Copyright Claims Board: Active Proceedings and Evidence

Pursuant to the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act of 2020 and after soliciting public comments, the U.S. Copyright Office has published a final rule establishing regulations governing active proceedings and post-determination procedures before the Copyright Claims Board (CCB). The final rule includes the following topics:

  • party management, including default, dismissal, joining additional parties to a proceeding, failure to prosecute, parties’ conduct, and limitations on the number of cases a party can bring;
  • proceeding management, including scheduling orders, amending pleadings, claim consolidation, settlement, “smaller” claims, and records;
  • discovery, evidence, and related topics, including interrogatories, document production, discovery disputes, sanctions, protective orders, and written testimony;
  • hearings and conferences; and
  • post-determination procedures for reconsideration and the Register’s review.

The final rule alters certain procedures and requirements from the proposed rule. One alteration is eliminating the need to format most party submissions by classifying submissions into three tiers, with the first two tiers requiring use of a fillable form on eCCB, subject to a character limit. The rule also extends the maximum number of claims filed by claimants, attorneys, and law firms; eliminates depositions; limits requests for admission; and increases time limits for submitting written testimony.

Finally, the Office is offering the public the opportunity to submit additional comments on the “smaller claims” final regulations. By doing so, it can determine whether these regulations strike the proper balance between streamlining the smaller claims process and providing sufficient procedural protections to all parties. Comments in response to the “smaller claims” regulations were due on November 14, 2022.