Copyright small claims court moves one step closer to reality. Yesterday morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Senate version of the copyright small claims bill by voice vote. That bill, known as the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2019 ("CASE Act"), S. 1273, now moves out of committee and can go to the floor to be voted on by the full Senate. An identical companion bill, H.R. 2426, is still pending in the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet.
Both bills have received widespread bipartisan support, proposing to establish a voluntary tribunal to adjudicate copyright infringement disputes involving claims of $30,000 or less in damages. During the committee meeting, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., one of the bill's co-sponsors, expressed his desire for the legislation to create "an avenue for cases that are so small that the expensive [federal court] process doesn't make sense." Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC echoed support for the bill on the other side of the political aisle, calling it a "big deal."
We will continue to monitor and report on the CASE Act's progress as it winds its way further through Congress.