[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 159 (Friday, August 16, 2013)]
[Pages 50114-50115]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-19966]



Copyright Royalty Board

[Dockets No. 2012-7 CRB SD 2000-2009; 2008-5 CRB SD 1999-2000]

Distribution of 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 
2007, 2008, and 2009 Satellite Royalty Funds

AGENCY: Copyright Royalty Board, Library of Congress.

ACTION: Notice announcing commencement of Phase II distribution 
proceeding and request for Petitions to Participate.


SUMMARY: The Copyright Royalty Judges (Judges) announce the 
commencement of a proceeding to determine the Phase II distribution of 
royalties deposited by satellite carriers for a statutory license to 
retransmit over-the-air television broadcast stations. A party wishing 
to participate in this distribution proceeding must file its Petition 
to Participate and the accompanying $150 filing fee, if applicable, by 
the deadline announced in this notice.

DATES: Petitions to Participate are due on or before September 16, 

ADDRESSES: Participants must submit a Petition to Participate in a 
hard-copy original, with five paper copies and an electronic copy in 
Portable Document Format (PDF) on a Compact Disc, along with the $150 
filing fee, to the Copyright Royalty Board by either mail or hand 
delivery. Participants MAY NOT submit Petitions to Participate and the 
$150 filing fee by an overnight delivery service other than the U.S. 
Postal Service Express Mail. If participants choose to use U.S. Postal 
Service (including overnight delivery), they must address their 
submissions to: Copyright Royalty Board, P.O. Box 70977, Washington, DC 
20024-0977. If participants choose hand delivery by a private party, 
they must deliver the submissions to the Library of Congress, James 
Madison Memorial Building, LM-401, 101 Independence Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC 20559-6000. If participants choose delivery by a 
commercial courier, they must deliver the submissions 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: LaKeshia Keys, CRB Program Specialist, 
by telephone at (202) 707-7658 or email at [email protected].



    Twice each calendar year, satellite carriers must deposit royalty 
payments with the Copyright Office for the statutory license granting 
the privilege of retransmitting over-the-air television broadcast 
stations. See 17 U.S.C. 119(b)(1)(B). These royalties are then 
distributed to copyright owners whose works were retransmitted and who 
timely filed a claim for royalties.
    The royalties for each calendar year at issue are distributed in 
two phases. At Phase I, the royalties are divided among representatives 
of categories of copyrightable content (e.g., movies, music, and sports 
programming). At Phase II, the royalties are divided among the various 
copyright owners within each category. If all participants agree to a 
proposed distribution of royalties deposited in any given royalty year, 
the Judges may approve the settlement and authorize disbursement. If, 
however, the participants identify a controversy as to the proper 
distribution, either at Phase I or Phase II, the Judges are required to 
conduct a proceeding under chapter 8 of the Copyright Act. See 17 
U.S.C. 119(b)(4)(B).
    For each of the royalty years at issue in this proceeding, the 
Judges have published in the Federal Register a notice requesting 
comments as to the existence of controversies regarding distribution of 
the funds.\1\ In each instance, the Judges received and considered 
comments and ordered partial distribution of satellite royalties. 
Participants with a contested claim to each prior year's distribution 
now seek initiation of a consolidated Phase II proceeding to resolve 
all remaining controversies regarding the royalty funds that the 
Copyright Office retains.

    \1\ See Notice Requesting Comments, 70 FR 46193 (Aug. 9, 2005), 
Docket 2005-2 CRB SD 2001-2003; Notice Requesting Comments, 73 FR 
5597 (Jan. 30, 2008), Docket 2008-5 CRB SD 1999-2000; Notice 
Requesting Comments, 75 FR 4423 (Jan. 27, 2010) Docket 2010-2 CRB SD 
2004-2007; Notice Requesting Comments, 75 FR 66799 (Oct. 29, 2010), 
Docket 2010-7 CRB SD 2008); Notice Requesting Comments, 76 FR 55123 
(Sept. 6, 2011), Docket 2011-8 CRB SD 2009.

    On August 29, 2012, representatives of certain Phase I categories 
of claimants filed a Joint Motion to Initiate Phase II Proceedings for 
the Distribution of the 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 
2008, and 2009 Satellite Royalty Funds (Joint Motion). The parties 
making the request are: Joint Sports Claimants (JSC), Program 
Suppliers, Devotional Claimants,

[[Page 50115]]

Broadcasters Claimants Group (BCG), and the ``Music Claimants'' 
consisting of Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), American Society of 
Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP), and SESAC, Inc. (collectively, 
Phase I Parties). Independent Producers Group (IPG) opposed the Joint 
Motion on the grounds that: (i) a proceeding for 2000-2009 funds should 
not be commenced before resolution of all controversies relating to 
1997 to 1999 Satellite funds, and (ii) combining ten years' issues 
would present an overwhelmingly difficult task for counsel and the 
Judges. The Phase I Parties replied that IPG had not presented a 
compelling reason to either delay the proceeding or to bifurcate the 
proposed royalty year aggregation.
    With respect to the 1999 funds, after the conclusion of a 
protracted California state lawsuit initiated by IPG, the Judges 
resolved all remaining issues, except allocation of devotional 
programming funds.\2\ To the extent IPG's chronology argument had any 
weight, that weight is now lifted by the inclusion of the 1999 
satellite controversy asserted by IPG in this proceeding.

    \2\ See Order dated June 19, 2013 in 2008-5 CRB SD 1999-2000.

    Similarly, with respect to the issue of consolidating a decade's 
distributions, the Judges are confident that, after three- to 14- years 
of discussion, negotiation, and professional courtesies, what remains 
for judicial consideration is a manageable array of questions, both for 
counsel representing the parties and for the Judges. Further, the 
statutory calendar for distribution proceedings provides ample time for 
discovery, continuing negotiation, and possible settlement of remaining 
    No party questioned the existence of controversies relating to the 
satellite funds at issue. IPG's objections to commencement of the 
proceeding and to the aggregation of the royalty years for 
determination are not persuasive. The Judges, therefore, hereby 
announce the commencement of a Phase II distribution proceeding for 
satellite royalties deposited between 1999 and 2009, inclusive, 
pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 803(b)(1) and request Petitions to Participate 
(PTP) from interested parties.
    The assigned Docket Number for this consolidated proceeding shall 
be 2012-7 CRB SD 1999-2009 (Phase II). To participate in this Phase II 
proceeding, a party, other than an individual, must be represented by 
an attorney.

Petitions To Participate

    Parties in interest must file PTPs in accordance with 37 CFR 
351.1(b). Interested parties asserting claims in excess of $1,000 must 
include with the PTP a filing fee of $150 in the form of check or money 
order payable to ``Copyright Royalty Board''. If a participant's claim 
does not exceed $1,000 and if the PTP includes a statement that the 
participant will not seek a distribution in excess of $1,000, the 
participant need not submit the filing fee.\3\

    \3\ See 17 U.S.C. 803(b)(2)(D)(ii).

    The Judges will address scheduling and further procedural matters 
after receiving Petitions to Participate.

    Dated: August 13, 2013.
Suzanne M. Barnett,
Chief Copyright Royalty Judge.
[FR Doc. 2013-19966 Filed 8-15-13; 8:45 am]