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A guide to help CSU faculty, staff, and students answer questions about copyright. THE INFORMATION ON THIS GUIDE DOES NOT SERVE AS LEGAL ADVICE.

About the CASE Act

In 2020, the US Congress passed the “Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020,” also called the CASE Act. This act mandated the formation of a small claims court for the purpose of deciding "small" copyright claims through a quicker, less expensive process than going through federal court. Damages are capped at $30,000 for Copyright Claims Board (CCB) cases.

Below are some details for CSU faculty, staff, and students who may one day receive notice of a CCB case filed against them. Please be aware that this is not legal advice, and you should consult a lawyer for legal counsel. 

If you receive a CCB copyright infringement notice, it does not mean that you have, indeed infringed copyright. There are exceptions to copyright law that may apply to you, or your actions may fall within fair use. Whether or not this is the case, you might want to dispute the claim or opt out of the CCB process entirely. Regardless, do not ignore the notice. If you do, a default judgment can be ruled against you. 

Your options are to 1) proceed with the CCB case or 2) opt out of the CCB process. If you choose number 1, you may be able to participate in the case fully online. If the case rules against you, you can face damages up to $30,000. If you choose number 2, the claimant can no longer pursue the case via CCB, but they can sue you in federal court instead. 

Either way, it's a good idea to consult legal counsel as soon as you receive an infringement notice. 

Note: If you are a CSU employee, and the alleged infringement occurred in the course of work activities, CSU will automatically be opted out of the CCB pathway. Please do not ignore the notice (contact CSU's legal counsel), but it's unlikely that the claimant can proceed with CCB.