On June 16, 2022, the U.S. Copyright Office launched the Copyright Claims Board (CCB)—a voluntary, affordable, and streamlined alternative to federal court for certain small copyright claims. To ensure the CCB is constitutional, participation before the CCB must be voluntary. As a result, respondents have the right to opt-out of proceedings brought against them. Additionally, for claims to be heard by the CCB, claimant(s) must pay a $100 filing fee, which is paid through a two-tiered payment structure. A claimant is required to pay an initial $40 filing fee when the claim(s) are filed with the CCB, and the remaining $60 filing fee would only be due after the opt-out period is over and the case becomes active.
The Copyright Alliance launched the Small Claims Opt-Out Protection (SCOOP) Program in August 2022, through which claimants of a CCB proceeding can have their $40 initial filing fee reimbursed by the Copyright Alliance if their claims are dismissed due to a respondent opting out.
While the CCB’s filing fee is hundreds of dollars less than in federal court, the Copyright Alliance recognizes that the loss of the non-refundable $40 fee if a respondent opts out of the proceeding is not without consequence to individual creators and small businesses. To help counter this potential loss, the Copyright Alliance created the SCOOP Program, through which claimants can have their $40 initial filing fee reimbursed by the Copyright Alliance if their claims are dismissed due to respondents opting out.
How the Copyright Alliance’s SCOOP Program Works
The Copyright Alliance will issue a $40 check to reimburse an applicant’s initial filing fee if the following conditions occur:
- Before filing a case with the CCB, the applicant (i) was a member of the Copyright Alliance (membership is free; fill out our Join the Alliance Form to become a member) and/or (ii) watched the Copyright Alliance’s Learn About the Copyright Claims Board video;
- The applicant files a case which is dismissed by the CCB because the respondent(s) in the case opted out of the proceeding;
- After the case is dismissed by the CCB due to a respondent opting out, the applicant becomes a member of the Copyright Alliance (if they are not already a member) and then completes and submits the SCOOP Application; and
- After reviewing the application and the case, the Copyright Alliance approves the application.
The Copyright Alliance will not issue a reimbursement check if any of the following do not occur. If the Copyright Alliance does not approve the application, we will provide the applicant with a reason for the denial.
The SCOOP Program will run from August 1, 2022, to December 31, 2023. However, the Copyright Alliance may extend or reduce the duration of the program as it deems necessary due to factors such as program participation or funding limitations.
Criteria used to Evaluate Applications
The following factors may result in a denial of an application:
- the applicant filed the claim(s) with a co-claimant(s);
- the applicant does not reside in the United States;
- the information provided in the application creates an actual or potential conflict of interest for the Copyright Alliance;
- the applicant was reimbursed three times through the SCOOP Program;
- the applicant was not a member of the Copyright Alliance when they filed their case with the CCB and did not watch the video before filing;
- the applicant did not comply with SCOOP Program requirements; or
- other factors as determined by the Copyright Alliance.
Applicants can check out the SCOOP Program’s terms and conditions page to learn more about program requirements and criteria.
If you have any questions about the SCOOP Program or the SCOOP Program Application, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-888-5403-CCB. For more information about the CCB, check out our Copyright Claims Board Explained webpage which contains FAQs, educational videos, and other informational resources about the CCB. To participate in the program, and other upcoming initiatives and programs, such as our Initiative to Promote Diversity in Copyright (IPDC) copyright program, and to access exclusive, members-only materials and programs, you can sign up for *free* to become a Copyright Alliance creator member today!