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fringement under section 501, and is fully subject to the remedies provided by sections 502 through 506 and sections 509 and 510, if the content of the particular program in which the performance or display is embodied, or any commercial advertising or station announcements transmitted by the primary transmitter during, or immediately before or after, the transmission of such program, is in any way willfully altered by the cable system through changes, deletions, or additions, except for the alteration, deletion, or substitution of commercial advertisements performed by those engaged in television commercial advertising market research: Provided, That the research company has obtained the prior consent of the advertiser who has purchased the original commercial advertisement, the television station broadcasting that commercial advertisement, and the cable system performing the secondary transmission: And provided further, That such commercial alteration, deletion, or substitution is not performed for the purpose of deriving income from the sale of that commercial time.
(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of clause (1) of this subsection, the secondary transmission to the public by a cable system of a primary transmission made by a broadcast station licensed by an appropriate governmental authority of Canada or Mexico and embodying a performance or display of a work is actionable as an act of infringement under section 501, and is fully subject to the remedies provided by sections 502 through 506 and section 509, if (A) with respect to Canadian sig. nals, the community of the cable system is located more than 150 miles from the United States-Canadian border and is also located south of the forty-second parallel of latitude, or (B) with respect to Mexican signals, the secondary transmission is made by a cable system which received the primary transmission by means other than direct interception of a free space radio wave emitted by such broadcast television station, unless prior to April 15, 1976, such cable system was actually carrying, or was specifically authorized to carry, the signal of such foreign station on the system pursuant to the rules, regulations, or authorizations of the Federal Communications Commission.
(d) COMPULSORY LICENSE FOR SECONDARY TRANSMISSIONS BY CABLE SYSTEMS.
(1) A cable system whose secondary transmissions have been subject to compulsory licensing under subsection (c) shall, on a semiannual basis, deposit with the Register of Copyrights, in accordance with requirements that the Register shall, after consultation with the Copyright Royalty Tribunal (if and when the Tribunal has been constituted), prescribe by regulation
(A) a statement of account, covering the six months next preceding, specifying the number of channels on which the cable system made secondary transmissions to its subscribers, the names and locations of all primary transmitters whose transmissions were further transmitted by the cable
system, the total number of subscribers, the gross amounts paid to the cable system for the basic service of providing secondary transmissions of primary broadcast transmitters, and such other data as the Register of Copyrights may, after consultation with the Copyright Royalty Tribunal (if and when the Tribunal has been constituted), from time to time prescribe by regulation. In determining the total number of subscribers and the gross amounts paid to the cable system for the basic service of providing secondary transmissions of primary broadcast transmitters, the system shall not include subscribers and amounts collected from subscribers receiving secondary transmissions for private home viewing pursuant to section 119. Such statement shall also include a special statement of account covering any nonnetwork television programming that was carried by the cable system in whole or in part beyond the local service area of the primary transmitter, under rules, regulations, or authorizations of the Federal Communications Commission permitting the substitution or addition of signals under certain circumstances, together with logs showing the times, dates, stations, and programs involved in such substituted or added carriage; and
(B) except in the case of a cable system whose royalty is specified in subclause (C) or (D), a total royalty fee for the period covered by the statement, computed on the basis of specified percentages of the gross receipts from subscribers to the cable service during said period for the basic service of providing secondary transmissions of primary broadcast transmitters, as follows:
(i) 0.675 of 1 per centum of such gross receipts for the privilege of further transmitting any nonnetwork programming of a primary transmitter in whole or in part beyond the local service area of such primary transmitter, such amount to be applied against the fee, if any, payable pursuant to paragraphs (ii) through (iv);
(ii) 0.675 of 1 per centum of such gross receipts for the first distant signal equivalent;
