Congress Pushing CASE Act to Destroy Pro-Trump Memes
With all of the censorship and election meddling that Silicon Valley is doing ahead of the 2020 election, you would think that Republicans in Congress would be bright enough to do something about it. But you’d be wrong.
In fact, Republicans in the House and Senate are joining hands with Democrats to make the situation worse. They’re pushing a piece of legislation that will impose crippling, unappealable penalties against any conservative who shares a pro-Trump meme on their social media accounts.
Here’s a hypothetical situation to explain what the GOP is about to do to a large section of its own base.
Imagine that you own an apple tree. It produces a crop of lush, delicious apples every year, which you sell at the local farmer’s market. But then one day, I clone one of your apples. My new cloned apple – just a single apple – is identical to one of the apples on your tree, with a slight modification.
For example, my apple might have the currently-in-vogue phrase, “Jeffrey Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself” appear on its outer skin. I’m not making any money from this cloned apple. I simply possess it and show it to some of my friends.
The question is: Have I stolen one of your apples? And have I done actual monetary damage to you by possessing a cloned apple with a slight cosmetic adjustment to it?
Under current US copyright law, I may have technically “copied” one of your apples. This is obviously absurd, but that’s how the law currently works. However, you still have all of your own apples on the tree and you can sell them at the farmer’s market.
Therefore, under current law, I’ve done $0 in actual monetary damages to you. Under a worst-case-scenario, if you bothered to take me to court over the cloned apple, a judge might order me to not show my “Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself” apple to any of my friends from now on.
But here’s how that scenario will play out if the Copyright Alternative in Small Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act eventually becomes law:
I would be ruled a thief who had “stolen” one of your apples. I would owe you $15,000 to $30,000 in monetary damages for stealing one of your apples. And I would not be able to appeal the monetary fine that I’m required to pay to you.
That may sound like one of the craziest and most un-American laws you’ve ever heard of, but it passed the House on October 22 by a vote of 410 to 6. Democrats and Republicans can’t seem to agree on anything in Washington these days, but they are suddenly united in a desire to crush everyday Americans who create and share memes online – those funny images and clips that mock people suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome.
The CASE Act was originally sponsored by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), one of the most partisan leftwing extremists in the US Congress. Only five Republicans and the now-independent Justin Amash voted against it.
Digital memes shared on social media are primarily the domain of young, conservative, pro-Trump supporters. (The modern “woke” left doesn’t create very many memes, because they have no sense of humor.) 185 House Republicans voted to suppress the speech of their own base, in an act that could ultimately suppress the 2020 vote for President Trump.
And if you think there’s no chance of the CASE Act passing the Senate, think again. Republicans are the ones pushing the bill in the Senate. Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) is the primary sponsor of S. 1273. Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) are among the bipartisan co-sponsors of the bill.
The CASE Act also takes “small” copyright claims out of the regular court system, by creating a new panel of unelected federal bureaucrats to punish conservative meme-sharers.
Small claims copyright cases would be handled by a tribunal of “Copyright Claims Officers.” In addition, the copyright complainant will now be able to file a complaint against meme creators or sharers, even if he or she has not bothered to register the photograph or video that is altered to create the meme.
And a $30,000 fine that you cannot even appeal? That’s insane, given that most Americans don’t have $400 for an unexpected emergency expense these days. Oh, well. We have to shut those Trump supporters up because they’re too effective.