Bringing a Claim Before the Copyright Claims Board
What types of copyright claims can be heard by the Copyright Claims Board?
The small claims tribunal can hear three types of claims by copyright owners and users, as well as all defenses (like fair use) and counterclaims allowed in federal court. The three types of claims that can be heard by the CCB are:
- Copyright owners can bring copyright infringement claims against those who are infringing their copyrighted works;
- Users who have been accused of copyright infringement can request that the CCB issue a declaration of non-infringement stating that a particular use of a copyrighted work by that user does not infringe the copyright owner’s exclusive rights; and
- Users whose online content is subject to a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice can challenge that notice if they believe it contains some form of misrepresentation relating to the alleged infringing activity. Similarly, copyright owners who sent a DMCA takedown notice and then received a counternotice may challenge that counternotice if they believe the counternotice contains some form of misrepresentation relating to material that was removed.
Are parties required to bring an infringement or DMCA misrepresentation dispute before the Copyright Claims Board instead of federal court?
No. Parties are free to sue in federal court, pursue mediation or arbitration, or to take other or no action at all. No one is required to use the new copyright small claims tribunal. What the CCB offers is the option to pursue a claim in an affordable forum.
Can someone who lives outside of the United States bring a claim before the CCB?
Is it possible to bring a claim before the CCB against someone who lives outside of the United States?
In general, a party cannot bring a claim before the CCB against anyone residing outside of the United States. However, if someone residing outside of the United States brings a claim before the CCB, the other party may bring a counterclaim against that foreign resident.
How much does it cost to bring a case before the Copyright Claims Board?
The fees associated with bringing a case have not yet been determined. Fees will be established by the Copyright Office in implementing regulations that have not yet been enacted.