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How the CASE Act Can Bring Justice for Creators Online

Ever been downright copied and thought the cost of a lawsuit outweighed any possible benefit to you? Thanks to the CASE Act, there can be justice for content creators!

What is the CASE Act?

The CASE Act is the Copyright Alternative and Small Claims Enforcement Act (or CASE for short). This act came out of the December 2020 stimulus bill. If you think that’s really weird, you’re absolutely right. The CASE Act created the Copyright Claims Board, or CCB, in the United States Copyright Office to hear these types of cases.

What types of cases does the CCB handle?

There are three types of cases that can be brought to the CCB.

  • First, is an action by a creator if someone copies them. (Aka an infringement action.)
  • Next is a “dec” action, otherwise known as “declaratory judgment.” This one is big! This means that someone on the receiving end of a cease and desist letter can file with the CCB instead of having to file in federal court. You ask the CCB to say, “Hey CCB, I want you to declare that I am not infringing per this cease and desist letter.”
  • The third type of action is a challenge to a takedown notice. I’ve talked about these before as kind of one of the options when you’ve been copied. This is a takedown notice that you can submit to platforms like Instagram or YouTube when someone posts something that is infringing on their platform. The type of action that can be brought here is a challenge to one of those takedown notices.

Without the CCB, and without the CASE Act, you have to bringnall of these types of actions or lawsuits in federal court. (Which can get expensive.) This is a big block to a lot of the people who have these types of cases: visual artists, photographers, online creators, bloggers, those types of creatives.

Notice, this is not just about bringing justice to creators who’ve been copied. It’s also about those who are on the receiving end of bogus claims, too.

Important Reminders

  • This is not a requirement. You can of course file a lawsuit in federal court, instead of filing with the CCB.
  • If you file, the accused (aka the defendant), has 60 days to opt out of the CCB entirely. There are incentives not to opt out. The CASE act limits the amount of damages or money that you can get in a CCB type of proceeding. The case act whittles down stautory damages from $150,000 to $15,000. If you done wrong, it’s better for you to stay in front of the CCB than it would be to go to federal court where you could be paying a lot, lot more.

When does the CASE Act go into effect?

Well, according to the law, the CCB must go live by the Summer of 2022. But it could go live as early as December 2021.

If you have this little lingering feeling like there might be some legal issue out there that I’m not thinking of it could come back to haunt me, head to spear-ip.com/quiz to find out the legal blind spot that is secretly killing your business and not only to find out about that blind spot, but how to fix it.