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H.R. 2426 (116th): CASE Act of 2019

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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 30, 2019.

Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2019 or the CASE Act of 2019

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 with an opt-out procedure for defendants, and parties may choose instead to have a dispute 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. Board proceedings shall have no effect on class actions.

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, including with respect to 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.

A board's final determination precludes relitigating the claims in court or at the board. Parties may challenge a board decision in federal district court only if (1) the decision was a result of fraud, corruption, or other misconduct; (2) the board exceeded its authority or failed to render a final determination; or (3) in a default ruling or failure to prosecute, the default or failure was excusable.