Welcome to From the Desk of the President. This is a series of notes from A2IM CEO and President, Dr. Richard James Burgess. Today, Dr. Burgess addresses two new laws affecting copyright holders.
In addition to authorizing $900 billion in COVID relief spending and $1.4 trillion in other spending, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA) included a number of smaller bills that would not have otherwise become law this legislative session. These included two significant changes to copyright law.
One was the Protecting Lawful Streaming Act of 2020, legislation that Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) introduced two weeks ago. The act makes it a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, to run a pirate streaming service. The other was the CASE Act, which is a small claims court for copyright holders.
Here is what will happen in order to implement the CASE Act: The Copyright Office will have to promulgate rules to stand up the Copyright Claims Board and also to appoint the members of the tribunal. CASE Act claims must be opted into by both sides, plaintiff and defendant as a way to avert federal court costs. The bill states that the Copyright Claims Board must be up and running within one year of enactment, with an option to extend by 180 days. That would mean that the program should be operational between December 2021 and June 2022.
You can read the full text of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 here. Refer to pages 2539-2606 for the Protecting Lawful Streaming Act of 2020 and CASE Act.
A2IM is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit trade organization headquartered in New York City that exists to support and strengthen the independent recorded music sector. Membership currently includes a broad coalition of more than 700 Independently-owned American music labels. A2IM represents these independently owned small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs) interests in the marketplace, in the media, on Capitol Hill, and as part of the global music community. In doing so, it supports a key segment of America’s creative class that represents America’s diverse musical cultural heritage. Billboard Magazine identified the Independent music label sector as 37.32 percent of the music industry’s U.S. recorded music sales market in 2016 based on copyright ownership, making Independent labels collectively the largest music industry sector.