We have all been guilty of sharing memes on our timelines. Memes help add color to dull conversations and often put a smile on our faces. If passed, a bi-partisan bill is set to change this by imposing up to $30,000 for sharing protected material online.
Once the law is passed, creators will be able to sue anyone who posts images that they have not created or don’t have copyrights to. Needless to say, we will witness a volley of lawyers who will rake in moolah by suing unsuspected users.
The bill is titled “Copyright Alternative in Small Claims Enforcement Act of 2019” and is said to “creates a voluntary small claims board within the Copyright Office that will provide copyright owners with an alternative to the expensive process of bringing copyright claims, including infringement and misrepresentation …. in federal court.”
As expected the law will prove to be a treasure cove for copyright trolls and small businesses who might have shared copyrighted material unknowingly. The worst part is that perpetrators will not get a chance to appeal. The cap on the fine is set at $30000 which includes an individual cap of $15,000 per work infringed.
A petition against CASE Act is already doing rounds. The petition says,
Have you ever shared a meme that you didn’t make? Or downloaded a photo you saw on social media? If Congress has its way you could soon get slapped with a $15,000 fine by copyright trolls – with no chance of appeal – just for doing normal stuff on the internet.
In other words, sharing memes could cost you dearly and you might actually end up being fine $30,000. The bill is being pushed by photographers and other artists who want to expedite claims without having to approach the federal courts. It is also worth mentioning that the bill doesn’t detail the process related to enforcing the law.
[via Action Network]