(iii) 0.425 of 1 per centum of such gross receipts for each of the second, third, and fourth distant signal equivalents;
(iv) 0.2 of 1 per centum of such gross receipts for the fifth distant signal equivalent and each additional distant signal
equivalent thereafter; and in computing the amounts payable under paragraphs (ii) through (iv), above, any fraction of a distant signal equivalent shall be computed at its fractional value and, in the case of any cable system located partly within and partly without the local service area of a primary transmitter, gross receipts shall be limited to those gross receipts derived from subscribers located without the local service area of such primary transmitter; and
(C) if the actual gross receipts paid by subscribers to a cable system for the period covered by the statement for the basic seryice of providing secondary transmissions of primary broadcast transmitters total $80,000 or less, gross receipts of the cable system for the purpose of this subclause shall be computed by subtracting from such actual gross receipts the amount by which $80,000 exceeds such actual gross receipts, except that in no case shall a cable system's gross receipts be reduced to less than $3,000. The royalty fee payable under this subclause shall be 0.5 of 1 per centum, regardless of the number of distant signal equivalents, if any; and
(D) if the actual gross receipts paid by subscribers to a cable system for the period covered by the statement, for the basic service of providing secondary transmissions of primary broadcast transmitters, are more than $80,000 but less than $160,000, the royalty fee payable under this subclause shall be (i) 0.5 of 1 per centum of any gross receipts up to $80,000; and (ii) 1 per centum of any gross receipts in excess of $80,000 but less than $160,000, regardless of the number of distant signal equivalents, if any.
(2) The Register of Copyrights shall receive all fees deposited under this section and, after deducting the reasonable costs incurred by the Copyright Office under this section, shall deposit the balance in the Treasury of the United States, in such manner as the Secretary of the Treasury directs. All funds held by the Secretary of the Treasury shall be invested in interest-bearing United States securities for later distribution with interest by the Copyright Royalty Tribunal as provided by this title. The Register shall submit to the Copyright Royalty Tribunal, on a semiannual basis, a compilation of all statements of account covering the relevant six-month period provided by paragraph (1) of this subsection.
(3) The royalty fees thus deposited shall, in accordance with the procedures provided by paragraph (4),2 be distributed to those among the following copyright owners who claim that their works were the subject of secondary transmissions by cable systems during the relevant semiannual period:
(A) any such owner whose work was included in a secondary transmission made by a cable system of a nonnetwork television program in whole or in part beyond the local service area of the primary transmitter; and
(B) any such owner whose work was included in a secondary transmission identified in a special statement of account deposited under clause (2)(A);S and
(C) any such owner whose work was included in nonnetwork programing consisting exclusively of aural signals carried by a cable system in whole or in part beyond the local service area of the primary transmitter of such programs.
(4) The royalty fees thus deposited shall be distributed in accordance with the following procedures:
(A) During the month of July in each year, every person claiming to be entitled to compulsory license fees for secondary transmissions shall file a claim with the Copyright Royalty Tribunal, in accordance with requirements that the Tribunal shall prescribe by regulation. Notwithstanding any provisions of the antitrust laws, for pur. poses of this clause any claimants may agree among themselves as to the proportionate division of compulsory licensing fees among them, may lump their claims together and file them jointly or as a single claim, or may designate a common agent to receive payment on their behalf.
(B) After the first day of August of each year, the Copyright Royalty Tribunal shall determine whether there exists a controversy concerning the distribution of royalty fees. If the Tribunal determines that no such controversy exists, it shall, after deducting its reasonable administrative costs under this section, distribute such fees to the copyright owners entitled, or to their designated agents. If the Tribunal finds the existence of a controversy, it shall, pursuant to chapter 8 of this title, conduct a proceeding to determine the distribution of royalty fees.
(C) During the pendency of any proceeding under this subsection, the Copyright Royalty Tribunal shall withhold from distribution an amount sufficient to satisfy all claims with respect to which a controversy exists, but shall have discretion to proceed to distribute any amounts that are not in
controversy. (e) NONSIMULTANEOUS SECONDARY TRANSMISSIONS BY CABLE SYSTEMS.
