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Action Initiated on Small Claims Bill

On April 27, 2016 House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte announced that the Committee is entering a new critical stage of its ongoing copyright revision process. Specifically, Chairman Goodlatte stated that "[i]n the weeks ahead, we will identify areas where there is a likelihood of potential consensus and circulate outlines of potential reforms in those areas. Then we will convene stakeholders for further work on these potential reforms."

Simultaneously with Rep. Goodlatte's announcement, Mike Klipper, ASMP's outside copyright counsel, was told by the office of Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, (D-NY) that the Congressman is preparing a small claims bill for introduction and is seeking a Republican House Member to join him as an original cosponsor of the legislation. This is an especially important development coming as the House Judiciary Committee begins its next stage of the review process. Having a bipartisan bill introduced as this latest stage begins will elevate the small claims issue at a critical time in the Judiciary Committee's deliberations.

Tom Kennedy and Mike Klipper will be meeting with Rep. Jeffries' staff to discuss the components of a small claims bill as outlined in the white paper submitted by ASMP and six other visual artists groups. In concert with these other visual artists organizations, Kennedy and Klipper are in the process of developing a strategy for the upcoming stakeholder meetings. Tom Kennedy believes "these actions demonstrate the value of ASMP's advocacy efforts and why ASMP members need to stand together, and continue to effectively press the case for creating an alternative mechanism to address infringements that impair ASMP's members rights and livelihoods."