Sunday, December 03, 2017

Seeking Pirated Content, And Support H.R. 3945

More than 430,000,000 (four hundred and thirty million) people seek pirated "content" every month. Most of these people would never dream of shoplifting, but they see nothing wrong with going out of their way to avoid paying for that which they seek, if it is available online.

Source : Keith Kupferschmidt

People who visit pirate sites are 28 times more likely to pick up malware and spyware, and often, the quality of whatever they download is inferior to what they could have purchased safely and legally and for a very reasonable price.

Talking of a reasonable price, many copyright owners would benefit from being able to take the next step in enforcing their copyrights if it was possible to pursue an infringer in small claims court.

Currently, a copyright owner may send a DMCA (takedown) notice to a site that hosts user-uploaded files.  You can find a sample DMCA Notice here or here.

However, if the copyright infringing user files a "Counter-Notice" stating that that user believes that he (or she) is entitled to publish and distribute the author's copyrighted work, the site will reinstate the pirated files or links, and the copyrighted work will continue to be published and distributed forever.... unless the copyright owner is wealthy enough to bring a lawsuit in federal court. Few are.

H.R. 3945 would permit copyright owners to take action against an untruthful "Counter-Notice" through a small claims court. The cost to the plaintiff would be less. The potential fines would be much less.

The Copyright Alliance asks authors and other copyright owners to use their system to customize and personalize a sample letter and to let the Copyright Alliance forward it to their  Representatives and Senators.

Click this "Add Your Voice" link.  Click the orange "Ask Your Representative... To Cosponsor H.R.3954...."   On the next page, fill in your address and zip code.  Clicking the blue "Search" button will take you to the Copyright Alliance's template letter to your own unique Senators and Representatives.

Customize the letter.

Example:  Copyright Alliance's first paragraph

I am writing to urge you to co-sponsor H.R. 3945, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act of 2017. This bipartisan bill is important to America’s photographers, illustrators, authors, songwriters and other creators and small businesses that own copyrighted works.
Example: This author's first paragraph.

As an independent author who does not make much from the legal sales of my works.... I implore you to consider stepping up to co-sponsor H.R. 3945, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act of 2017.

It's December. For those who allow anyone at all to upload files to their sites, if you wish to retain safe harbor protections under the DMCA, you must register a copyright agent for your site asap, and certainly this month.

For more information:

All the best,
Rowena Cherry

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