(1) Notwithstanding those provisions of the second paragraph of subsection (f) relating to nonsimultaneous secondary transmissions by a cable system, any such transmissions are actionable as an act of infringement under section 501, and are fully subject to the remedies provided by sections 502 through 506 and sections 509 and 510, unless
(A) the program on the videotape is transmitted no more than one time to the cable system's subscribers; and
(B) the copyrighted program, episode, or motion picture videotape, including the commercials contained within such program, episode, or picture, is transmitted without deletion or editing; and
(C) an owner or officer of the cable system (i) prevents the duplication of the videotape while in the possession of the system, (ii) prevents unauthorized duplication while in the possession of the facility making the videotape for the system if the system owns or controls the facility, or takes reasonable precautions to prevent such duplication if it does not own or control the facility, (iii) takes adequate precautions to prevent duplication while the tape is being transported, and (iv) subject to
2 See 1986 Amendment note below.
* So in original. Probably should be "paragraph (1)(A)". See Codification note below.
clause (2), erases or destroys, or causes the erasure or destruction of, the videotape; and
(D) within forty-five days after the end of each calendar quarter, an owner or officer of the cable system executes an affidavit attesting (i) to the steps and precautions taken to prevent duplication of the videotape, and (ii) subject to clause (2), to the erasure or destruction of all videotapes made or used during such quarter; and
(E) such owner or officer places or causes each such affidavit, and affidavits received pursuant to clause (2)(C), to be placed in a file, open to public inspection, at such system's main office in the community where the transmission is made or in the nearest community where such system maintains an office; and
(F) the nonsimultaneous transmission is one that the cable system would be authorized to transmit under the rules, regulations, and authorizations of the Federal Communications Commission in effect at the time of the nonsimultaneous transmission if the transmission had been made simultaneously, except that this subclause shall not apply to inadvertent or accidental transmissions.
(2) If a cable system transfers to any person a videotape of a program nonsimultaneously transmitted by it, such transfer is actionable as an act of infringement under section 501, and is fully subject to the remedies provided by sections 502 through 506 and 509, except that, pursuant to a written, nonprofit contract providing for the equitable sharing of the costs of such videotape and its transfer, a videotape nonsimultaneously transmitted by it, in accordance with clause (1), may be transferred by one cable system in Alaska to another system in Alaska, by one cable system in Hawaii permitted to make such nonsimultaneous transmissions to another such cable system in Hawaii, or by one cable system in Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, or the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, to another cable system in any of those three territories, if
(A) each such contract is available for public inspection in the offices of the cable systems involved, and a copy of such contract is filed, within thirty days after such contract is entered into, with the Copyright Office (which Office shall make each such contract available for public inspection); and
(B) the cable system to which the videotape is transferred complies with clause (1)(A), (B), (C)(i), (iii), and (iv), and (D) through (F); and
(C) such system provides a copy of the affidavit required to be made in accordance with clause (1)(D) to each cable system making a previous nonsimultaneous transmission of the same videotape.
(3) This subsection shall not be construed to supersede the exclusivity protection provisions of any existing agreement, or any such agreement hereafter entered into, between a
cable system and a television broadcast station in the area in which the cable system is located, or a network with which such station is affiliated.
(4) As used in this subsection, the term "videotape", and each of its variant forms, means the reproduction of the images and sounds of a program or programs broadcast by a television broadcast station licensed by the Federal Communications Commission, regardless of the nature of the material objects, such as tapes or films, in which the reproduction is embodied.
(f) DEFINITIONS.-As used in this section, the following terms and their variant forms mean the following:
A “primary transmission" is a transmission made to the public by the transmitting facility whose signals are being received and further transmitted by the secondary transmission service, regardless of where or when the performance or display was first transmitted.
A "secondary transmission" is the further transmitting of a primary transmission simultaneously with the primary transmission, or nonsimultaneously with the primary transmission if by a “cable system" not located in whole or in part within the boundary of the forty-eight contiguous States, Hawaii, or Puerto Rico: Provided, however, That a nonsimultaneous further transmission by a cable system located in Hawaii of a primary transmission shall be deemed to be a secondary transmission if the carriage of the television broadcast signal comprising such further transmission is permissible under the rules, regulations, or authorizations of the Federal Communications Commission.
