The Copyright Office just announced that the newly formed Copyright Claims Board (CCB) will begin accepting claims on Thursday, June 16, 2022. According to the Office, "As the first ever copyright small claims forum, the CCB will provide an accessible and efficient option for resolving copyright disputes involving claims up to $30,000."
The CCB arose out of the CASE Act that Congress passed at the end of 2020. It is a copyright small-claims tribunal intended as an alternative to federal district court for smaller copyright infringement and related claims. It is an "opt out" system--both parties must agree to litigate there--with procedures intended to streamline discovery and other litigation expenses. Participants can also proceed without attorneys--in fact, qualified law students can represent clients before the CCB.
As of June 16, participants will be able to register for the CCB’s electronic filing and case management system (eCCB) and submit a claim. The effectiveness of the new system and the willingness of parties (particularly accused infringers) to participate in the system will go a long way toward determining its early success. We will be watching closely to see how well this ambitious program gets off the ground.