Small Claims Bill - Contact Your Congressperson NOW!

Posted on 3/27/2018 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (2)

All photographers and copyright holders in the U.S. are urged to contact their Congressional Representative and ask them to Vote in Favor of H.R. 3945 – a bill to create a Small Claims Court! The bill is likely to be out of the House Judiciary Committee mark-up and ready for a vote the week of April 9th. Your representative needs to hear from you now! Grass-root support is imperative!

If you’re not sure who your representative is you can go to this link (https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative ), enter your zip code and you’ll be provided with the name of you representative and an e-mail link where you can send a message.

In your message you don’t need to say much more than: Please vote in FAVOR of H.R. 3945 - A Bill to Create a Small Claims Court.

If you want to say more about what the Small Claims Court will mean to you, please do.

If you would like a sample of what to say, please feel free to use the following:
    Please vote in FAVOR of H.R. 3945 - A Bill to Create a Small Claims Court. This bill is of critical importance to every photographer, illustrator and artist. Current laws make it almost impossible for image creators to enforce their rights of ownership to their work and earn a decent living. The Small Claims Court will level the playing field for many and give them a chance to protect their rights.
If you’ve already contacted your representative, now is the time to remind them that the creative community needs their support.
 
For many photographers, illustrators, authors, songwriters, and other creators and small businesses that own copyrighted works, enforcing their rights is simply not feasible. Litigation is expensive and most of these creators can’t afford to enforce their rights in federal court. In effect, the U.S. copyright system provides creators with rights but no effective remedies. To address this problem, the U.S. Copyright Office released a study recommending the creation of a simplified process for resolving lower value copyright claims.

On October 4, 2017, Representatives Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Tom Marino (R-PA), as well as Representatives Doug Collins (R-GA), Lamar Smith (R-TX), Judy Chu (D-CA), and Ted Lieu (D-CA), introduced H.R. 3945 to effectuate the Copyright Office’s recommendations. This bipartisan bill would create a voluntary small claims court within the U.S. Copyright Office to provide copyright owners with an alternative to the expensive process of bringing infringement claims in federal court. This new court, called the Copyright Claims Board (CCB) would provide an easy and streamlined process for creators – including the ability to conduct proceedings remotely. Most significantly, participation in the court is 100% voluntary and inexpensive.

Tell your friends that Now Is The Time!


Copyright © 2018 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-251-0720, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  

Comments

  • Linda Huhn Posted Mar 31, 2018


  • Linda Huhn Posted Mar 31, 2018
    Thanks, Jim for the alert about H.R. 3945. I used your "Please vote in favor of .."paragraph almost verbatim, then the 2 paragraphs below almost verbatim, changing pronouns to us, we, etc. Very simple to copy, paste into a letter. I used bold type in the body of the letter for the name of the bill and for other critical points. You've got to make the important things stand out for the staff person who will read the letter.

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