unlimited campaign donations from corporations.
(Score: 3, Insightful) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Wednesday November 06 2019, @03:01PM (4 children)
Actually nothing, if the punishment fits the crime.
Now, if you can figure out how to vote people into office and not allow big money into the picture to distort the reality field, we'll give you a simultaneous Nobel Peace, Economics, and we'll throw in a Literature Prize too just because it would be that monumental.
The problem with Democracy is that it is still better than anything else.
This sig for rent.
(Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Wednesday November 06 2019, @04:13PM (2 children)
"Democracy is the worst form of government...except for all the other ones" is how I've heard it put.
"Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
(Score: 2, Touché) by fustakrakich on Wednesday November 06 2019, @04:17PM (1 child)
*The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.*
La politica e i criminali sono la stessa cosa..
(Score: 2) by Reziac on Thursday November 07 2019, @02:58AM
"Democracy: that ultimate triumph of quantity over quality."
-- Peter H. Peel
(Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 06 2019, @06:21PM
Crimes should be handled in court from the very beginning.
The problem is that the US functions more as an oligarchy and is barely democratic at all.