The public has until April 26, 2021 to comment on the United States Copyright Office’s Proposed Rulemaking implementing the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act. The Act was passed as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 on December 27, 2020 and requires the Office to create a Copyright Claims Board. The Board will be an administrative tribunal before which parties may voluntarily use simplified proceedings to resolve claims related to copyright infringement and abuse of the notice and takedown provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), provided that damages do not exceed US $30,000 in the aggregate. The Office published a first Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on March 25, 2021, which will likely be the first of several as the Office promulgates regulations governing Board proceedings and develops a practice guide. The Office has identified several topics of particular interest for this first round of comments, which we summarize below. We encourage affected stakeholders to review the Notice and to be aware of this ongoing process, which we are monitoring carefully.
The specific topics on which the Office is specifically requesting comment, which are explained in greater detail in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, include the following:
Fees: Official fees for Board services, including filing claims, requesting review by the Register of Copyrights and registering service agents
Limitations on the Number Claims: Limitations on the number of claims that may be brought by a single party and which proceedings should count towards that limit
Misconduct: Means of deterring and reporting bad faith or fraudulent conduct before the Board, such as frivolous claims filings
Review of Board Decisions: The procedure and substance for requests for review of Board decisions by the Register of Copyrights
Instituting Board Proceedings and Serving Papers
Practice and Procedures
Access to Records: The facilities for maintaining, publishing and certifying Board records and decisions
The Office intends to additionally and subsequently solicit comments on expedited copyright registration required by the statute to better accommodate pre-registration claims filing. The Office does not currently intend to exercise its statutory authority to limit claims based on classes of works.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions or comments about the CASE Act. If any of the above topics are of interest and you would like more information, or if you are interested in submitting public comments prior to the April 26 deadline, we would be delighted to hear from you. Otherwise, we look forward to sharing additional updates from the U.S. Copyright Office, as well as to keeping you apprised of other intellectual property developments.
For further information regarding the content of this article, or to discuss this or other intellectual property matters, please contact any of the following Winterfeldt IP Group team members:
Brian Winterfeldt, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 202 903 4422
David Rome, email@example.com, +1 202 759 5833