Copyright Office Tribunal Proposed as Alternative for Small Copyright Claims

Washington, D.C. – Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, and Tom Marino (R-Pa) proposed legislation to create an alternative forum to facilitate the adjudication of “small” copyright claims. 

H.R. 5757, titled the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act of 2016, would establish a Copyright Claims Board (“CCB”) within the U.S. Copyright Office. Adjudication with the CCB is intended to be simpler and less expensive than proceeding in federal court. These cases would be heard by a CCB panel of three Copyright Claims Officers. Adjudicating in the CCB forum would be voluntary and respondents could opt out. 
The jurisdiction under CASE would be limited to civil claims of copyright infringement of $30,000 or less in damages. The CCB would also be authorized to hear claims of abusive takedown notifications under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. 
This bill follows a September 2013 report by Maria Pallante, Register of Copyrights and Director of the U.S. Copyright Office. The report concluded that “certain claims for copyright infringement – in particular, those involving lesser amounts of damages – could not practically be pursued within the existing federal court structure.” 
The report by the Copyright Office may be viewed here
The bill may be viewed here.
Contact Information