The U.S. Copyright Office announced that it will begin accepting claims at the newly-created Copyright Claims Board (CCB), today, June 16, 2022. The CCB is the small claims tribunal at the Copyright Office created as part of the CASE Act, and is an attempt to provide a lower cost option for copyright holders to seek redress for copyright infringement. Rather than the usual litigation route through the federal district courts, which can cost upwards of $100,000, the CCB caps at $5,000 per claim, or $2,500 per claim if the opposing party is not represented by counsel. Further, damages are limited to $30,000 (it is unlimited via a copyright infringement suit in federal court). Finally, and perhaps the most appealing aspect of the new CCB, is the ability to self-file a copyright claim, since e-filing and case management are electronic, with the rules designed for non-legal parties.
Note that this does not preclude a claimant from retaining counsel to represent them before a CCB proceeding.
The downsides of a CCB proceeding includes the inability of the CCB to issue injunctive relief to a claimant; if an injunction is desired, it must be done through the federal courts. Also, in order to be consistent with Article III of the U.S. Constitution, parties are allowed to opt-out of a CCB proceeding.
For more information on the CCB procedure, or copyrights in general, please contact Yonaxis I.P. Law Group.