CASE Act Enforcement Moves Forward: New Rules to Know
After a thoughtful two-year preamble, the Copyright Claims Board (CCB), precipitating from the 2020 CASE Act, is beginning to take solid form. The final rules for its copyright infringement proceedings were released in late March, to take effect April 25, 2022.
Part of the lengthiness of this process was a comment period on proposed rules. I commend the U.S. Copyright Office for taking the time to receive and apply that feedback. Since the intention of the CCB is to ease the claims process for smaller copyright holders, many of whom may be representing themselves, it is vital to make the proceedings accessible and understable.
You can find the entirety of the final rule here. We will go through a few of the highlights.
Two-Tiered Payment System
Initially, the Copyright Claims Board was going to charge a $100 filing fee for the initiation of a claim. However, since defendants have the choice to opt out, commenters suggested that this might be prohibitive to claimants. They could lose their entire filing payment to a case that doesn’t continue.
As a compromise, the CCB is moving forward with a split payment system: $40 to start a claim, plus an additional $60 if the claim proceeds.
Like federal court, the CCB will not require a fee for counterclaims.
Claim and Opt-Out Proceedings
Based on feedback, the Copyright Claims Board designed its claims process with the goal of balancing the burden on claimants with the respondent’s need for information. This need becomes apparent when you consider what respondents are weighing: if they opt out of a CCB case, they cannot change their minds. And they may have to face the same case in federal court if the claimant decides to pursue it.
For this reason, the CCB asks for a decent amount of detail from claimants, including:
- All parties involved in the claim
- Description of the harm they have suffered
- An estimate of potential damages they seek to recover
The CCB will also make available Copyright Claims Attorneys as well as the CCB Handbook and website to offer guidance to claimants and respondents throughout the process.
After the comment period, the CCB revised its rules for refiling after an opt-out. Simply, the rule changed from “No” to “Yes” – if both the claimant and respondent agree to refile.
More Groundwork This Summer
To be clear, we do not yet know when the first claims will be accepted. That comprises part of the remaining legwork for the CCB’s foundations. They have a date set to decide when claim submissions will commence – you can look out for that announcement in late June of this year.
Please note this process is only for pro se claimants and the maximum they can recover through this process is $15,000 for copyright infringement.Share