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Copyright and Intellectual Property

About the CASE Act

The CASE Act (Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020) directed the US Copyright Office to create the Copyright Claims Board (CCB). The CCB is a three-member non-judicial tribunal that provides a user-friendly option to resolve certain “small claims” copyright disputes and provide relief up to $30,000.

If a copyright owner files a claim though the CCB, the recipient of the claim can choose to “opt out” of the Copyright Claims Board. The copyright owner would then need to re-file the action in federal court if they wanted to pursue the claim.

The CCB is intended to serve as an equitable alternative to federal court for creators litigating copyright infringement claims. But as claimants are not required to meet federal court filing standards, there has been concern that the CCB could incentivize claims against libraries involving uses that are inherently considered “fair use.”

A provision in the CASE Act allows libraries and archives to preemptively opt-out of CCB proceedings, and Wesleyan University Library has chosen to do so. This protection is specific to the library and does not extend to faculty, staff and students. You can learn more about this legislation through the CASE Act Toolkit developed by the Association of Research Libraries.