Bill introduced in U.S. Congress to create copyright small claims court

Dan Robinson

WxLibrary Editor
Staff member
Jan 14, 2011
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H.R. 3945 has been introduced in Congress to create a small claims court for copyright infringement cases. If you have dealt with copyright issues, you know that contingency attorneys will not pursue small-time cases as there is little profit involved for them. Since these small cases make up the majority of infringements, it leaves most creators out of realistic options (a Federal case costs, on average, more than $200,000 to complete).

The Bill:
https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3945/all-actions?r=11&overview=closed

There is a form where you can send your congressman/representative a message to support this bill:

http://cqrcengage.com/ppaworld/app/write-a-letter?2&engagementId=220193#.Wdv3THyeUQo.twitter

Some news articles:
http://copyrightalliance.org/ca_post/small-claims-on-the-horizon/

https://nppa.org/news/house-bill-introduced-copyright-small-claims

https://petapixel.com/2017/10/05/house-bill-introduced-copyright-small-claims/

 
Last edited:
May 6, 2017
41
32
11
Minnesota
This is great news as it will make the process of filing the claims easier and thus, those who file counter claims to youtube claims much more of a target for the so called fair use shock video that has no basis of fair use in the video. I see a new opportunity for content creators to go after video pirates (one of our videos alone has almost 700 matches on Youtube CMS) that try to game the system and settle out out of court.
 
I am assuming it will go through, since "all" copyright interests will be included. The problem with past attempts at such legislation was that only photographic interests were involved and they did not have big time support. Now you add the music and publishing industry who have big time lobbyists.

The only problem I see are the zillions of claims that will be filled. It could take years for the process to work. However, I'm assuming the majority of offenders will settle out of court. One suggestion, make sure all of your material is copyrighted before the law is passed. There could be some issues in the process with material not registered, or registering old material after the law passes. Also make sure to document infringements ASAP, before offenders remove them.

I'll bet you see all kinds of offenders squirming like crazy if this goes through. Videos and images will fly off the Internet at warp speed.
 
May 6, 2017
41
32
11
Minnesota
I am assuming it will go through, since "all" copyright interests will be included. The problem with past attempts at such legislation was that only photographic interests were involved and they did not have big time support. Now you add the music and publishing industry who have big time lobbyists.

The only problem I see are the zillions of claims that will be filled. It could take years for the process to work. However, I'm assuming the majority of offenders will settle out of court. One suggestion, make sure all of your material is copyrighted before the law is passed. There could be some issues in the process with material not registered, or registering old material after the law passes. Also make sure to document infringements ASAP, before offenders remove them.

I'll bet you see all kinds of offenders squirming like crazy if this goes through. Videos and images will fly off the Internet at warp speed.
The good thing about this is the rampant piracy on Youtube and Facebook where they require a lawsuit filed in local federal jurisdiction and in the case of Youtube, that is in San Francisco for the Federal Court and it is a pain in the... for the oversea's pirates to do but can be done for them. If this streamlines the system, a lot of people that have been making a living off pirating material are soon going to be out of a scam.
 
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