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Cost of Living Adjustment to Satellite Carrier Compulsory License Royalty Rates

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Copyright Royalty Board, Library of Congress.


Final rule.


The Copyright Royalty Judges announce a cost of living adjustment (“COLA”) of 1.2% in the royalty rates paid by satellite carriers under the satellite carrier compulsory license of the Copyright Act. The COLA is based on the change in the Consumer Price Index from October 2009 to October 2010.


Effective Date: January 1, 2011.

Applicability Dates: These rates are applicable for the period January 1, 2011, through December 31, 2011.

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Richard Strasser, Senior Attorney, or Gina Giuffreda, Attorney Advisor. Telephone: (202) 707-7658. E-mail:

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The satellite carrier compulsory license establishes a statutory copyright licensing scheme for the retransmission of distant television programming by satellite carriers. 17 U.S.C. 119. Congress created the license in 1988 and has reauthorized the license for additional five-year periods, most recently with the passage of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act of 2010, (“STELA”), Public Law 111-175, which was signed into law by the President on May 27, 2010.

Program Suppliers and Joint Sports Claimants (collectively, the “Copyright Owners”) and DIRECTV, Inc., DISH Network, LLC, and National Programming Service, LLC (collectively, the “Satellite Carriers”) submitted a voluntary agreement proposing rates for the section 119 compulsory license for the period 2010-2014 and requested that the proposed rates be applied to all satellite carriers, distributors, and copyright owners without holding a rate proceeding. See 17 U.S.C. 119(c)(1)(D)(ii)(I). After publishing the proposed rates in the Federal Register and receiving no objections, the Judges adopted the rates as final in 37 CFR part 386. 75 FR 53198 (August 31, 2010).

Section 119(c)(2) requires the Judges annually to adjust these rates “to reflect any changes occurring in the cost of living adjustment (for all consumers and for all items) published * * * before December 1 of the preceding year” with such rates being effective on January 1 of each year. 17 U.S.C. 119(c)(2). The Judges are required to publish in the Federal Register “[n]otification of the adjusted fees * * * at least 25 days before January 1.” Id. Today's notice fulfills this obligation.

The change in the cost of living as determined by the CPI-U during the period from the most recent index published before December 1, 2009, to the most recent index published before December 1, 2010, is 1.2%.[1] Rounding to the nearest cent, the royalty rates for the secondary transmission of broadcast stations by satellite carriers for private home viewing and viewing in commercial establishments are 25 cents and 51 cents, respectively.

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List of Subjects in 37 CFR Part 386

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Final Regulations

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For the reasons set forth in the preamble, part 386 of title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

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1. The authority citation for part 386 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 17 U.S.C. 119(c), 801(b)(1).

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2. Section 386.2 is amended by revising paragraphs (b)(1)(ii) and (b)(2)(ii) as follows:

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Royalty fee for secondary transmission by satellite carriers.
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(b)(1) * * *

(ii) 2011: 25 cents per subscriber per month;

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(2) * * *

(ii) 2011: 51 cents per subscriber per month;

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Dated: November 30, 2010.

James Scott Sledge,

Chief U.S. Copyright Royalty Judge.

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1.  The most recent CPI-U figures are published in November of each year and use the period 1982-1984 to establish a reference base of 100. The index for October 2009 was 216.177, while the figure for October 2010 was 218.711.

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[FR Doc. 2010-30416 Filed 12-3-10; 8:45 am]