In January, we learned that the Copyright Office intended to solicit comments from the public about a rule it is proposing as part of its rulemaking under the Case Act (Copyright Alternative for Small Claims Enforcement) signed into law last December 2020. Over 5,000 comments were submitted and about 17 have been posted so far to the regulations.gov page covering the rulemaking. Questions presented included whether law students should be permitted to represent plaintiffs who take advantage of the lower fees to submit a copyright complaint for damages at the Copyright Office, an administrative agency that has quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial powers in addition to its being a member of the Executive Branch of government. We conducted our own, informal survey amongst practitioners in our professional network and the general consensus was that the rule as it is written should not pass and further, that law students should not be permitted to represent plaintiffs in this subject matter area.
But don’t take our word for it, read the comments and the account of the Copyright Office rulemaking for yourself, here.