A First Look at Copyright Claims Board (CCB) Filings
Today marks the 1-month anniversary of the Copyright Claims Board, so I thought it’s a good opportunity to take a very quick snapshot of the filings we’ve seen so far. My dataset.
Number of Filings. The CCB has received 58 filings so far. That projects a total of approximately 700 filings annually. 10 claims have not been publicly posted to the website yet (including some of the earlier filings–what’s the holdup?). All further stats relate to the 48 claims I could review.
Smaller Claims. The CCB gives copyright owners the option to cap damages at $5,000 and get an even more streamlined adjudication. I wasn’t sure how many copyright owners would choose this option because, at some point, it’s not worth pursuing such low-value claims. Thus, I was a little surprised to see that 9 claims (19%) have selected this option.
Types of Works at Issue. I expected the CCB to be dominated by photographers, and unsurprisingly photographs are the #1 work at issue. However, only 19 of the claims (40%) involve photos–a lower percentage than I would have expected.
Here is the breakdown of works (note: 1 claim involves both photos and artwork, so I counted the claim in both categories):
I definitely did not expect this many music and movie cases in the CCB. Often, those works are expensive to prepare and potentially high-value, so I thought the $15k/work cap in the CCB would be too low for those types of works.
Things I Didn’t Look At. To speed things up, I didn’t look at: (1) whether the copyright owner was represented by a lawyer at the CCB, (2) if the copyright owner had a registration in hand at the time of filing or just an application, and (3) how many claims involve 512(f), either exclusively (I believe only 1?) or as an additional claim.
- This claim against SiteJabber is based on trademarks, not copyright. Oops.
- Several familiar names have already appeared at the CCB, including Sedlik, Barry Rosen, and Higbee. For those of you who remember the musician Michelle Shocked, she’s made two filings.
- Seeing this mask made me laugh.
UPDATE: I got the following statistics from Brian Edmondson, a 3L at Drexel Law (which I haven’t independently verified):
- 17 of the cases are represented by counsel
- Of the 8 cases you cite that opted for a smaller claim, none of those were represented by counsel
- 7 cases involved a 512(f) claim; that claim was exclusive in two of the cases
Prior Blog Posts on the CCB
- The Copyright Claims Board Is Opening Next Week. Are You Excited?
- A Glimmer of Hope That the Copyright Claims Board (CCB) Won’t Turn Into a Troll Factory
- Comments on the Copyright Office’s Copyright Claims Board Rulemaking
- A Summary of the Copyright Claims Board (CCB) [Excerpt from my Internet Law casebook]