Photographers would do well to familiarize themselves with the popular law school mantra, “There is no right without a remedy.” The United States has strong copyright laws protecting artists from theft. In practice, however, the high costs of taking cases to court often prevents them from enjoying these rights.
A number of photography associations, most notably the Professional Photographers of America (PPA), have lobbied for a copyright small claims court to make it easier for photographers to bring cases. The resulting legislation is bill H.R. 5757, or the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2016 (CASE Act of 2016).
What will a copyright small claims court mean for photographers and the industry? Unlike others who have reported on the CASE Act without actually reading it, we tracked down and read all 53 pages of the legislation. Here’s our take on the good and the not-so-good.