As of June 16, 2022, the Copyright Claims Board (“CCB”) is open for business. As we have previously reported, the new tribunal, established by the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (the “CASE Act”) is intended to provide an affordable, efficient alternative to federal court litigation to resolve smaller copyright disputes. It has authority to hear copyright infringement claims, declarations of non-infringement and bad faith DMCA takedown and counter notices. The CCB has authority to award up to $30,000 in damages. Although an application to register the work in question is a prerequisite to filing a claim, the registration need not be in hand prior to filing, a significant difference from the federal court requirements. Proceedings are held remotely.
In addition to authority to award actual damages and profits, in cases of works that were timely registered, the CCB can award statutory damages of up to $15,000 per work infringed, with a cap of $30,000 in any one proceeding. Works that were not timely registered will be eligible for up to $7,500 per work infringed with a cap of $15,000 per claim (a key difference from current law under which unregistered works are only eligible for actual damages). Except in the case of bad-faith conduct, parties bear their own attorneys’ fees and costs.
Defendants can opt out of the proceedings, in which case plaintiffs will need to decide whether to re-file their claims in federal court.
Claimants will need to register with the CCB’s electronic filing and case-management system, called eCCB. Additional information for claimants and potential defendants, including FAQs, is available on the website of the Copyright Office.
Please do not hesitate to contact Jeannette Carmadella if you have questions about the new system or have a copyright issue you think may be appropriate for resolution through the CCB.