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To summarize the table:
the TPT proposal, as ap
plied to its systems, results in an overall reduction in
copyright fees of $136,393, or 13 percent from $1,032,774 to $896,381 relative to H.R. 2223. Only the highest revenue
class of systems--those with annual revenues in excess of
$640,000--show a decrease in fees.
All other revenue classes
of systems show increases.
Viewed from a slightly different perspective, the
following table presents the percentage distribution of copyright fee payments by revenue class under H.R. 2223 and the
TPT proposal respectively.
Among other things, it shows that
the relative contribution of the largest revenue class is
reduced from 77 percent to 60 percent of total copyright fee
payments under the TPT proposal, while the relative contri
bution of the remainder increases from 23 percent to 40 per
COMPARISON OF COPYRIGHT FEES FOR TELEPROMPTER CABLE SYSTEMS
PER 1.R. 2223 AND TELEPROMPTER PROPOSAL
The purpose of this study is twofold: (1) to evaluate the conceptual and administrative soundness of the TelePrompter (TPT) proposal as an appropriate alternative to the provisions of H.R. 2223 for determining copyright liability among cable systems for the retransmission of copyrighted broadcast signals and (2) to evaluate the specific impact of the proposal with respect to copyright liability on (a) TPT
cable systems for which relevant base data are publicly available and (b) copyright proprietors. Additionally, in an
appendix to this study, we present an analysis of the impact
of the TPT proposal upon systems located within the Congressional Districts of the members of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Civil Liberties and the Administration of
As a preamble to its proposal TPT states its "basic
position is that there should be no copyright liability of any sort for cable retransmission of broadcast signals." However,
in what it characterizes as a compromise, the TPT proposal does make some provision for copyright liability.
posal is based fundamentally on distinctions it draws among
local signals and network and non-network distant signals, and concludes that only the last, non-network distant signals
should be subject to copyright liability.
The specific lan
guage of TPT's redraft of the statute reads "a 'copyright
qualifying broadcast station' shall be any broadcast station whose signal is not required to be retransmitted by the cable
system pursuant to the rules and regulations of the (FCC)."
Stated another way, the TPT proposal would grant copyright liability only for non-local broadcast stations (i.e., those which may not insist upon retransmission of their signals), and then only the non-network originated portions of the
signals of such stations.
It should be noted here that the
terms "distant signal," "copyright qualifying broadcast station" and "signal(s)...not required to be retransmitted" are not terms of art which lend themselves to precise definition, especially within the context of the FCC's complex rules on signal carriage for different types of stations for various
They are, rather, terms which are ambiguous and
which invite definitional disputation. This ambiguity is characteristic of the whole TP proposal, but specifically of its formula for determining copyright liability. Without otherwise commenting here on the philosophy, equity or realism of the proposal, it would appear at best to be an enormous
III. COMPONENTS OF THE TELEPROMPTER PROPOSAL
The critical substance of the TPT proposal is that only "non-network programming of distant stations" be subject to copyright liability. The proposal attempts to establish a marketplace rationale for this position (based on a "model of the broadcasters") by focusing on:
should be available for copyright payments, and
2. the value of each distant signal for copyright
To place the TPT proposal in perspective we shall examine its specific components point by point. Cable system copyright liability is determined by application of the for
The product of the first two components (A) x (B) of the TPT formula defines the base of cable system revenues that
would be subject to copyright liability. The TPT proposal adjusts total cable system revenues by a factor which is the
ratio of "programming costs" (in reality, non-network programming costs) to "total revenues" of "all television sta
tions" (28 percent in this hypothetical example).
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