Copyright small claims disputes - We can help you resolve your copyright related disputes (whether in small claims court in Washington D.C. or federal court). Call us to discuss our CONTINGENCY FEE RECOVERY programs for select cases. Free consultation (877) 276-5084. We represent both Plaintiffs and Defendants.
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According to wikipedia:
"The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2019 (the CASE Act) is a United States law that establishes a small claims court-type system within the United States Copyright Office for copyright owners to seek damages under US$30,000 for copyright violations."
The CASE Act is now law. Click above to watch the video. I think there is going to be an absolute FRENZY of copyright infringement cases filed in Washington D.C. "copyright court." It is being called a "small claims" court, which is fine if you think 30k is a "small claim." This is serious business and I predict many more rights holders will be seeking to enforce their rights in D.C.
This page will serve as the GO-TO resource for new announcements and will track the happenings in the small claims court. Call us if you need representation in a case. We have helped many clients, individuals, artists, photographers, video-makers, musicians, and others handle a wide variety of copyright law cases including:
- DMCA takedowns
- YouTube law
- Fair Use Opinion letters
- Copyright infringement disputes
- Mobile application (Apple Store) disputes
- Software infringement and piracy cases
- Illegal broadcast and streaming of copyrighted content (ex,. boxing match)
- Selling counterfeit goods
- Photo infringement (Plaintiff and Defense cases)
- Dish-Nagrastar claims
These are just some of the things we do. In some cases, we can structure a low predictable FIXED RATE FEE. Call us at (877) 276-5084 for more information.
What does the library of congress do?
The new Copyright Claims Board will be handled through the United States Library of Congress in Washington D.C. This is where the copyright office is located.
The United States Copyright Office, located within the Library of Congress and under the direction of the Register of Copyrights, administers the Copyright Law, advises Congress and government agencies on legal and policy matters; provides international representation on copyright issues; administers the national copyright registration system; provides collections materials to the Library through voluntary registration and mandatory deposit programs; records documents relating to copyright chain of title; administers statutory license provisions of the law, including collecting and distributing royalties; maintains the world's largest database of copyright public records; and provides information and reference services to the public. Through the Copyright Claims Board, also administers an efficient and user-friendly forum to decide lower-monetary value copyright claims for participants who have opted to have their disputes resolved by the Board.
The Library of Congress is the national library of the United States and is part of the Legislative Branch of the Federal government. As such, all positions are in the excepted service. Appointment/retention is subject to a favorable evaluation of an appropriate personnel security/suitability investigation.
C.A.S.E. Act - Quick Overview
According to the U.S. Copyright Office website, here are the KEY POINTS (broad strokes) of the new copyright small claims law:
- It will be user-friendly. CCB proceedings will be designed for people to understand and navigate. This will make it easier for parties to represent themselves.
- There will be streamlined procedures. Discovery will be limited and mostly paper-based, and parties will rely primarily on written materials. CCB proceedings generally will not include formal motions unless requested by the parties or the CCB. As a result, CCB proceedings will require far fewer resources (in money and time) than federal court lawsuits.
- Monetary damages will be capped at $30,000. No one will be able to bring a proceeding in the CCB seeking more than $30,000 total (with lower per-work limits if someone is seeking statutory damages). If a party is seeking statutory damages, the CCB will not consider whether an infringement is willful. This means that respondents will be assured that they cannot face damages as high as those available in federal court (which can be up to $150,000 per work infringed).
- It will be voluntary. You will not be required to bring your claims in the CCB and you will be able to opt-out of the CCB if you receive a claim. Note, however, that you must make a choice between the CCB and federal court; you cannot file the same claim or counterclaim in both venues. If you opt-out, however, the other party can still bring a federal lawsuit against you, which would likely be more expensive and time-consuming. If that happens, the fact that you opted out won't be held against you in the federal court proceeding.
- There will be safeguards against abusive practice. Parties bringing claims in bad faith may have to pay the other party's reasonable costs and attorneys' fees (generally up to $5,000). In certain situations, the CCB will also ban bad faith parties from filing any new matters for one year and may dismiss all of a bad faith party's pending claims. There may also be a limit on the number of cases that any one party can file in one year.
- CCB decisions will be posted online. You will be able to review CCB decisions online. These decisions will not be precedential, meaning that the CCB won't have to follow them in later cases, and they will have no impact on unrelated federal court proceedings.
