Copyright Small Claims and the Copyright Claims Board

In December 2020, Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act), which directed the Copyright Office to establish the Copyright Claims Board (CCB). The CCB is a three-member tribunal within the Office that will provide an efficient and user-friendly option to resolve certain copyright disputes that involve up to $30,000 (called “small claims”). The Office is in the process of developing the CCB, which should begin hearing claims by spring 2022. In the meantime, read about what the CCB is, why you might want to use it, and our implementation progress.



Why did Congress Pass the CASE Act and Create the Copyright Claims Board?

Copyright law requires that copyright lawsuits be brought in federal court. Federal litigation, however, can require a lot of time and money. When disputes about small copyright claims arise, the cost and effort of a federal lawsuit can outweigh possible relief and make it very difficult for people to get a legal resolution. Congress recognized this issue and passed the CASE Act, creating the CCB, to provide a more efficient and economical option to resolve small copyright disputes. If you want to learn more about the challenges that federal litigation presents in small copyright claims, see the Office’s Copyright Small Claims report.

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Getting the CCB’s Operations Started

The Copyright Office is in the process of setting up the CCB. As part of implementation, we will address daily operations and procedures related to issues like the following:

  • Setting fees
  • Filing claims
  • Notifying parties when a claim is brought against them
  • Opting out of proceedings, including by developing a standing opt out option for libraries and archives
  • Expediting registration decisions for claims pending with the CCB
  • Setting standards for limited motions practice and discovery
  • Defaulting parties (which means a party did not or stopped responding to a claim)
  • Reviewing CCB decisions in certain situations
  • Making some CCB proceeding records publicly available

The Office will develop these and other procedures through rulemaking processes that will result in regulations. The rulemaking proceedings will allow for public participation, which the Office strongly encourages. You can track the Office’s implementation progress by checking our implementation tracker, following the Office’s rulemaking proceedings on our Rulemaking page, and signing up for our NewsNet service.

Interested in more information? Take a look at our responses to Copyright Claims Board Frequently Asked Questions.

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Implementation Tracker

As we implement the CASE Act and establish the CCB, we will include updates on staffing and regulations here.

Legislation

  • CASE Act passes
    December 21, 2020
  • CASE Act signed
    December 27, 2020

Staffing

  • Copyright Claims Officers Selected
    (announced July 20, 2021)
  • Supervisory Attorney-Advisor Selected
  • Attorney-Advisors Selected
  • Program Specialist Selected
  • Paralegal Selected

Rulemaking

Available to receive claims

Spring 2022*

* May be extended to June 25, 2022, for good cause.