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H.R. 3945 (115th): CASE Act of 2017

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Oct 4, 2017.

Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2017 or the CASE Act of 2017

This bill creates the Copyright Claims Board, a body within the U.S. Copyright Office to decide copyright disputes. Damages awarded by the board are capped at $30,000.

Participation in board proceedings is voluntary, and parties may choose instead to have a claim or defense heard in court. If the parties agree to have their dispute heard by the board, they shall forego the right to be heard before a court and the right to a jury trial.

The board shall be authorized to hear copyright infringement claims, actions for a declaration of noninfringement, claims that a party knowingly sent false takedown notices, and related counterclaims.

The bill provides for various procedures, requests for information from the other party and requests for the board to reconsider a decision.

The board may issue monetary awards based on actual or statutory damages.

The parties shall bear their own attorneys' fees and costs except where there is bad faith misconduct, and such awards shall be limited to $5,000.

A board's final determination precludes relitigating the claims in court or at the board, but parties may apply to a federal district court for review of the decision.