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UMD Libraries updates copyright guidance for campus

Guidance raises awareness about the US CASE Act and its possible impact on community members


The Libraries has released important guidance about a new copyright law, called the “Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020” (known as the “CASE Act”), to raise awareness about the law and the possible impact it may have on students, faculty, and staff at the University of Maryland. The Libraries’ guidance provides information about the new law, explains what it means if you receive a small-claims notice, and summarizes your options for responding to the notice. 

In 2020, the U.S. Congress passed the CASE Act, which mandated the formation of the Copyright Claims Board (“CCB”), a tribunal operating through the U.S. Copyright Office. The CCB’s purpose is to issue decisions about “small claims” copyright infringement actions in a process that provides a quicker, less expensive process than that of the usual process through the federal court system. Damages are capped at $30,000 for CCB cases.

A claim filed against you in the CCB means that a purported copyright owner is asserting that you have infringed their copyright through something you have uploaded, reproduced, published, created, distributed, performed, or displayed. If you receive a notice, this signifies that a claimant has alleged copyright infringement, but the notice does not mean you have actually infringed or that the CCB will ultimately determine you have infringed. This is why it’s important to know about the law and the options available for responding. 

While the Libraries cannot dispense legal advice about copyright issues, you may contact the Libraries with questions about how the law works at

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