Washington, D.C. — Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, September 27 at 2:00 pm., the House Judiciary Committee will hold a legislative hearing on the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2017 (H.R. 3945).

Visual artists have identified the lack of such a small claims process as a major detriment to their ability to hold those who fail to meet the terms of their contract accountable or even someone who outright steals their creation.  The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act, which is based on a two year U.S. Copyright Office study requested by the former House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, creates an opt-out alternative dispute system called the Copyright Claims Board within the Copyright Office. The Board would consist of three Copyright Claims Officers serving for staggered six-year terms and associated staff who will hear the cases.

Witnesses for the hearing are:

  • Mr. David Trust, Chief Executive Officer, Professional Photographers of America (PPA)
  • Mr. Matthew Schruers, Vice President, Law and Policy, Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA)
  • Ms. Jenna Close, Director of Photography, Buck the Cubicle
  • Mr. Jonathan Berroya, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Internet Association
  • Mr. Keith Kupferschmid, Chief Executive Officer, Copyright Alliance

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va) issued the statement below in advance of this hearing.

Chairman Goodlatte: “For intellectual property disputes, only the federal court system can hear legal disputes and there is no equivalent small claims process.  This has led to one category of American creators frequently being on the losing end of intellectual property theft – small intellectual property creators.

“Just like owners of physical property, American creators deserve a remedy when their intellectual property is used without the appropriate compensation. I look forward to hearing from our expert panel of witnesses as we seek a solution to this problem.”

This hearing will take place in 2141 Rayburn House Office Building and will be webcast live at judiciary.house.gov. Camera crews wishing to cover must be congressionally credentialed and RSVP with the House Radio-TV Gallery at (202) 225-5214.

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