Photogs, Artists & All Creatives – Support the Case Act

Posted May. 5th, 2019 by Daniel J. Cox

A bit of history

Copyright protection for your artwork is so important. It’s difficult enough making a living with photography or any creative endeavor without having to deal with people stealing your work. However, in today’s world, that’s what all creatives are faced with. I’ve always said that if I could make a nickel off of every person using my work without consent, I could actually be a full-time photographer again. Imagine that novel idea. Getting paid for your work.

Wolf howling against the dark pines of SW Montana with falling snow.
I estimate this image has been stolen at least 500 times. Thankfully it’s registered with the US Copyright Office.

Protect your beautiful images

For those who follow this blog you know I’ve written about protecting your creative endeavors in the past. Well… I’m at it again. Even if you never think you will ever sell an image we need all the voices we can get to support landmark legislation that was recently introduced. If you post your pictures to Facebook, this new bill could someday help you!

Beautiful evening light bathes the rolling hills and wheat fields of Tuscany, Italy
Beautiful evening light bathes the rolling hills and wheat fields of Tuscany, Italy

The Case Act

One of the biggest downsides to being a small creative is that it’s expensive to go after thieves. A bill recently introduced is hoping to make that process much less complicated and expensive. The technical name is H.R. 2426 and S. 1273, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act (CASE Act) of 2019. Some just call it the Case Act. This bill was proposed last year and failed, so they’re trying it again. Now’s your chance to contact your Senators and Congressman and request they do something that benefits the little guy for once.

Email below I received from the Copyright Alliance.

To get this bill passed, we need your support! Please contact your congressional representatives in the House and Senate to let them know you support the CASE Act, and that you want them to show their support by co-sponsoring the bill. You can reach them as follows: Click on Ask Your Congressional Representatives to Support the Creation of a Small Claims Court, then scroll to the bottom of this page to input your name, address and zip code. We know you may have sent letters and emails before, and you may be asking yourself why you should send another message when the bill didn’t pass last time. But this time, it’s different because: 

  • For the first time EVER, the bill has been introduced in the Senate. And if that isn’t enough great news, we have FOUR very well-respected Senators as co-lead sponsors of the bill, including Senator Durbin, the Senate Minority Whip; and Senator Tillis, who Chairs the Subcommittee that will consider and vote on the bill.
  • In Congress, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerry Nadler (D-NY), is an original co-sponsor of the bill; and the Ranking Member of the Committee, Doug Collins, is currently one of the lead co-sponsors. The lead Democratic sponsor is Hakeem Jeffries, who is so well respected within his party, that he was elected Chairman of the Democratic Caucus. Last year, Rep. Jeffries teamed up with Rep. Collins to introduce and push forward the Music Modernization Act, the first copyright bill to be passed into law in over ten years. These elected officials know what it takes to get copyright legislation passed and are now laser-focused on the CASE Act as the next copyright bill to be enacted into law.
  • The bill is supported by BOTH Democrats and Republicans. Congress can be very partisan, especially these days. But when members of Congress are finished arguing, they look for legislation that brings them together, versus reasons to be divided. The CASE Act is just such a bill.

 And it’s important to note that your prior support wasn’t for naught. It put us where we are today – with initial bipartisan support in the House and Senate. This is the start of an important process that, with your backing, we hope will culminate in the CASE Act being voted on and passed into law by the end of the congressional session (which concludes at the end of 2020). So, join the tens of thousands of other creators and supporters of the creative community by contacting your representatives in the House and Senate and urging their support for the CASE Act today.

Please do me a favor, if you are a creative person that wants to earn a living at what you do or CONTINUE earning a living, write your politicians! The Copyright Alliance makes it easy. Just follow the steps on this web page ask your Congressional Representatives to Support the Creation of a Small Claims Court.

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