As an attorney who largely represents small businesses and entrepreneurs, I have often found myself in the tough position of explaining to someone with limited resources just how difficult it was going to be to go after an infringer. Either it is simply too cost-prohibitive to go after an infringer, or the client has the resources to pursue litigation, but the damage amount makes litigation difficult to justify.
Apparently the issue is getting some new consideration by Congress and the Copyright Office, as the Copyright Office has been asked by Congress to conduct a study to:
(1) assess the extent to which authors and other copyright owners are effectively prevented from seeking relief from infringements due to constraints in the current system; and
2) furnish specific recommendations, as appropriate, for changes in administrative, regulatory and statutory authority that will improve the adjudication of small copyright claims and thereby enable all copyright owners to more fully realize the promise of exclusive rights enshrined in our Constitution.
If you are a small business or an individual who has been faced with a small copyright claim matter and has any feedback on obstacles that you encountered in dealing with the matter, or if you have any thoughts on how the current system might be changed to better address copyright small claims matters, then the Copyright Office wants to hear from you. You should submit your comments to the Copyright Office by October 19th at the submission link.
I personally would like to see changes made to better address small copyright claims matters, because I think that most copyright infringement at this point in time goes unaddressed because so little can be done about it. I feel confident that many of you feel the same. If you have any thoughts to share on this issue, please take the time to write the Copyright Office and share those thoughts, and make certain you do it in time to meet the deadline.