Senator Blackburn Joins Bill to Strengthen Copyright Protections for Artists

May 22, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) joined Senator John Kennedy (R-La.) to cosponsor the Support the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act of 2019. The legislation works to protect independent musicians and artists from the unauthorized reproduction of their creative content through the creation of small claims copyright courts.

“Nashville is home to some of the most talented creators in the music industry,” said Senator Blackburn. “These artists need to know that their masterful work is protected through intellectual property laws, and that copyright courts will provide simple, quick, and affordable means to address infringement. I am elated to be signing onto such important legislation, and thank Senator Kennedy for his leadership on this issue.”

“Creative ideas are your property, whether you’re a photographer or an independent movie director,” said Senator Kennedy. “It shouldn’t cost you a fortune to protect your creativity from copyright infringement.  This bill creates a legal avenue for artists to pursue copyright violations more quickly and less expensively.  Louisiana’s rich culture and history are rooted in the successes of talented artists, musicians and authors.  We need to make sure that Americans’ creative spirit is preserved and protected.”

The CASE Act would create a Copyright Claims Board (“CCB”), housed within the Copyright Office, with jurisdiction limited to civil copyright cases with a cap of $30,000 in damages. The CCB would be comprised of a panel of three Copyright Claims Officers who would adjudicate and settle copyright claims. These simplified proceedings would not require the parties to appear in-person and would allow claimants and respondents to proceed without an attorney. Participation in the CCB would be voluntary, and respondents would have the ability to opt-out.

The CASE Act is bipartisan and bicameral. It is supported by creators including musicians, writers, graphic artists and photographers. This legislation is critical for protecting the members of the creative middle class who rely upon commercializing their creative works for their livelihood. 

Groups supporting this legislation include: U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Intellectual Property Law Association, Nashville Songwriters Association, National Music Publishers Association, Recording Industry Association of America, Society of Composers and Lyricists, Future of Music Coalition, the Graphic Artists Guild, the Authors Guild, and Songwriters Guild of America.