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The Copyright Claims Board (CCB): A New Forum for Copyright Disputes

The guide explains the new forum for copyright disputes, how to identify a notice, the proceeding processes, and actions the WashU community can take.

The content in this guide originated from UC Berkeley’s Office of Scholarly Communication and ccb.gov. The CASE Act and the CCB establish a new forum for copyright infringement disputes as an alternative to the preexisting federal court system, but they do not change the longstanding rights and limitations of U.S. copyright law.

If you are a librarian or archivist at Washington University in St. Louis, the University Libraries have already opted out of CCB court proceedings on behalf of the Libraries and its employees.

If you’re a non-library respondent—i.e. a Washington University student, staff, or faculty member, contact Scholarly Communication and Digital Publishing Services at digital@wumail.wustl.edu. We can answer questions about how the law works but cannot dispense legal advice to you. We can’t represent you, but we can help you determine if the claim arose under the obligations of what you do at WashU, such as employment. The U.S. Copyright Office provides additional information on their Copyright Claims Board Frequently Asked Questions page and CCB Handbook.

If you receive a notice in your personal endeavors, or if you hear from a patron who receives such a notice, the notice should be taken seriously. Respondents can choose to work with a lawyer. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is open to hearing from people who receive such notices and don’t know what to do. The contact address is info@eff.org, and more information is available on their website. 

If you need media for a project, you can avoid copyright concerns altogether by using works with Creative Commons (CC) licenses. The license terms are simple to understand and follow. No fees or correspondence are necessary. The CC is particularly helpful for photographs. You can find CC licensed works in many places.