Skip to Content

Notice

Section 119 and the Changes in the Consumer Price Index

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Copyright Office, Library of Congress.

ACTION:

Notice of Rate Adjustment.

SUMMARY:

The Library of Congress, through the Copyright Office, is announcing an upcoming royalty rate adjustment for satellite carriers based upon changes in the Consumer Price Index.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ben Golant, Assistant General Counsel, and Tanya M. Sandros, General Counsel, Copyright GC/I&R, P.O. Box 70400, Washington, DC 20024. Telephone: (202) 707-8380. Telefax: (202) 707-8366.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Pursuant to Section 119(c) and our implementing rules, we are hereby giving notice to the public that royalty rates will be adjusted for the accounting period commencing January 1, 2008, based on changes in the Consumer Price Index. This action is consistent with voluntary agreements reached between satellite carriers and copyright owners under the Copyright Act.

Section 119 and royalty payments for analog television signals. In 2004, Congress enacted the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act (“SHVERA”). SHVERA extended for an additional five years the statutory license for satellite carriers retransmitting over-the-air television broadcast stations to their subscribers and made a number of amendments to the license. One of the amendments to Section 119 sets forth a process for adjusting the royalty fees paid by satellite carriers for retransmitting analog television network and superstations. 17 U.S.C. 119(c)(1). The law directs the Librarian of Congress to publish notice in the Federal Register requesting satellite carriers, distributors and copyright owners to submit to the Copyright Office any voluntary agreements they have negotiated as to the adjustment of the rates for analog stations. The Library published such a notice on December 30, 2004, and, pursuant to the statute, requested that any agreements be submitted no later than January 10, 2005. 69 FR 78482 (December 30, 2004).

The Office received one agreement, submitted jointly by the satellite carriers DirecTV, Inc. and EchoStar Satellite L.L.C., the copyright owners of motion pictures and syndicated television series represented by the Motion Picture Association of America, and the copyright owners of sports programming represented by the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball. Section 119(c)(1)(D)(ii)(II) requires the Library to “provide public notice of the royalty fees from the voluntary agreement and afford parties an opportunity to state that they object to those fees.” 17 U.S.C. 119(c)(1)(D)(ii)(II). The Library published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on January 26, 2005, to fulfill this requirement. 70 FR 3656 (January 26, 2005). No objections were received. Consequently, the Library adopted the rates in the voluntary agreement as final. 70 FR 17320 (Apr. 6, 2005).

The terms and conditions of the agreement were codified at Section 258.3 of the Copyright Office’s rules. Paragraph (g) of this rule specifically states, with regard to private home viewing, that the 2007 rate per subscriber per month for distant superstations and network stations shall be adjusted for the amount of inflation as measured by the change in the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers from January 2007 to January 2008. For viewing in commercial establishments, the 2007 rate per subscriber per month for viewing distant superstations in commercial establishments shall be adjusted for the amount of inflation as measured by the change in the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers from January 2007 to January 2008.

Section 119 and royalty payments for digital television signals. Another amendment to Section 119 promulgated by SHVERA set forth a process, for the first time, for adjusting the royalty fees paid by satellite carriers for the retransmission of digital broadcast signals. 17 U.S.C. 119(c)(2). The law set the initial rates as the rates set by the Librarian in 1997 for the retransmission of analog broadcast signals, 37 CFR 258.3(b)(1)-(2), reduced by 22.5 percent. 17 U.S.C. 119(c)(2)(A). These rates are to be adjusted in accordance with the procedures set forth in Section 119(c)(1) as directed by Section 119(c)(2) of the Copyright Act.

On March 8, 2005, the Copyright Office received a letter from EchoStar Satellite, L.L.C., DirecTV, Inc., Program Suppliers, and the Joint Sports Claimants requesting that the Office begin the process of setting the rates for the retransmission of digital broadcast signals by initiating a voluntary negotiation period so that rates for both digital and analog signals would be in place before the July 31, 2005, deadline for satellite carriers to pay royalties for the first accounting period of 2005. The Office granted the request and, pursuant to Section 119(c)(1), published a Notice in the Federal Register initiating a voluntary negotiation period and requesting that any agreements reached during this period be submitted no later than April 25, 2005. See 70 FR 15368 (March 25, 2005).

In accordance with the March 25 Notice, the Office received one agreement, submitted jointly by the satellite carriers EchoStar Satellite L.L.C. and DirecTV, Inc., the copyright owners of motion pictures and syndicated television series represented by the Motion Picture Association of America, and the copyright owners of sports programming represented by the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball. The agreement proposed rates for the private home viewing of distant superstations and distant network stations for the 2005-2009 period, as well as the viewing of those signals for commercial establishments.

As required by statute, the Library provided public notice of the royalty fees from the voluntary agreement and afforded parties an opportunity to state that they object to those fees. 17 U.S.C. 119(c)(1)(D)(ii)(II). The Library published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on May 17, 2005, to fulfill this requirement. 70 FR 28231 (May 17, 2005). The Office received no objections as a result of the Notice. Consequently, the Library adopted the rates as set forth in the voluntary agreement as final. 70 FR 39178 (Jul. 7, 2006).

The terms and conditions of the agreement were codified at Section 258.4 of the Copyright Office’s rules. Paragraph (d) of the rule states the royalty rate for secondary transmission of digital signals of broadcast stations by satellite carriers and the process for readjusting the rates for the accounting period commencing on January 1, 2008. For private home viewing, the 2007 rate per subscriber per month for distant superstations and network stations shall be adjusted for the amount of inflation Start Printed Page 68199as measured by the change in the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers from January 2007 to January 2008. For viewing in commercial establishments, the 2007 rate per subscriber per month for viewing distant superstations in commercial establishments shall be adjusted for the amount of inflation as measured by the change in the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers from January 2007 to January 2008.

Conclusion. The Office shall be adjusting the royalty rates for the secondary transmission of the analog and digital transmissions of network and superstations to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers from January 2007 to January 2008. Another notice will be published after January 1, 2008, to announce the new CPI adjustments.

Start Signature

Dated: November 29, 2007.

Tanya M. Sandros,

General Counsel

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E7-23520 Filed 12-3-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 1410-30-S