I don’t know much about this proposal so I thought I would bring it up here in case others had more knowledge of it and could help me (us) understand if this is likely to be a good thing or a bad thing.
I don’t know any more than what the article you linked to says but that alone leads me to think that this won’t be much use to actual artists.
Going by what little experience I have of this sort of claim (not in the US), what tends to happen with these sort of “low value”, “simple procedure” systems is that you get a whole industry of ‘legal advisers’ who will bring bulk claims and/or offer to write threatening letters to alleged infringers.
So you get a whole bunch of people who get hassled over alleged infringing use (such as takes place on pretty much every topic on this BBS) but the actual photographers, etc. tend not to see much if any money.
In most cases of course the photographers won’t be bringing the claims because they won’t actually own the copyright. Generally claims like this are brought by people who commissioned photos who generally insist on the copyright in the image as part of the deal.
Photographers who can insist on retaining some aspect of the copyrights tend to be at the stage of their career where they can handle themselves litigation-wise if need be so this sort of process may not be that attractive.
It is also apparently going to be entirely voluntary which is always a problem. If it’s voluntary and helps the claimant, why agree to it? If it doesn’t help the claimant, why would the claimant choose it?
My concern was that these types of courts in the US are very local and require both parties to be physically present. Given the decentralized nature of the internet, I can’t help but think that the two parties will be pretty evenly distributed across the country and unlikely to be colocated. So, for a $3000 case, will random citizens be compelled to travel across the country to some random location to defend themselves?
This makes me think we’ll see a bunch of ‘sue for just less than the cost of a plane flight and hotel’ scams.
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