A “cable system” is a facility, located in any State, Territory, Trust Territory, or Possession, that in whole or in part receives signals transmitted or programs broadcast by one or more television broadcast stations licensed by the Federal Communications Commission, and makes secondary transmissions of such signals or programs by wires, cables, or other communications channels to subscribing members of the public who pay for such service. For purposes of determining the royalty fee under subsection (d)(1), two or more cable systems in contiguous communities under common ownership or control or operating from one headend shall be considered as one system.
The “local service area of a primary transmitter”, in the case of a television broadcast station, comprises the area in which such station is entitled to insist upon its signal being retransmitted by a cable system pursuant to the rules, regulations, and authorizations of the Federal Communications Commission in effect on April 15, 1976, or in the case of a television broadcast station licensed by an appropriate governmental authority of Canada or Mexico, the area in which it would be entitled to insist upon its signal being retransmitted if it were a television broadcast station subject to such rules, regulations, and authorizations. In the case of a low power television station, as defined by the rules and regulafull-time basis all signals which it is authorized to carry, the values for independent, network, and noncommercial educational stations set forth above, as the case may be, shall be multiplied by a fraction which is equal to the ratio of the broadcast hours of such station carried by the cable system to the total broadcast hours of the station.
A "network station" is a television broadcast station that is owned or operated by, or affiliated with, one or more of the television networks in the United States providing nationwide transmissions, and that transmits a substantial part of the programing supplied by such networks for a substantial part of that station's typical broadcast day.
An "independent station" is a commercial television broadcast station other than a network station.
A "noncommercial educational station" is a television station that is a noncommercial educational broadcast station as defined in section 397 of title 47. (Pub. L. 94-553, title I, § 101, Oct. 19, 1976, 90 Stat. 2550; Pub. L. 99-397, $$ 1, 2(a), (b), Aug. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 848; Pub. L. 100-667, title II. $ 202(1), Nov. 16, 1988, 102 Stat. 3949.)
AMENDMENT OF SECTION For termination of amendment by section 207 of Pub. L. 100-667, see Effective and Termination Dates of 1988 Amendment note below.
tions of the Federal Communications Commission, the “local service area of a primary transmitter" comprises the area within 35 miles of the transmitter site, except that in the case of such a station located in a standard metropolitan statistical area which has one of the 50 largest populations of all standard metropolitan statistical areas (based on the 1980 decennial census of population taken by the Secretary of Commerce), the number of miles shall be 20 miles. The "local service area of a primary transmitter", in the case of a radio broadcast station, comprises the primary service area of such station, pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission.
A “distant signal equivalent" is the value assigned to the secondary transmission of any nonnetwork television programing carried by a cable system in whole or in part beyond the local service area of the primary transmitter of such programing. It is computed by assigning a value of one to each independent station and a value of one-quarter to each network station and noncommercial educational station for the nonnetwork programing so carried pursuant to the rules, regulations, and authorizations of the Federal Communications Commission. The foregoing values for independent, network, and noncommercial educational stations are subject, however, to the following exceptions and limitations. Where the rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission require a cable system to omit the further transmission of a particular program and such rules and regulations also permit the substitution of another program embodying a performance or display of a work in place of the omitted transmission, or where such rules and regulations in effect on the date of enactment of this Act permit a cable system, at its election, to effect such deletion and substitution of a nonlive program or to carry additional programs not transmitted by primary transmitters within whose local service area the cable system is located, no value shall be assigned for the substituted or additional program; where the rules, regulations, or authorizations of the Federal Communications Commission in effect on the date of enactment of this Act permit a cable system, at its election, to omit the further transmission of a particular program and such rules, regulations, or authorizations also permit the substitution of another program embodying a performance or display of a work in place of the omitted transmission, the value assigned for the substituted or additional program shall be, in the case of a live program, the value of one full distant signal equivalent multiplied by a fraction that has as its numerator the number of days in the year in which such substitution occurs and as its denominator the number of days in the year. In the case of a station carried pursuant to the late-night or specialty programing rules of the Federal Communications Commission, or a station carried on a part-time basis where full-time carriage is not possible because the cable system lacks the activated channel capacity to retransmit on a
HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES
HOUSE REPORT NO. 94-1476 Introduction and General Summary. The complex and economically important problem of "secondary transmissions" is considered in section 111. For the most part, the section is directed at the operation of cable television systems and the terms and conditions of their liability for the retransmission of copyrighted works. However, other forms of secondary transmissions are also considered, including apartment house and hotel systems, wired instructional systems, common carriers, nonprofit "boosters" and translators, and secondary transmissions of primary transmissions to controlled groups.
