The Copyright Claims Board (CCB) is a tribunal that was established when the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act (CASE Act) was signed into law at the end of 2020. The CCB is meant to handle "small claims" copyright cases, and is operated through the U.S. Copyright Office rather than the federal judicial branch. Damages for CCB cases are capped at $15,000 per work or a total limit of $30,000 per case. The proceedings will take place remotely and claimants and respondents will not need to travel to the CCB offices in Washington, D.C.
The Copyright Office is still developing rules for this new law. As such, this page will be updated over time, but you should refer to the Copyright Claims Board website for the most up-to-date information.
This page is primarily intended for UT System students, faculty, and staff. If you are from outside the UT System, you should consult resources more relevant to your situation including, but not limited to, the Copyright Claims Board website.
If you live in California, then a genuine CCB claim notice is required to be “served” to you either in-person (i.e., handed to you) or by U.S. mail. If you have received only an email, you should be wary of its contents because email is not considered valid “service of process” in California.
If you live in Illinois, then a genuine CCB claim notice is required to be “served” to you either in-person (i.e., handed to you) or by U.S. mail. If you have received only an email, you should be wary of its contents because email is not considered valid “service of process” in Illinois.
If you live in Texas, then a genuine CCB claim notice is generally required to be "served" to you either in-person or by U.S. mail. If you have received only an email, you should be wary of its contents because email is not considered valid "service of process" in Texas, except in rare circumstances.
A genuine CCB case notice will include a docket number and other information. The notice will have a link to the CCB website where you can enter the docket number on your notice, view information about the particular claim filed against you, and take various actions.
A claim filed against you means that a purported copyright owner is asserting that you have infringed their copyright. The notice does not mean you have actually infringed or that the CCB will ultimately determine you have infringed. There are several reasons why your use of a copyrighted work may not be an infringement, most notably fair use and certain classroom uses. It's also possible that the works in question are either not copyrighted or the copyright is not held by the claimant.
If you receive a properly served notice - do not ignore it! If you ignore it, the case will proceed in the CCB and default judgment can be entered against you (potentially up to $30,000).
If you are a TCS student, staff, or faculty member, and the claim is related to what you do at TCS, contact the Office of General Counsel or your institution's Office of Legal Affairs promptly.
To avoid default judgment you need to respond within the time frame prescribed in the notice and take one of two actions: