Issue 100 | August 28, 2003
Cable System Retransmission
Royalty Distribution Deadlines
 The U.S. Copyright Office of the Library of Congress is directing all claimants to royalty fees collected under the cable statutory license for calendar year 2001 to submit 1) comments as to whether a controversy exists regarding the distribution of those fees and a 2) Notice of Intention to Participate in a royalty distribution proceeding. The Comments and Notices are due by September 12, 2003.

Each year, cable systems submit royalties to the Licensing Division of the Copyright Office for the retransmission of over-the-air television and radio broadcast signals. These royalties are, in turn, distributed in one of two ways to copyright owners who timely file a claim for royalties with the Copyright Office. The copyright owners may either 1) negotiate the terms of a settlement as to the division of the royalty funds, or 2) the Librarian of Congress may convene a Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel ("CARP'') to determine the distribution of the royalty fees that remain in controversy under 17 U.S.C. Chapter 8.

Before commencing a distribution proceeding or, as in this case, making a partial distribution, the Librarian of Congress must first ascertain the extent of any controversy over the distribution of the royalty fees. The Copyright Office is therefore requesting comment on the existence and extent of any such controversies. A Notice of Intention to Participate must also be filed in order to participate in a CARP proceeding. Until regulations concerning the contents of a Notice can be promulgated, the Copyright Office is requiring (a) The claimant's full name, address, telephone number, facsimile number (if any), and e-mail address (if any); (b) identification of whether the Notice covers a Phase I proceeding, a Phase II proceeding, or both; and (c) a statement of the claimant's intention to fully participate in a CARP proceeding. In Phase I of a cable royalty distribution, royalties are distributed to certain categories of broadcast programming that has been retransmitted by cable systems. In Phase II of a cable royalty distribution, royalties are distributed to claimants within a program category.

The Motion for Partial Distribution of Phase I royalties is posted at http://www.copyright.gov/carp/phase1motion.pdf and the Notice on "Ascertainment of Controversy for the 2001 Cable Royalty Funds" is available at http://www.copyright.gov/fedreg/2003/68fr48415.html. For more information on this topic, contact the author, Bill Heinze (BillHeinze@tkhr.com), at Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley (www.tkhr.com) in Atlanta, Georgia USA.

The information contained in this email is provided for informational purposes only and does not represent legal advice. Neither the APLF nor the author intends to create an attorney client relationship by providing this information to you through this message.