Cable television systems are commercial subscription services that pick up broadcasts of programs originated by others and retransmit them to paying subscribers. A typical system consists of a central antenna which receives and amplifies television signals and a network of cables through which the signals are transmitted to the receiving sets of individual subscribers. In addition to an installation charge, the subscribers pay a monthly charge for the basic service averaging about six dollars. A large number of these systems provide automated programing. A growing number of CATV systems also originate programs, such as movies and sports, and charge additional fees for this service (pay-cable).
The number of cable systems has grown very rapidly since their introduction in 1950, and now total about 3,450 operating systems, servicing 7,700 communities. Systems currently in operation reach about 10.8 million homes. It is reported that the 1975 total subscriber revenues of the cable industry were approximately $770 million.
Pursuant to two decisions of the Supreme Court (Fortnightly Corp. v. United Artist Television, Inc., 392 U.S. 390 (1968) [88 S.Ct. 2084, 20 L.Ed.2d 1176, rehearing denied 89 S.Ct. 65, 393 U.S. 902, 21 L.Ed.2d 190],
and Teleprompter Corp. V. CBS, Inc., 415 U.S. 394 (1974)) (94 S.Ct. 1129, 39 L.Ed.2d 415), under the 1909 copyright law, the cable television industry has not been paying copyright royalties for its retransmission of over-the-air broadcast signals. Both decisions urged the Congress, however, to consider and determine the scope and extent of such liability in the pending revi. sion bill.
The difficult problem of determining the copyright liability of cable television systems has been before the Congress since 1965. In 1967, this Committee sought to address and resolve the issues in H.R. 2512, an early version of the general revision bill (see H.R. Rep. No. 83, 90th Cong., 1st Sess.). However, largely because of the cable-copyright impasse, the bill died in the Senate.
The history of the attempts to find a solution to the problem since 1967 has been explored thoroughly in the voluminous hearings and testimony on the general revision bill, and has also been succinctly summarized by the Register of Copyrights in her Second Supplementary Report, Chapter V.
The Committee now has before it the Senate bill which contains a series of detailed and complex provisions which attempt to resolve the question of the copyright liability of cable television systems. After extensive consideration of the Senate bill, the arguments made during and after the hearings, and of the issues involved, this Committee has also concluded that there is no simple answer to the cable-copyright controversy. In particular, any statutory scheme that imposes copyright liability on cable television systems must take account of the intricate and complicated rules and regulations adopted by the Federal Communications Commission to govern the cable television in dustry. While the Committee has carefully avoided in cluding in the bill any provisions which would interfere with the FCC's rules or which might be characterized as affecting "communications policy", the Committee has been cognizant of the interplay between the copyright and the communications elements of the legislation.
We would, therefore, caution the Federal Communications Commission, and others who make determinations concerning communications policy, not to rely upon any action of this Committee as a basis for any significant changes in the delicate balance of regulation in areas where the Congress has not resolved the issue. Specifically, we would urge the Federal Communications Commission to understand that it was not the intent of this bill to touch on issues such as pay cable regulation or increased use of imported distant signals. These matters are ones of communications policy and should be left to the appropriate committees in the Congress for resolution.
