Copyright Protection for Photographers: The CASE Act of 2017

The CASE Act features the following policy:

  • The claim must be brought within 3 years of the infringement.
  • There will be a small fee associated with filing a claim. This is to be determined.
  • A tribunal that consists of two copyright attorneys and one copyright arbitrator will hear the claim.
  • Before filing a claim, the copyright owner must provide the tribunal with a completed registration application filed with the Copyright Office or a certificate of registration.
  • Bring a copyright infringement claim valued at up to $30,000:
    • If the work was registered prior to infringement the max amount of statutory damages recoverable is $15,000.
    • If the work was not registered prior to infringement the max amount of statutory damages recoverable is $7,500.
    • The photographer will not need an attorney, since, similar to other small claims processes, this is a self-represent system, allowing you to bring a claim without a large financial investment.
    • You can hire an attorney but you will pay for your own attorney fees.
  • No need to travel for hearings or proceedings. Everything will be done online through video communication channels such as Skype.
  • Partaking in the Copyright Small Claims process is voluntary.
  • If the infringer decides to opt-out, you still have the option to bring a claim in Federal Court.
  • The tribunal will not hand down a final decision until the Copyright Office has issued a final registration certificate.
  • The decision will be held until the registration certificate has been issued.

 

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