As a small business owner, copyright protection and disputes can be time-consuming and costly. However, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act of 2020 established the Copyright Claims Board (CCB), an efficient and user-friendly alternative to federal court for certain copyright disputes. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how the CCB benefits small business owners and the key features of its procedures.
Accessibility for Everyone
The CCB is accessible to anyone, with or without an attorney. Its proceedings are designed to be easily understood and usable by anyone, even without legal training. Users of the CCB are permitted to have an attorney or a qualified law student but can also represent themselves.
Streamlined Online Procedures
CCB procedures are conducted online, saving time and money compared to federal court lawsuits. Formal motions are not permitted, and hearings are held remotely through video conferences. Discovery is generally limited to written discovery, with depositions allowed only on a showing of good cause.
Both claimants and respondents can choose whether to participate in CCB proceedings. Claimants may choose to go to federal court instead, and respondents can opt-out of a CCB proceeding. If a respondent opts out, the claimant can still bring a lawsuit against that respondent in federal court.
Limited Jurisdiction for Specific Claims
The CCB’s jurisdiction is limited to certain copyright-related claims, such as claims of infringement, declarations of non-infringement, and claims of misrepresentation in DMCA notices. Counterclaims are also limited to specific types of claims and must arise from the same transaction or occurrence.
Cap on Damages
The CCB limits the total damages sought to $30,000, with claimants able to choose between statutory damages or actual damages and the infringer’s profits. This cap makes CCB proceedings more affordable for small businesses compared to federal court, where damages are not capped and can reach $150,000 for each work in case of willful infringement.
Safeguards Against Abusive Practices
CCB procedures include safeguards against abusive practices. Parties bringing a CCB claim in bad faith may be ordered to pay the other party’s reasonable costs and attorney fees. The CCB may also ban parties or their representatives who have repeatedly acted in bad faith from filing new claims for one year and may even dismiss their pending claims.
Limited Precedent and Review Options
CCB decisions are non-precedential and do not bind the CCB or federal courts in later cases. Limited options for review are available, such as seeking reconsideration from the CCB, asking the Register of Copyrights to review a denial of reconsideration, or seeking review in federal district court in limited circumstances.
The Copyright Claims Board offers a more efficient and cost-effective alternative to federal court for small business owners dealing with certain types of copyright disputes. With its streamlined online procedures, voluntary participation, and limited jurisdiction, the CCB is an invaluable resource for small businesses seeking to resolve copyright disputes without the high costs and complexities of federal court litigation.
Don’t let copyright disputes hinder your business’s growth and success. As a small business owner, you deserve swift and effective solutions to protect your hard-earned intellectual property. By reaching out to our expert business litigation firm, you can put your worries to rest and focus on what you do best—running your business.
Call us now at (714) 415-2007 to take advantage of the Copyright Claims Board’s streamlined process and secure the future of your business. Our experienced attorneys are ready to guide you through every step of the way, ensuring that your rights are protected and your business can thrive. Don’t wait any longer; safeguard your creative work and your business’s future today!