A new copyright proposal would protect designers online — but at what cost?

PROTECTING INNOCENCE IN A DIGITAL WORLD

Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call

For years, independent artists working online have struggled with designs being stolen, often by much larger companies. Given the expense and intricacy of a federal copyright lawsuit, those artists have had no good options for fighting back, even as infringing products pile up on seller platforms like Amazon.

Now, Congress is trying to fix the problem. A new bill currently moving through the Senate would equip the Copyright Office to go after those infringing products, letting original artists push back without filing suit in federal court. But the proposal has alarmed copyright critics, who worry the bill would unleash a flood of small copyright claims that would ultimately harm the same artists it’s trying to protect.

The Copyright…

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