Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 186 / Wednesday, September 29, 2021 / Proposed Rules
Id. at 1506(e).
H.R. Rep. No. 116–252, at 17; see also S. Rep.
No. 116–105, at 9–10.
Sen. Dick Durbin, Sen. John Kennedy & Rep.
Hakeem Jeffries Initial NOI Comments at 1 (stating
that CCB forms should be ‘‘user-friendly, with
simplified forms and guidance provided in such a
way that parties will not feel compelled to hire an
attorney to understand and assist them with the
process’’) (emphasis omitted); Am. Bar Ass’n Intell.
Prop. L. Sec. (‘‘ABA–IPL’’) Reply NOI Comments at
2; Patreon Initial NOI Comments at 2.
Am. Intell. Prop. L. Ass’n (‘‘AIPLA’’) Initial
NOI Comments at 2; Copyright Alliance, Am.
Photographic Artists, Am. Soc’y for Collective
Rights Licensing, Am. Soc’y of Media
Photographers, The Authors Guild, CreativeFuture,
Digital Media Licensing Ass’n, Graphic Artists
Guild, Indep. Book Pubs. Ass’n, Music Creators N.
Am., Nat’l Music Council of the United States, Nat’l
Press Photographers Ass’n, N. Am. Nature
Photography Ass’n, Prof. Photographers of Am.,
Recording Academy, Screen Actors Guild-Am. Fed.
of Television and Radio Artists, Soc’y of Composers
& Lyricists, Songwriters Guild of Am. & Songwriters
of N. Am. (‘‘Copyright Alliance, et al.’’) Initial NOI
Comments at 10; Engine Initial NOI Comments at
3; Niskanen Center Initial NOI Comments at 2.
Copyright Alliance, et al. Initial NOI Comments
at 11; Coalition of Visual Artists Initial NOI
Comments at 5–8; ABA–IPL Reply NOI Comments
The Office has modeled the procedures
governing issuance of the initial notice on those
pertaining to issuance of a summons under Rule 4
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See H.R.
Rep. No. 116–252 at 22.
Google Initial NOI Comments at 1 (referring to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12).
H.R. Rep. No. 116–252, at 23.
17 U.S.C. 1506(y).
See, e.g., Ben Vient Initial NOI Comments at 2;
Copyright Alliance, et al. Initial NOI Comments at
13; Univ. of Mich. Library Initial NOI Comments at
17 U.S.C. 1506(f)(1).
H.R. Rep. No. 116–252, at 22.
17 U.S.C. 1506(f)(1)(A).
Id. at 1506(f)(1)(B).
related to later stages of a proceeding in
A. Initiating a Claim
To initiate a proceeding before the
CCB, a claimant shall, ‘‘subject to such
additional requirements as may be
prescribed in regulations established by
the Register of Copyrights,’’ file a claim
that ‘‘(1) includes a statement of
material facts in support of the claim;
(2) is certified under [17 U.S.C.
1506(y)(1)]; and (3) is accompanied by
a filing fee in such amount as may be
prescribed in regulations established by
the Register of Copyrights.’’
legislative history states that the Office
should establish a process that is
‘‘accessible especially for pro se parties
and those with little prior formal
exposure to copyright laws.’’
Parties provided comments on several
matters relating to the contents of a
claim. Commenters emphasized the
need for plain language,
the forms should be available, at a
minimum, in English and Spanish,
and encouraged the use of fillable
The Office agrees with these
suggestions, and intends to use plain-
language fillable forms throughout
various stages of CCB proceedings,
including for the filing of a claim.
The Office proposes that to initiate a
proceeding, a claimant must: First,
complete a claim form provided by the
CCB; second, complete an initial notice
form, also provided by the CCB; and,
finally, submit the completed forms and
required filing fee through the Board’s
electronic filing and document
management system. A claimant who is
unable to use the electronic filing and
document management system may
initiate a proceeding by using printed
forms and alternative submission
instructions. In addition to the statutory
requirements to submit the claim and
filing fee to the CCB, the Office is
proposing that the claimant be required
to submit a completed initial notice
form with the claim form. This proposal
allows a Copyright Claims Attorney to
review the initial notice and address
any issues during compliance review,
and issue the signed notice under
Copyright Office seal upon approving
The proposed rule sets forth the
required information for the claim form.
It generally requires the claimant to
identify the parties, the claim asserted
under section 1504(c), and the harms
experienced as a result of the dispute
subject to the proceeding. Then, the
claimant must identify certain facts
relevant to the claim and provide a
statement describing the dispute in
more detail. The claimant will be asked
to be as detailed as possible, but, as
contemplated by Congress, the CCB will
‘‘construe liberally’’ any information in
the claim to satisfy regulatory
requirements during claim review.
The Office received one substantive
comment arguing that the claim should
require more than is required by notice
pleading as set forth in the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure.
heightened pleading standard, however,
would go against congressional intent.
The legislative history explains that
‘‘many of the terms and processes used
in the [CASE] Act are drawn from
preexisting, related state and federal
statutory language, the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure, and established case
law,’’ and emphasizes that the CCB is
intended to be ‘‘an efficient, effective,
and voluntary alternative’’ to
As a general rule, therefore,
practice before the CCB should be less
complex than practice in the federal
courts, and certainly not more complex.
Further, to the extent there are
statements in the claim that clearly do
not state facts upon which relief can be
granted, the CCB anticipates that the
compliance review process typically
will resolve such issues. Finally, the
claimant must certify that the
information provided in the claim form
is ‘‘accura[te] and truthful[ ]’’
best of the certifying party’s knowledge.
The proposed rule also allows
optional documentation to be attached
to the claim form, including copies of
the works involved. While some
commenters suggested that additional
documentation should be a requirement
for filing a claim and serving notice,
the Office believes that requiring such
information at the initial claim stage
would discourage claimants from
initiating a proceeding and would be
more burdensome than the requirements
for litigation in the federal courts.
Documentary evidence will be a focus of
the standard requests for production
that the Office will propose in a future
rulemaking addressing discovery.
The proposed rule does not address
matters relating to the layout or
presentation of questions on the form, as
the Office seeks to preserve the
flexibility to adjust those items as
circumstances warrant. The Office
intends to make proposed forms
available in advance of the CCB’s
commencement of operations.
B. Review of the Claim by Officers and
1. Compliance Review
After the claimant files a claim, the
claim ‘‘shall be reviewed by a Copyright
Claims Attorney to ensure that the claim
complies with [chapter 15] and
claimant is proceeding ‘‘pro se,’’ i.e.,
they are not represented by an attorney,
the claim and assertions are to be
‘‘construed liberally in favor of
adjudicating applicable claims and
If the claim is found to comply with
the statute and regulations, the CCB
shall notify the claimant and provide
instructions to proceed with service of
If the claim is found not to
comply, the CCB is required to provide
the claimant with a notice of deficiency
and an opportunity to file an amended
claim within 30 days after receiving the
The amended claim is then
reviewed, and the claimant is either
notified of the sufficiency of the claim
or directed to file an additional
amended complaint in that 30-day
period. This second amended complaint
is reviewed a final time, with the CCB
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