The U.S. Copyright Office has proposed a fast-track copyright registration option for small claims to be brought before the Copyright Claims Board (CCB). Congress recently created the CCB under the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act to address the challenges and costs of federal litigation. The CCB must be operational by December 27, 2021 unless an extension is sought by the Copyright Office. Copyright litigation requires a registration certificate before bringing suit. Congress recognized that many small claimants do not register their works.
The option to expedite registration would make the CCB even more accessible to small claimants. To be eligible for the fast-track option, the work being registered must be the subject of a claim or counterclaim before the CCB. This means that a claim could be submitted while an application for registration is still pending. The CCB would still require that the work be registered before it renders a decision, so claims involving pending applications would be held in abeyance for up to one year, and if registration is refused, the claim would be dismissed without prejudice. Continue Reading