Small claims court for copyright infringement is on its way! That is, with your help, it's on its way.
One of the most frustrating problems facing an artist who’s had their work infringed is the ridiculous cost of copyright litigation. In a 2012 report to Congress, the Copyright Office noted that the median cost of litigating a copyright claim of less than $ 1 million was $350,000. That’s because federal courts are set up for handling big, expensive cases. If you’re an ordinary artist (meaning one who makes less than Jeff Koons), filing a lawsuit in federal court to protect your copyright is financially daunting, to say the least.
For years, artist advocacy groups like the Graphic Artists Guild and the American Society of Media Photographers have been advocating for a cheaper, simpler means of protecting copyright through a “small claims” administrative court run by the Copyright Office.
At last Congress got the memo. On July 13, 2016 representative Hakeem S. Jeffries of New York introduced H.R. 5757 “to establish an alternative dispute resolution program for copyright small claims.” For every artist who’s had their work copied only to be faced with the over-the-top cost of challenging the infringer in court, this is a big moment.
The Graphic Artist Guild is offering a free webinar on August 17th to explain why this legislation is good for you, your art and your business—and how you can help get it passed. We’ll be there. We hope you will, too!
Important: The webinar is free but registration is required. Sign up here!