Will the CASE Act Move to a Vote? You Can Help!
We first mentioned the CASE Act back in 2016 (see post here), and have had high hopes for the bill to pass into law after it passed the House by a majority vote on October 22, 2019. It moved to the Senate, and seemed to have similar support there until Senator Wyden of Oregon placed what's called a "hold" on the bill.
Senators don't need to have a specific reason for these holds, and it appears that Senator Wyden is interested in seeing the bill languish and die without debate. A group of advocates from across the publishing, music, art, and photography industries (in conjunction with officers from Senators Kennedy and Durbin) have been talking with Senator Wyden's office in an attempt to hammer out details that would move Wyden to remove his hold. To this day, there have been many back-and-forths, but little progress forward.
One of Senator Wyden's chief complaints about the bill is that it would result in frivolous copyright infringement lawsuits that would "bankrupt grandma." This opinion has been voiced before by organizations such as EFF, but is a fallacious argument in that the CASE Act is meant to be a voluntary review of an infringement suit by a tribunal of copyright experts. Either party can opt out of the review, and if they move forward, there are limits on the damages that could be recovered.
The IBPA's Advocacy Committee (of which our own MJ is a member) put out a call to action last week to encourage community members to contact their Senators to bolster support for the bill in the hopes of pushing for a live unanimous consent vote on the Senate floor soon. This "Live UC" would force Sen. Wyden to voice his objections to the bill, and allow other senators to articulate their support.
You can help in the effort by encouraging your senator to support the CASE Act. Go here for a quick and easy way to reach out to your representative.