The U.S. Copyright Office has issued a final rule amending the procedures for the still-new “small claims court” proceedings before the Copyright Claims Board (CCB) established last year that we previously blogged about here and here.

According to the Copyright Office’s news alert, “The final rule sets forth regulations governing smaller claims, which are claims seeking damages of $5,000 or less. Relative to standard CCB proceedings, smaller claims involve more limited discovery, optional written submissions, and informal conferences that call for discussion of the evidence and issues presented. The amendments clarify that, before service of the initial notice, a claimant may elect to change from a smaller claims proceeding to a standard CCB proceeding or vice versa. The amendments also address the process for resolving potential conflicts between a claimant who selects the smaller claims process, and a respondent seeking to use the standard proceeding. Finally, the amendments clarify the rules governing submission of evidence, including actions the presiding Copyright Claims Officer can take if a party violates these rules.”

According to the Copyright Office’s rulemaking page, the final rule includes the following topics:

  • party management, including default, dismissal, joining additional parties to a proceeding, failure to prosecute, parties’ conduct, and limitations on the number of cases a party can bring;
  • proceeding management, including scheduling orders, amending pleadings, claim consolidation, settlement, “smaller claims,” and records;
  • discovery, evidence, and related topics, including interrogatories, document production, discovery disputes, sanctions, protective orders, and written testimony;
  • hearings and conferences; and
  • post-determination procedures for reconsideration and the Register’s review.

More information on these proceedings and their procedures is available on the Copyright Office’s website.