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What a Reasonable Copyright Small Claims Court Would Look Like

Creators have an uphill battle in enforcing their rights online. A small claims court to allow creators to exercise their rights without full federal litigation is a good goal, and one that should be pursued. The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2019, also known as the CASE Act, presents one potential, but flawed framework for such a court. It is not, however, the only potential framework. A robust, well-designed system would be designed to balance the interests of legitimate claimants and defendants against those of bad actors seeking to turn the forum into a quick cash grab. Below, we look at the key features of such a system, and why they’re important.

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To Fight Misinformation, Bring our Libraries Online

Misinformation — how it develops, how it spreads, and why people believe it — is an unavoidable topic in current information policy debates. And though headlines have largely focused on the high-profile impacts of misinformation on everything from public health to voting behaviors and technological literacy, there’s another, more important question at stake: How do we combat it when it emerges?

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Spotify’s Copyright Royalty Board Appeal, Decoded

Nothing has dominated recent music news (at least not since the passage of the Music Modernization Act) as much as Spotify’s decision to appeal the findings of the Copyright Royalty Board, or CRB. The move prompted backlash from music publishers and a rebuttal from Spotify, but the actual facts of the debate are buried under piles of legalese.

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The New Music Modernization Act (Mostly) (Finally) Gets It Right

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a new and improved version of the Music Modernization Act, following the Senate’s lead from last week. We had expressed strong reservations about the earlier iterations of this bill, and its impact on the public domain for sound recordings. We’re happy to say that after extensive negotiations spearheaded by Senator Ron Wyden, the new version of the bill brings these works more fully into line with with the existing copyright system for legacy works and finally allows these recordings to enter the public domain. The bill now heads to the President’s desk.

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Copyright, Props, and Armor Replicas: “Yer a Statue, Harry”

Cosplay encompasses a lot of elements beyond the clothing covering your body. Armor, decorative flourishes, and props all fall under a different (and, mercifully, clearer) legal regime than clothing.

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