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posted by martyb on Wednesday November 06 2019, @07:04AM   Printer-friendly
from the is-it-like-Judge-Judy? dept.

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.

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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 06 2019, @07:56PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 06 2019, @07:56PM (#916954)

    Jerks on both sides will take any opportunity they can to push through crap like this. That's why the really bad stuff is hidden deep inside of unrelated bills, and it happens from both Rs and Ds.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 07 2019, @12:55AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 07 2019, @12:55AM (#917071)

    There is no both! What is it going to take?