In 2020, Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020, also known as the “CASE Act.” Through this act, the Copyright Claims Board, or “CCB,” was established. The CCB functions as a “small claims court” for copyright infringement, designed to help small creators protect their work without the significant costs of formal litigation. In other words, this new court is intended to decide “small claims” of copyright infringement without the expensive formal process of a normal federal court case. CCB began accepting claims in June 2021.
You can find more information on the CCB website and review the current CCB docket here.
CU Faculty, Staff, and Students
The following information is for Cornell University faculty, staff, and students who may have received a notice that a CCB claim has been filed against them.
What you should do if you receive a claim notice:
- The claim notice will likely be sent to you via the U.S. mail system. If you receive such a claim, we ask you to contact us at email@example.com immediately. Please do not ignore it!
Your options if you receive a claim notice:
- You can choose to proceed with the CCB case. Your case can be heard by the CCB, most likely completely online. You will be bound by the decision of the CCB, which means you may have to pay up to $15,000 for each infringement up to a maximum cap of $30,000. Having a claim filed against you does not mean you have actually infringed on a copyright! There are many exceptions and limitations to copyright law that support teaching, research, and scholarship, including fair use.
- You may opt out of the CCB proceedings. The CASE Act allows for individuals to opt out of participation in CCB proceedings. This would require the purported copyright owner to stop pursuing this complaint or attempting to file suit against you in federal court.
Libraries and archives are able to preemptively opt out of CCB proceedings, if they so choose. Cornell University Library has already opted out. This means, if you are an employee of CUL, you are exempt from a CCB claim when acting in the scope of your employment.
Please note: this is a recent act and the CCB is newly established. The U.S. Copyright Office may still be creating rules that impact this law. We will do our best to keep this page updated with the most recent information. Additionally, Copyright Services at Cornell University Library can help you understand how this law works, but we cannot provide you with legal advice. If you have any further questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information contained on this website is educational in nature and is not to be construed as legal advice.
If you seek legal advice, please contact the Office of General Counsel.