New Copyright Court
Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Senate version of the Copyright Small Claims Bill. That bill, known as the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2019 now moves out of committee and will go 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.
Both bills propose establishing a voluntary alternative process for settling copyright infringement disputes with claims of less than $30,000 or less. One of the stated goals for the proposed legislation is to create an alternative avenue for cases that don’t make sense based on the expense of the federal court process.
Copyright Small Claim Tribunal
If the Copyright Small Claims Bill is passed, the proposed legislation would create a new copyright court which would act as an administrative court for copyright infringement disputes. The new copyright court would be voluntary for all parties. The new copyright court would require the parties to waive their right to seek injunctive relief and impose a lower limit on recoverable statutory damages. In exchange, the new copyright court would provide a forum that is intended to be cheaper and faster than traditional copyright infringement litigation in federal court.
If the Bill is eventually passed, there will be lots of discussions about the pros and cons of the Tribunal. Until then, we will continue to monitor the status of these bills. However, if you have any questions about copyright infringement please contact one of our Copyright attorneys.