In general, the Committee believes that cable systems are commercial enterprises whose basic retransmission operations are based on the carriage of copyrighted program material and that copyright royalties should be paid by cable operators to the creators of such programs. The Committee recognizes, however, that it would be impractical and unduly burdensome to require every cable system to negotiate with every copyright owner whose work was retransmitted by a cable system. Accordingly, the Committee has determined to maintain the basic principle of the Senate bill to establish a compulsory copyright license for the retransmission of those over-the-air broadcast signals that a cable system is authorized to carry pursuant to the rules and regulations of the FCC.
The compulsory license is conditioned, however, on certain requirements and limitations. These include compliance with reporting requirements, payment of the royalty fees established in the bill, a ban on the substitution or deletion of commercial advertising, and geographic limits on the compulsory license for copy. righted programs broadcast by Canadian or Mexican stations. Failure to comply with these requirements and limitations subjects a cable system to a suit for copyright infringement and the remedies provided under the bill for such actions.
In setting a royalty fee schedule for the compulsory license, the Committee determined that the initial schedule should be established in the bill. It recognized, however, that adjustments to the schedule would be required from time to time. Accordingly, the Copyright Royalty Commission, established in chapter 8 (8 801 et seq. of this title), is empowered to make the adjustments in the initial rates, at specified times, based on standards and conditions set forth in the bill.
In setting an initial fee schedule, the Senate bill based the royalty fee on a sliding scale related to the gross receipts of a cable system for providing the basic retransmission service and rejected a statutory scheme that would distinguish between "local" and "distant" signals. The Committee determined, however, that there was no evidence that the retransmission of "local" broadcast signals by a cable operator threatens the existing market for copyright program owners. Similarly, the retransmission of network programing, including network programing which is broadcast in "distant" markets, does not injure the copyright owner. The copyright owner contracts with the network on the basis of his programing reaching all markets served by the network and is compensated accordingly.
By contrast, their retransmission of distant non-network programing by cable systems causes damage to the copyright owner by distributing the program in an area beyond which it has been licensed. Such retransmission adversely affects the ability of the copyright owner to exploit the work in the distant market. It is also of direct benefit to the cable system by enhancing its ability to attract subscribers and increase revenues. For these reasons, the Committee has concluded that the copyright liability of cable television systems under the compulsory license should be limited to the retransmission of distant non-network programing.
In implementing this conclusion, the Committee generally followed a proposal submitted by the cable and motion picture industries, the two industries most directly affected by the establishment of copyright royalties for cable television systems. Under the proposal, the royalty fee is determined by a two step computation. First, a value called a "distant signal equivalent" is assigned to all “distant” signals. Distant signals are defined as signals retransmitted by a cable system, in whole or in part, outside the local service area of the primary transmitter. Different values are assigned to independent, network, and educational stations because of the different amounts of viewing of non-network programing carried by such stations. For example, the viewing of non-network programs on network stations is considered to approximate 25 percent. These values are then combined and a scale of percentages is applied to the cumulative total.
The Committee also considered various proposals to exempt certain categories of cable systems from royalty payments altogether. The Committee determined that the approach of the Senate bill to require some payment by every cable system is sound, but established separate fee schedules for cable systems whose gross receipts for the basic retransmission service do not exceed either $80,000 or $160,000 semiannually. It is the Committee's view that the fee schedules adopted for these systems are now appropriate, based on their relative size and the services performed.
All the royalty payments required under the bill are paid on a semiannual basis to the Register of Copy. rights. Each year they are distributed by the Copyright Royalty Commission to those copyright owners who may validly claim that their works were the subject of distant non-network retransmissions by cable systems.
Based on current estimates supplied to the Committee, the total royalty fees paid under the initial schedule established in the bill should approximate $8.7 million. Compared with the present number of cable television subscribers, calculated at 10.8 million, copyright payments under the bill would therefore approx.