What is the Copyright Claims Board (CCB)?
The Copyright Claims Board (CCB) is a tribunal established in 2022 by the Copyright Office at the direction of Congress. It consists of three Officers appointed by the Librarian of Congress on the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights. The three-member tribunal provides an alternative to the federal court to resolve copyright disputes. The CCB hears “small claims” copyright disputes involving not more than $30,000 in damages.
The CCB is located in the U,S, Copyright Office, at 101 Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20540 which is part of the Library of Congress. However, proceedings are handled completely electronically and remotely, so there is no need to be present in person in Washington, DC, to participate. There have been several Notices of Proposed Rule Making (NPRMs), The CCB is active and accepting claim filings, visit eCCB to file your claim or counterclaim.
How it works
The Copyright Claims Board (CCB) use is voluntary. If someone makes a claim against you, you will receive two notices. The first notice will let you know about the claim and will be delivered by the party making the claim. The second notice is a reminder about the claim and will come from the CCB. “Service of process” is the legal term for how a party bringing a claim or counterclaim provides notice to the other party that there is a pending claim against them. This will normally involve providing you with a copy of the claim either in person or by mail. “Proof of service” is the documentation a party must give the CCB showing that it properly provided the other party with the required materials, including the notice of the proceeding.
If you do not want to participate in a CCB proceeding, You can opt-out, by following the instructions included in the notices you will receive. If you opt-out, however, the other party can bring the same claim against you in federal court. If a party does not opt-out of the proceeding and does not participate in the proceeding, or stops participating in some cases, the CCB may enter a default determination against that party. If the CCB orders a respondent to pay damages, and the failure to do so, the claimant can ask a federal district court to take action against the respondent to require payment. More information can be found in the CCB, FAQ section https://ccb.gov/faq/
If you receive a valid CCB notice, that generally means that someone is asserting you have infringed their copyright and has filed a claim at the CCB seeking redress. You have the right to opt-out of having that claim heard by the CCB, but if you wish to do so, you must opt-out on a timely basis. Please, do not ignore a CCB notice. If you have a question or issue relating to copyright, please contact us at email@example.com.
In most CCB cases, the person who initiates the case (the “claimant”) is claiming that the person receiving the notice (the “respondent”) infringed the claimant’s copyright. There are many ways in which members of the WPI community may have used works protected by copyright in the course of teaching, learning, projects, and research, and it is possible that someone will claim that one of these uses was an infringement and file a claim with the CCB.
If you receive a CCB notice, it does not necessarily mean that you have infringed someone’s copyright. The claimant might not be right, either about the facts or about the law.
How to identify a genuine case notice from the CCB
A genuine CCB case notice will include:
Someone who has initiated a CCB case against you has to provide you with proper notice of the case, either in person or by postal mail, this is referred to as “service.” Under CCB rules you can receive service in person or by postal mail, but not by email. If you’ve received a CCB notice solely by email, be careful. It is likely fake, and you should avoid providing personal information in response.
You will need to decide whether or not to opt out.
If you opt out by the deadline, the claim against you will not proceed in front of the CCB, and the claimant cannot restart the same claim against you in front of the CCB without your consent. If the claimant wishes to pursue the infringement claim against you, they will have to sue you in federal court. In making your decision, consider the following:
If you don’t opt out by the deadline:
If you don’t opt out by the deadline and don’t take any action in the CCB proceeding:
If you decide to opt-out, you must:
If you have a question or issue relating to copyright, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adapted from "Copyright Claims Board" by Regents of the University of California is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0 https://copyright.universityofcalifornia.edu/resources/ccb-small-claims.html