New Tribunal Created for Unauthorized Streaming Services

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On December 21, 2020, Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 ("CASE Act") and a law on penalties for certain digital transmission services that make unauthorized uses of copyright-protected works for profit.

Under the CASE Act, the Copyright Office will adjudicate copyright infringement matters for claims that do not exceed $30,000. The Act includes coverage of all types of copyright-protected works and the ability for accused infringers to seek clarity regarding exceptions and limitations.

The Copyright Office is required to establish the Copyright Claims Board ("CCB") by December 27, 2021.  For good cause, the Office may extend the time period.

The Director of the U.S. Copyright Office said, “The Copyright Office has long supported a solution for the challenges posed for asserting small copyright claims… We are looking forward to implementing the Act and providing access to dispute resolution for the parties involved in such claims.”

Additionally, Congress passed a law that provides the Department of Justice with the authority to bring felony charges against digital transmission services offered to the public for financial gain that are designed, provided, or marketed for the purpose of streaming copyrighted works without authorization, and have no other commercially significant purpose or use. The legislation was the result of a negotiated process among a number of consumer and industry groups, and it was drafted to exclude criminal prosecution of individual users. 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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