[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 40 (Tuesday, March 1, 2011)]
[Pages 11287-11288]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-4462]



Copyright Royalty Board

[Docket No. 2010-8 CRB DD 2005-2008]

Distribution of 2005 Through 2008 DART Musical Works Funds 

AGENCY: Copyright Royalty Board, Library of Congress.

ACTION: Notice soliciting comments on motion for partial distribution.


SUMMARY: The Copyright Royalty Judges are soliciting comments on a 
motion for partial distribution in connection with 2005, 2006, 2007, 
and 2008 DART Musical Works Fund royalties.

DATES: Comments are due on or before March 31, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be sent electronically to [email protected]. In the 
alternative, send an original, five copies, and an electronic copy on a 
CD either by mail or hand delivery. Please do not use multiple means of 
transmission. Comments may not be delivered by an overnight delivery 
service other than the U.S. Postal Service Express Mail. If by mail 
(including overnight delivery), comments must be addressed to: 
Copyright Royalty Board, P.O. Box 70977, Washington, DC 20024-0977. If 
hand delivered by a private party, comments must be brought to the 
Library of Congress, James Madison Memorial Building, LM-401, 101 
Independence Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20559-6000. If delivered by a 
commercial courier, comments must be delivered to the Congressional 
Courier Acceptance Site located at 2nd and D Street, NE., Washington, 
DC. The envelope must be addressed to: Copyright Royalty Board, Library 
of Congress, James Madison Memorial Building, LM-403, 101 Independence 
Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20559-6000.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Richard Strasser, Senior Attorney, or 
Gina Giuffreda, Attorney Advisor, by telephone at (202) 707-7658 or e-
mail at [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On April 8, 2010, Broadcast Music, Inc., the 
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, SESAC, Inc. and 
The Harry Fox Agency, Inc. (hereinafter ``Settling Claimants'') filed 
with the Judges a Motion for Partial Distribution of the Digital Audio 
Recording Technology (``DART'') Musical Works Funds for 2005, 2006, 
2007, and 2008. In the Motion the Settling Claimants state that they 
have reached confidential settlements concerning their respective 
distribution shares for these years. The Settling Claimants request 
that the Judges, pursuant to Section 801(b)(3)(A) of the Copyright Act, 
distribute to the Settling Claimants 95% of the 2005-2008 DART Musical 
Works Funds, for the Writers and Music Publishers Subfunds. They also 
request that the Copyright Royalty Judges (``Judges'') publish notice 
in the Federal Register requesting comments on their proposed partial 
distribution. Section 801(b)(3)(A) authorizes the Judges to order 
distributions of royalty funds to the extent that the Judges find that 
the distribution of such fees is not subject to controversy. 17 U.S.C. 
801(b)(3)(A). That section of the Copyright Act does not require 
publication in the Federal Register, but it does require that the 
Judges find that the fees requested are not subject to controversy. The 
Settling Claimants do not make such a representation. Rather they 
represent that they have agreed among themselves how any distributed 
funds should be allocated among themselves. The Settling Claimants 
state that the Judges ``have the discretion, within a zone of 
reasonableness, to find that 95% of the royalties are not in 
controversy.'' Motion at 4. As support for this assertion, they state 
that ``[i]n the past four DART proceedings, non-settling individual 
writer and publisher claimants collectively have either received less 
than one tenth of one percent (0.1%) of the royalty funds or have been 
dismissed altogether * * *.

[[Page 11288]]

Accordingly, as in the past, at least 95% of the 2005-2008 Musical 
Works Funds is clearly not in controversy, and a partial distribution 
of this amount to the Settling Parties is appropriate and warranted at 
this time.'' Id. We do not agree that Section 801(b)(3)(A) gives us the 
discretion to determine that 95% of the funds at issue in this matter 
are not in controversy based on the Settling Claimants' representations 
that non-settling claimants were awarded less than five percent of the 
funds in prior proceedings. Moreover, the Settling Claimants chose not 
to serve all of the claimants and therefore those claimants were given 
no opportunity to comment on whether the Settling Claimants' assertions 
with respect to a controversy are accurate. In the absence of 
persuasive evidence that no controversy exists with respect to the 
funds that the Settling Claimants request, we cannot make the requisite 
finding under Section 801(b)(3)(A) that no controversy exists with 
respect to the requested funds. Nevertheless, we do have authority 
under Section 801(b)(3)(C) of the Copyright Act to authorize partial 
distributions if, after publication in the Federal Register, we 
determine that no claimant entitled to receive such fees has stated a 
reasonable objection to the partial distribution and the Settling 
Claimants requesting the partial distribution agree, among other 
things, to sign an agreement obligating them to return any excess 
amounts to the extent necessary to comply with the final determination 
on the distribution of the funds. See 17 U.S.C. 801(b)(3)(C). 
Therefore, we seek comments from any claimant entitled to receive 
royalties from the 2005-2008 DART Musical Works Funds regarding whether 
there are any reasonable objections to a partial distribution of 95% of 
the 2005-2008 Musical Works Funds to the Settling Claimants. Moreover, 
we request comments from the Settling Claimants regarding whether they 
are willing to make the representations required for a partial 
distribution pursuant to Section 801(b)(3)(C) of the Copyright Act.
    The Motion of the Settling Claimants for Partial Distribution is 
posted on the Copyright Royalty Board Web site at http://www.loc.gov/crb.

    Dated: February 24, 2011.
James Scott Sledge,
Chief U.S. Copyright Royalty Judge.
[FR Doc. 2011-4462 Filed 2-28-11; 8:45 am]