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WHEREAS, the master of lia lity of cable crievision ope and, through them cable subscribers to pay copyright royaltie television signals carried on cable tel Congress of the United States in the Omnibus Copyright Revisir Bill;
WHEREAS, the 1974 annual meeting of the United States Coof Mayors in San Diego did unanimously approve Resolution l'un urging the United States Senate not to adopi legislation whic. place an extra surcharge on the viewing oi te evision program: via a cable television system;
WHEREAS, this resolution was ignored and ad no effe action of the United States Senate in tio ---mber 9th Senate Bill s.1361;
W. EREAS, the United States Suprer: "ou.i has twice ? carrins, of broadcast signals by cable television is not under 'deral copyright law for which copyright royaltic quirec co be paid; and
WHEREAS, as a matter of pure logic and economic theo, P of copyright royalties for carriage of broadcast signals ca television is improper and can result in consumers pay:n py royalties twice;
WHEREAS, the cable television indusiry, still in i. Sa should not be overburdened with required fees and charcs, ny. of which must be subsidized by the ultimate consumer, the colc television subscriber;
WHEREAS, the continuation of quality cable television .er in and for the community of Bellaire, Ohio, is important to the well-being, education, and informed status of our citizens;
WHEREAS, adoption of this copyrigh legislation by the ful Congress of the Ur... States will be indiationary and will selectively "tax" the cable viewing residents oí bellaire, Ohio
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the waty v. Bellaire, Ohio:
$1. That the Congress of the United States is urged to re- iro from the Omnibus Copyright Revision Bil. all language which wou. require a copyright payment for carriaga of broadcast signals on cable television.
$2. Urges that the Honorable Jonn Gienn and Honorable Robert Tuft, Senators and Honorable Wayne L. Hays, our Congressman, do every sing within their power to defeat Senate Bill s.1361.
$3. That this resolution shall take effect and be in force from and after the earliest period allowed by law.
Mr. KASTENMEIER. The Chair would now like to call George J. Barco, general counsel for the Pennsylvania Cable Television Association.
Mr. Barco, you may proceed.
TESTIMONY OF GEORGE J. BARCO, GENERAL COUNSEL,
PENNSYLVANIA CABLE TELEVISION ASSOCIATION Mr. Barco. First, may I point out here on the map what part of Pennsylvania I come from, so that you know the place from which I come.
Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee on Courts, Civil Liberties and the Administration of Justice-I purposely mention that title because that is one of the reasons I'm here today because I believe that the orbit of your jurisidiction can afford us some of the relief we are seeking. Having seen you gentlemen on television in the execution of your duty, I was reinforced in my belief.
Further, Mr. Chairman, I want you to know that we have a statement here that is longer than the 5 minutes allocated to us, and we would ask that it be included in the record. I have prepared my remarks to fit within the time which has been allowed to me.
Mr. KASTENMEIER. The Chair appreciates that, Mr. Barco, and your statement and the Pennsylvania Cable Television Association policy position statement of March 1975, will be received in the record. Mr. Barco. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I am George J. Barco of Meadville, Pa. For the past 23 years I have been a part owner and president of several cable television companies, and I have served as general counsel for the past 20 years of Pennsylvania Cable Television Association. Pennsylvania is the State where commercial CATV started some 27 years ago, and where more communities and a greater percentage of the television viewing public secure reception by CATV service than in any other State.
For the past 10 years particularly, I have been concerned that the views and concepts, and, in turn, many aspects of government treatment accorded to the industry have been influenced to a great extent by a pervasive preoccupation, inside and outside the industry, with the technical and theoretical capabilities of cable television to provide broad television and communications services.
This preoccupation has been obsessive to such an extent that the financial, technological, and practical requirements for such an evolution have not been fully analyzed, or recognized, on the one hand, and, at the same time, the significance of the television reception function being provided by CATV has been discounted and the real nature of the service today confused and distorted.
The Pennsylvania position on copyright places the television reception function in clear focus and places that function in proper perspective, both with relation to the subscribers it presently serves. and with relation to the capabilities for cable to improve and equalize television reception opportunities for the public generally. The Pennsylvania position also recognizes the desirability of realizing the potential of cable television for providing increased program choices in part through microwaving of additional signals, acknowledging that this function is distinct from the television reception function, and that
providing such service may be subject to reasonable copyright payment.
it is no secret that there is a fundamental and serious division in the industry on the issue of copyright payment. The Pennsylvania position in essence represents the view of a substantial segment of the industry that is opposed in principle to the concept of across-the-board copyright liability, and particularly, copyright liability for television reception of signals received off the air.
The other substantial segment of the industry--and particularly on the board of directors of the NCTA-has been willing, and even eager, to agree to payment of copyright fees "across the board" in response to an assortment of influences, including the appeal of an expedient response to the pressure for copyright payment; the desperate hope that such a commitment will evoke some response from the Federal Communications Commission in the direction of relaxing its very restrictive regulations of CATV'; and the expectation that such payment from the existing industry will be the means of securing the availability of microwaved signals thought to be a prerequisite for the economic viability of cable television for the large cities and the cable communications industry of the future.
