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May 20, 2024 / Protections & Benefits

Supporting Confident Creativity

Stanford and CCI Partner to Help Creatives with their Copyright Claims

Jessica Mele

Jessica Mele is Principal at Jessica Mele Creative, where she combines her storytelling, teaching and philanthropic consulting practices. She currently serves as a consultant to CCI’s research and advocacy arm of work. Prior to that, she was a Program Officer in Performing Arts at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation where she managed a diverse portfolio of grants, including the grant for Sol Center.

For the vast majority of artists, some interaction with technology is not only unavoidable – it is necessary to rapidly create, produce and disseminate work as well as to ensure compensation. From blockchain to NFTs to Etsy, creatives use technology to connect directly with those who support their artwork. However, such technologies have also made it incredibly easy for that artwork to be pirated or misattributed. To protect their livelihoods, artists must learn how to protect their work from copyright infringement, as well as other lesser-known copyright claims that can impact an artist’s livelihood such as noninfringement and misrepresentation. The Copyright Claims Board (CCB) was created to make this process easier and less expensive for the average creator.

The Copyright Claims Board (CCB) was established in 2020 by Congress to answer an urgent need – the large volume of copyright claims and the limited amount of resources (time, expertise, money) available to creators to make those claims in federal court. The CCB consists of an entirely online process led by a three-member tribunal with extensive expertise in copyright law. The goal is a more efficient, less expensive alternative to federal court for copyright claims of less than $30,000.

And yet, like any bureaucratic process, this one can be challenging for those without an understanding of intellectual property law. CCI felt that it was critical to create a resource specifically for creatives so that they might learn how to navigate the CCB to protect their intellectual property rights. Through a partnership with the incredible students and staff of Stanford University’s Juelsgaard Intellectual Property and Innovation Clinics, we have created a live online resource for creatives to confidently navigate the CCB called Navigating the Copyright Claims Board: a Practical Guide for Creators!

What makes Navigating the Copyright Claims Board: a Practical Guide for Creators so special? Our Juelsgaard Clinic students found that since opening, the CCB has only seen a success rate of 1.5% of claims reaching a final decision (that is only 12 claims out of 721 filed). 

This jaw-dropping number sparked our interest – how is it possible that a public resource set up to encourage independent creatives to take control of their IP should see such a dismal success rate? Our hope is that with this more accessible and interactive guide, artists and creative workers will feel more confident in their copyright claims.

To celebrate the release of this resource, please join us for the following activities:

  • Confidently Informed: Navigating the Copyright Claims Board for Creatives on Thursday, June 6: a virtual workshop with the authors of the resource, Caitlin Cary Burke, Juelsgaard Clinic Member, Stanford J.D/PhD Candidate, 2025; and Kiran Wattamwar, Juelsgaard Clinic Member, Stanford J.D Candidate, 2025. Participants will get a tour of the guide and the chance to ask its authors any questions they might have about copyright protections. Register here!
  • Confidently Registered: a Copyright Registration Party! on Thursday, June 20. CCI will host a virtual registration party! Register your copyright online with the Copyright Office.  CCI staff will be on hand to assist you through the process. Register here!
  • Share Your Story! Are you an artist or creative worker who has dealt with an issue related to copyright? If so, then share your story with us below! We’ll add it to a story bank to help us understand how we can support creatives with their copyright issues.
  • Ongoing Activities. CCI will host resources and gatherings related to the needs of artists and in response to the research. Interested in partnering on this initiative? Contact Jennelyn Bailon at jennelyn@cciarts.org

CCI would like to thank the team from Stanford for making this resource possible:

Caitlin Cary Burke, Juelsgaard Clinic Member, Stanford J.D/PhD Candidate, 2025

Kiran Wattamwar, Juelsgaard Clinic Member, Stanford J.D Candidate, 2025 

Phil Malone, Director of Juelsgaard Intellectual Property and Innovation Clinic, Mills Legal Clinic, Stanford Law School

Nina Srejovic, Clinical Supervising Attorney and Lecturer, Juelsgaard Intellectual Property and Innovation Clinic

Navigating the Copyright Claims Board: a Practical Guide for Creators would not have been possible without the support of the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Kenneth Rainin Foundation

Kenneth Rainin Foundation Logo
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