- There will be a limited review of CCB decisions. If you disagree with a CCB decision in your case, you will be able to seek review, both in the Copyright Office and federal court. It is important to know, however, that the types of issues the Office or a federal court could consider when you challenge a CCB decision will be more limited than if you bring or defend against a case in federal court.
- CCB Officers will be independent experts in copyright law. The CCB will have three Officers who have deep expertise in copyright law, making them well-suited to determine a variety of copyright matters. The Officers' performance appraisals cannot be based on the outcome of specific proceedings. There will be no ex-parte communications regarding active cases (meaning that neither party can speak to the CCB without including the other party).
Attorney Steve® Tips to Win a Small Claims Copyright Case
VIDEO: Click here to watch our amazing video on how to win a small claims lawsuit. This is our #1 ranking video on YouTube with over 300k views. If you decide you want to handle your own case, do yourself a favor and take the time to watch this video. While most of the claims may be handled "electronically" through the copyright office, it is still good to know how to prove a case.
Our Contingency Recovery Program for Artists, Photographers, Authors, Creators, Designers, Video Producers, and others (we represent Plaintiff and Defendant cases).
Since 2004, our law firm has appeared in nearly 200 federal court cases involving copyright infringement (ex. Strike 3 Holdings), piracy (ex. software license compliance cases), and counterfeit and illegal broadcast cases.
If you are a copyright holder, we have contingency fee recovery programs that are the best in the industry. Call us to discuss at (877) 276-5084. Cases that we may take include, but are not limited to:
- Photo/image infringement (digital image infringement, Higbee defense cases, Gafni & Levin defense, Pic Rights, AP, Reuters, Agence-France-Presse)
- Aerial photos/drone video (ex. real estate imagery)
- Computer software (license and compliance disputes - ex. Business Software Alliance, Autodesk, Vero, Siemens)
- Architectural plans and drawings
- Computer fonts
- Jewelry (ex. L.A. Gem & Jewelry "moon pendant")
- Fabric design
- Video clip infringement (fair use analysis)
- Newspaper clip infringement (using unlicensed news clips in video broadcasts)
- Music infringement (unauthorized use of lyrics, riffs, beats, jingles, sound effects)
- Mobile application disputes (allegations of trademark and copyright infringement)
- Books, poetry, fictional works
Can a Business represent itself before the Small Claims Copyright Board?
Yes. Here is what the final rule says:
For purposes of this part:
(a) Definition. A business entity is a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, sole proprietorship, or unincorporated association.
(b) the appearance of a business entity. A business entity may appear before the Copyright Claims Board (Board) through—
(1) A member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of a State, the District of Columbia, or any territory or commonwealth of the United States;
(2) A law student who meets the requirements set forth in 37 CFR 234.1;
(3) An owner, partner, officer, or member, of the business entity;
(4) An authorized employee.
As you can see, you can train an authorized employee about the ins and outs of copyright law and use them. For cases seeking up to $30,000 (not an insubstantial amount), you may want to hire a lawyer (such as a firm like Vondran Legal® licensed to practice in the highest court in Arizona and California).
Do you have to have a registered Copyright to file a small claims lawsuit?
No. As long as you register simultaneously with your filing through the eCCB.
More information on the Copyright Claims Board and CASE ACT
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- United States Copyright Office [C.A.S.E. Act] homepage
- Small claims rule-making page
- Quick facts overview of CASE Act
- Small Claims FAQ
- Link to the actual law
Contact a Copyright Small Claims Lawyer
We have been in business since 2004. In that time, we have handled over 200 copyright infringement matters, from small to gigantic "bet the farm" cases and everything in between., If you need to file a lawsuit to protect your rights, or need help in defending a bogus claim, facing arbitration, or considering a "small claim" - let us know.
We can be reached at (877) 276-5084
We can help with Copyright contingency fee recovery (select cases, for example in Photo Infringement), DMCA takedown issues and software access control circumvention, 512(f) "bad faith" takedown cases, fair use issues, UDRP domain name disputes, software audits, declaratory relief of non-infringement, and other copyright and trademark-related claims.
If you are being sued in Washington D.C. small claims court (board) and wish to "opt-out" call us or seek a review of your case fill out our contact form.
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