Re:Create Recap October 10, 2019

ACLU Says CASE Act Threatens Free Speech. In a new op-ed, ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel Kate Ruane joined the growing chorus of voices urging Congress to fix the bill to “ensure there are proper safeguards to protect the freedom of speech and due process.” Ruane warned of problems with the bill’s creation of a new Copyright Claims Board: “The last thing Congress should be doing right now is giving another government body broad powers to operate without proper judicial oversight. The system will be abused, and [the Copyright Claims Board] will make mistakes. Individuals fairly using copyrighted work, or those using it unknowingly — like kids posting videos of themselves on YouTube dancing to the latest Cardi B song — could be forced to pay up to $30,000 for these mistakes.”

Automattic, GitHub, Patreon, Pinterest & Reddit Join CASE Opposition. In a joint letter to their congressional delegation, San Francisco tech firms Automattic, GitHub, Patreon, Pinterest and Reddit expressed concerns that the bill will be unfair and will “create substantial confusion for our users and customers.” While stating that the companies are not opposed to the idea of a small-claims copyright process, the letter also raised concerns with the legislative process that has not included an appropriate hearing: “Not only have our concerns not been vetted, but members of the various committees have not had the opportunity to hear diverse perspectives which could inform amendments to improve the bill.”

Niskanen: Don’t Allow CASE Act To Embolden Copyright Trolls. The Niskanen Center also published an op-ed calling attention to the bill’s flaws that will only “embolden” copyright trolls and make their “business models more lucrative.” Niskanen Regulatory Policy Fellow Daniel Takash wrote, “What seems like a user-friendly remedy process will turn into a lion’s den for infringers going up against seasoned rightsholders and their lawyers.”

YouTube Helps Disability Community Normalize Their Lives. The Washington Post revealed the important ways YouTube is providing benefits to people with disabilities: “Creators with disability say they have gained many benefits from social media participation, such as support and acceptance, discovery of other people with similar conditions, information sharing and even income.” The article featured 14-year-old Ruby who has a genetic condition that impairs her vision and motor skills. Ruby’s mother said of their YouTube experience, “YouTube or any social media is that safe place to look and to wonder and to ask a question so that when you confront someone in real life you have gotten information you need to know that everyone is different and [you can] just be friendly toward that person.”

What They Are Saying About The CASE Act: Click here for additional resources on CASE Act concerns raised by creators, users, startups, tech industry and digital rights advocates.