{ subscribe_url:'/share/sites/library-of-congress-blogs/copyright.php' }

The CASE Act: Copyright Claims Board to Begin Hearing Cases in Spring 2022

Chairs at a table in the background in a light blue hue. In the foreground is the U.S. Coyright Office official seat. Text at the bottom right reads, "The Case Act." The following is a guest post by Shira Perlmutter, Register of Copyrights

As the year draws to a close, I’d like to provide an update on the work the Copyright Office has done to implement the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act), which became law on December 27, 2020. The CASE Act directs the Office to establish a new tribunal, the Copyright Claims Board (CCB), to resolve copyright disputes with a monetary value of no more than $30,000. We are excited about this project, which represents the realization of a long-standing Copyright Office proposal. The CCB will offer a cost-effective, streamlined, and voluntary alternative to litigation in federal court.

The CASE Act provided that the CCB would open its doors by December 27, 2021, with leeway to extend that date by 180 days for good cause. I am pleased to report that implementation of the multiple tasks involved will be substantially completed by the initial statutory deadline. However, some additional time will be needed to give the public sufficient opportunity to comment on the proposed regulations and to thoroughly test the technologies that will be used before operations commence. I have therefore determined that good cause exists to defer the CCB’s start date until spring and have accordingly notified Congress.

Hands typing at a laptop keyboard. Transparent tech screens floating in the foreground. One of a triangle, one of scales, and two with word document icons. Much work has been done already to get the CCB up and running. We have hired three well-respected, impartial experts in copyright and litigation as Copyright Claims Officers, along with seasoned attorneys to support their work. We are building out a new space to house the CCB offices and hearing room. We are developing an informational website and online systems for case management and other types of submissions, and we are preparing handbooks and forms to help users navigate the process. In a short time, we have published four comprehensive rulemaking proposals, with two more notices and four final rules on the way. Together, these rules will set out the process of interacting with the CCB from the initiation of a claim through a final determination. We have received many thoughtful comments from the public and look forward to receiving more. And of course accomplishing all of this in such a short time would not have been possible without the dedication and expertise of the Copyright Office staff.

Before the CCB begins to hear claims, however, it’s important to ensure that all the rules are finalized with meaningful input from the public and that the CCB’s technical systems function smoothly for all participants. For these reasons, we are taking additional time to receive more comments and fully test these systems. The additional time will allow us to have confidence in a successful launch of the new tribunal.

If you are interested in providing feedback on the proposed operations of the CCB, I encourage you to subscribe here for emails about opportunities to do so. We are committed to building a copyright system that is accessible to all.

* * *

More on the CASE Act and the CCB is available here.

To learn more about the reasons to establish an alternative to federal litigation for small copyright claims, see the Office’s Copyright Small Claims report.

Barbara Ringer’s Legacy of Fighting for Equity at the Copyright Office: An Interview with Amanda Levendowski

Forty-eight years ago, Barbara Ringer was appointed Register of Copyrights. Amanda Levendowski, associate professor of law at Georgetown Law, discusses how she inspires current and future intellectual property professionals.

The Register: The Historical and Unique Title for American Copyright Leadership

The following is a guest blog post by Marilyn Creswell, Librarian-in-Residence at the U.S. Copyright Office. In most conversations, a register is usually a list, and a registrar is usually a person who keeps lists. The U.S. Copyright Office is a rare example of a Register being the person who keeps a register.1 The origin […]

The Copyright Office: Marking One Year of Pandemic Operations

The following is a guest blog post by Shira Perlmutter, Register of Copyrights and Director, U.S. Copyright Office. On Friday, March 13, 2020, the Library of Congress closed its buildings to the public and initiated pandemic operations. At the end of October, I was sworn in virtually by the Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden. […]

Keep Moving Forward: Performance of the Copyright Office during COVID-19

The following is a guest post by Maria Strong, Acting Register of Copyrights. The U.S. Copyright Office has taken a number of actions to ensure that mission-critical functions continue during the ongoing challenges caused by COVID-19. I commend our staff for maintaining a continued high level of service under these challenging conditions and greatly appreciate […]

Moving Forward: The Copyright Office During COVID-19

Like many Americans, the Copyright Office staff and the Office as an organization are experiencing unprecedented challenges since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure the safety of staff and visitors, the Library of Congress closed its buildings to the public, including the one that houses the Office, until further notice. In light of this, plus ongoing health and safety guidance from the Library, the Office has taken steps to shut down on-site operations.

Celebrating the Women Leading the Copyright Office

To celebrate women’s history month, I wanted to write about the five women who have served (and are serving) as leaders of the U.S. Copyright Office. Women have led this Office consecutively since November 1993, and their accomplishments are nothing short of incredible. These five lawyers (who all attended either Columbia Law School or George Washington Law) have contributed over 100 years of public service to the Copyright Office, counting all their roles. This blog shows just a snapshot of their accomplishments and contributions to copyright.

Barbara Ringer: Beyond the ©

Today we celebrate the forty-sixth anniversary of Barbara Ringer’s appointment as the first female Register of Copyrights. While her tenure was long before my time in the Copyright Office, I’m in awe of her dedication to intellectual property law and especially to equality and diversity in the workplace. Ringer earned her law degree and joined […]