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Research Librarian John Cannan’s Analysis of the CASE Act Published on Verdict

Professor John Cannan

November 08, 2019

Research Librarian John Cannan offered insights into the Copyright Small-Claims Enforcement Act (CASE) currently under consideration in Congress (H.R. 2426 and S. 1273) in the article “Big Problems with the Copyright Small Claims Court,” published on Justia’s online news site, Verdict.

He writes that the goal behind CASE “is to create an alternative process through which rights holders can protect the creative works they own,” as many rights-holders cannot afford the cost of an infringement lawsuit. However, in practice, CASE creates several new problems.

The primary problem is, according to Cannan, that “practically every American could find themselves subject to a CASE lawsuit because practically everyone, on any given day, commits copyright infringement.” Also, CASE will be used as a new revenue stream for ‘copyright trolls’ – people who use mass copyright litigation or the threat of such to obtain many small settlements from individuals who cannot afford to defend themselves.

While Cannan agrees that the problems that CASE intends to address are real, he points out several other solutions for said issues, and argues that Congress should not pass CASE until it addresses its potential impacts on regular Americans.

In addition to serving as research and instructional services librarian, Cannan teaches Intellectual Property Law Research and Legal Writing courses. His article, “A Legislative History of the Affordable Care Act: How Legislative Procedure Shapes Legislative History,” 105 Law Libr. J. 131 (2013) was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in King v. Burwell, 135 S. Ct. 2480, 2492, 192 L. Ed. 2d 483 (2015).