Copyright Claims Board: A new option for authors to protect their copyright

The CCB is a small claims forum housed within the Copyright Office (at the Library of Congress) for a limited number of common copyright claims. The CCB was established through an act of Congress in 2020 (the CASE Act) and began to hear cases in June 2022.

The purpose of the CCB is to make it easier for individuals and organizations to pursue small dollar copyright infringement claims that otherwise are too expensive for those with limited resources.

Working on K-12 curriculum and instructional materials? A new copyright licensing solution enables use of high-quality published content

Teachers, schools, and districts are increasingly demanding higher quality curriculum and instructional materials to meet the needs of their students and remain compliant with state and local standards.

High-quality published content that is current, personalized, local, diverse, equitable, and inclusive is vital for creating these materials. Unfortunately, securing copyright permissions for such content brings licensing challenges, especially when attempting to secure these permissions on an individual basis at scale.

Publishers sue Shopify for harboring book pirates

In December of last year, five major textbook publishers filed a lawsuit against Shopify in federal district court in the Eastern District of Virginia claiming that Shopify wrongfully facilitated infringement of their copyrighted textbooks and registered trademarks by maintaining an ecommerce platform it knew to be hosting repeat textbook pirates and frustrating the publishers’ attempts to get them taken down.

The publishers are Macmillan Learning, Cengage Learning, Elsevier, McGraw-Hill, and Pearson Education. Their complaint lists more than 3,400 copyrighted works and 20 registered trademarks that have been infringed and asks for an injunction barring Shopify from further facilitating the claimed infringements, statutory damages of more than half a billion dollars, and reimbursement of plaintiffs’ attorney fees.

Pearson files copyright infringement lawsuit against Chegg, Inc.

On September 13, in what will have a potentially serious impact on the academic publishing industry, specifically as it relates to online supplemental materials and study guides, Pearson Education filed a lawsuit against Chegg, Inc. for copyright infringement [Pearson sues former partner Chegg for copyright infringement (insidehighered.com)]. This suit [complaint.pdf (oandzlaw.com)] stems from the use of end of chapter and other materials from Pearson Education (one of the big three textbook publishers) textbooks as part of the Chegg Study website.

Get CCC checks? Go paperless

Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) pays royalties repatriated to the United States by foreign Reproduction Rights Organizations (RROs) for use of certain US published works. Authors of textbooks and scholarly publications who hold copyright to their works also receive royalties for various services offered by CCC.

If you receive royalty payments from Copyright Clearance Center for use of copyrighted work(s) in the US and abroad, you should know that CCC will make future royalty payments electronically.

Copyright, Covid, and the virtual classroom

With the fall semester fast approaching, faculty are intensively preparing for the 2020-2021 academic year, in the face of continually changing information and circumstances. A number of our higher education clients have had questions about copyright issues relating to the transition of traditional in-person classes to online or hybrid formats. We have also been reviewing software agreements for various services that allow institutions to shift more of their offerings online. Here we discuss four common issues we have encountered. Although the answers are seldom black-and-white, we thought it would be useful to share some of the questions and possible approaches to them.