One measure of the extent of the division is that some 18 State and regional associations have either drafted a resolution for action, or have taken action, in opposition to the NCTA position of copyright payment "across the board".
The basic principle of the Pennsylvania position that off-the-air television reception should not be subject to the burdens and risks involved in a commitment to copyright payment is founded on the pertinent facts and circumstances. The broadcasters and copyright owners make use of the public resource of the airwaves without payment,
In addition, the policy of the 1934 Communications Act favors the widest possible distribution of broadcast services for the general benefit and welfare of all citizens. As a consequence, there must accrue a fundamental right in the public to utilize on an equal basis all signals receivable off the air, whether by conventional rooftop antenna, or by cable television.
I am unable in the time allotted to me to further detail the philosophical and factual basis for the Pennsylvania position, and I have, therefore, attached the position in full to this statement for the record.
In summary, the Pennsylvania position so far as payment of copyright fees is as follows:
One. No copyright fees should be pavable for television reception of off-the-air signals, regardless of the total number involved.
Two. No copyright fees should be payable for basic television reception, whether secured off the air, or by microwave. While we have stated that basic television reception should include the national networks, three independent television stations, and one educational television station, we recognize that there is room for differences of opinion as to what basic television reception should include.
Three. ('opyrirht foes would be pavable on the recention of microwaved signals, other than those required for basic television reception in two above, at the rate of two-tenths of 1 percent per microwaved channel.
Mr. Baroo. I will be glad to come back after lunch.
ion of our testimony today. When we recessed we were h
*on of anticipating a question of mine, to the position
*** payable on the reception of microwaved signals.
Mo Burma. There are two types of signals in cable television
i otkr the air, and the other where we have to use mic
sisting of signals, reaching the ultimate destination
Another fundamental concern emphasized in the Pennsylvarismo tion is that the copyright bill not effect a confirmation of the propos FCC regulatory treatment of the industry. For example, the bill definition of so-called distant and local signals has little more to actual reception conditions for signals received off the air; and 134 application of these artificial and arbitrary definitions tests ** unreasonable, unfair, and discriminatory treatment for telri.." viewers.
Finally, and most important, cable television viewers on : 10 million subscriber homes with over 30 million viewers-have neiet been informed of the proposal for copyright payment for their ter vision reception service, while payment will not be required for " same reception by their next door neighbor using a conventionai rat top antenna. In this day of consumer concern and specialauantana, due process, the lack of fairness and reasonable treatment for sin subscribers for television reception-both off the air and for base television service is most prident, is not supportable, and it!! ! should not be countenanced by this committee whose very titi nf3 > as a beacon light for the citizens of our Nation for proper propre of their basic rights.
Mr. Chairman and members of this committee, I have been a ne ber of the negotiating committee of the industry; and I was party to the consensus agreement. I should be very glad to answer any qurmat you have.
Mr. KASTENMEIER. Thank you, Mr. Barco. In that connection, wt. the agreement was concluded in 1971, you were one of those who were agreeable to the provisions?
Mr. BARCO. Absolutely not. There was a very strong dirision, then, and we were told by the then Chairman of the FCC that this had to be because it was demanded by the Ilhite House, otherwi we ca vef relax the rule. There had been a freeze on the industry, and the ki: try was desperate. The manufacturers were going out of buste otse industry was at a stand till; and it was only by a two sote mac1 that that was carried and accepted by the board of our dimrton a:d the officers of the anxiation. There were very, very violent relu about the whole thing. And, as Mr. Ford has pointed out, the si factors shortly followed, so it was never given any endean anybody. Mr. KASTE YVEIER. Off the record.
Disssion of the record.) Mr. KASTENMEIER. Mr. Barro, we do have another witnes where we will not be able to hear without returning. So, I will
go We repm and then return durifier what would otherwintiin li, la hour, and proyed with our last witness
I prope we will return at 1:13, after we vote, and conctie at: orok
Mr. Baron, Mr. ("}. nirman, before I am di-miswd mav I pleapis lli the one ma tinn! You on that our yestion provide that w. wirklis arried furtu fond it normal area of o ration) - 1fr KNITYMPIP By microwave.
Vr. Baroo, Yes. We believe that urias some circonstances riipht for shonli be paid.
Vr K**?) NOIR. I wqw introsomatoed in this and hoped to vonalt this
y Barro. I said we take three positions, as Your Honor
Disa mention, regardless of how it is received, by the pul
ls brought in by microwave from New York (
1.. it is a very small number of communities. We th
! **sup it's off the air, or by microwave, without the
Y r ask, why do we cite that number--this is the
en romantlemen, is more important than television rec
V. K 7WWVR, In terms of the networks, the indepen una sering mirisinin tations, there is an FCC determination
* ori pilte service within a market in terms of s
M. Pima A market.