Note: The information provided on this website is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.  The library cannot provide any legal advice or assistance in these matters.  This FAQ is intended to provide users with some general information on the Act.

What is the CASE Act?

In 2020, Congress passed a law called the “Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020, known as the “CASE Act.”   The CASE Act creates a Copyright Claims Board (CCB) that operates through the U.S. Copyright Office instead of the federal judicial branch, to decide “small claims” copyright infringement actions via a quicker, less expensive process than is required in federal court.  

Why was the Copyright Claims Board established?

Federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over copyright claims; however, federal litigation is cost-prohibitive for many creators and small businesses who are interested in pursuing copyright infringement claims.  The CCB was established to provide creators with an affordable, alternate forum to challenge infringement. Damages in cases heard by the CCB are capped at $30,000. 

What if you receive a claim?

A claim filed against you in the CCB means that a purported copyright owner is asserting that you have infringed on their copyright through something you have uploaded, reproduced, published, created, distributed, performed, or displayed.  The notice you would receive from the CCB signifies that the claimant has alleged copyright infringement, but the notices does not mean that a determination has been made that you have actually infringed another’s copyright protected content.  

If you receive a CCB claims notice, then do not ignore it.  If you ignore it and do nothing the case likely will proceed in the CCB and a default judgment could be entered against you.

If you are an Appalachian State University employee and you receive a claim notice that indicates you have infringed by engaging in activities that were a part of the scope of your employment, please reach out to the Office of General Counsel immediately. If, however, you are an employee that receives a claim based on activities outside of your employment at Appalachian or you are a student, you should seek private legal counsel.

Where can you get more information?

The U.S. Copyright Office provides additional information on their Copyright Claims Board FAQ or you can visit the U.S. Copyright Office website.