May 20, 2019


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[NAME] is a member of DMLA, the Digital Media Licensing Association is writing to support H.R. 2426, The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2019 (CASE Act), which was introduced in the House on May 1, alongside a companion bill, S. 1273, in the Senate.

Until now, federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over all copyright claims. This means that most infringements of visual content go virtually unchecked, as the cost of enforcing copyright claims in federal court can far exceed any reasonable compensation the copyright owner or its licensing representation can expect to recover.

The CASE Act would create an affordable, efficient alternative to expensive and drawn out federal litigation to resolve ordinary copyright disputes. Copyright law and the means to effectively enforce rights under copyright is the bedrock of the media licensing industry. NAME represent(s) the works of thousands of photographers, illustrators, videographers and other visual artists for potential licensing. Weinvest substantial resources in creating easy to navigate online platforms that allow publishers, creatives, filmmakers and businesses of all sizes access to vast libraries of licensable visual content to visually enhance all forms of communications. Unfortunately, the ease in which visual content can be reproduced freely online undermines this valuable licensing economy our members have built including the livelihood of the artists whose works werepresent. DMLA has been working on our behalffor the past decade with the Copyright Office, Congress, and a coalition of visual artists associations in support of a creation of a voluntary copyright tribunal that will encourage the resolution of these kinds of infringement claims, where both sides can afford to seek a resolution without expensive legal fees.

We need a 21stcentury copyright regime that protects creators and a licensing system that rewards creation and encourages licensing models that add to the U.S. economy, instead of encouraging theft of visual content. The CASE Act does just that. We urge every member of the Committee to show their support by co-sponsoring the CASE Act.