After 10 years of haggling, Congress officially passed the The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act late Monday evening (Dec. 21) as part of the Omnibus COVID-19 Relief Bill. The bill will streamline copyright disputes by creating a small claims tribunal within the U.S. Copyright Office that will adjudicate small claims infringement cases.
Cases would be decided by a three-judge panel of experts in a forum where damages would be capped at $15,000 per claim and $30,000 total. Providing an avenue for copyright infringement disputes to be heard outside of expensive federal copyright litigation creates an affordable process for independent creators to enforce their rights without having to hire attorneys or pay hefty court fees.