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Distribution of 2015 Satellite Royalty Funds

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Copyright Royalty Board, Library of Congress.


Notice requesting comments.

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The Copyright Royalty Judges solicit comments on a motion of Allocation Phase claimants for partial distribution of 2015 satellite royalty funds.


Comments are due on or before May 17, 2017.


Interested claimants must submit comments to only one of the following addresses. Unless responding by email or online, claimants must submit an original, five paper copies, and an electronic version on a CD.

Email:; or

U.S. mail: Copyright Royalty Board, P.O. Box 70977, Washington, DC 20024-0977; or

Overnight service (only USPS Express Mail is acceptable): Copyright Royalty Board, P.O. Box 70977, Washington, DC 20024-0977; or

Commercial courier: Address package to: Copyright Royalty Board, Library of Congress, James Madison Memorial Building, LM-403, 101 Independence Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20559-6000. Deliver to: Congressional Courier Acceptance Site, 2nd Street NE. and D Street NE., Washington, DC; or

Hand delivery: Library of Congress, James Madison Memorial Building, LM-401, 101 Independence Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20559-6000.

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Anita Blaine, CRB Program Specialist, by telephone at (202) 707-7658 or email at

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Each year satellite systems must submit royalty payments to the Register of Copyrights as required by the statutory license set forth in section 119 of the Copyright Act for the retransmission to satellite subscribers of over-the-air television broadcast signals. See 17 U.S.C. 119(b). The Copyright Royalty Judges (Judges) oversee distribution of royalties to copyright owners whose works were included in a qualifying transmission and who timely filed a claim for royalties.

Allocation of the royalties collected occurs in one of two ways. In the first instance, the Judges may authorize distribution in accordance with a negotiated settlement among all claiming parties. 17 U.S.C. 119(b)(5)(A), 801(b)(3)(A). If all claimants do not reach an agreement with respect to the royalties, the Judges must conduct a proceeding to determine the distribution of any royalties that remain in controversy. 17 U.S.C. 119(b)(5)(B), 801(b)(3)(B). Alternatively, the Judges may, on motion of claimants and on notice to all interested parties, authorize a partial distribution of royalties, reserving on deposit sufficient funds to resolve identified disputes. 17 U.S.C. 119(b)(5)(C), 801(b)(3)(C).

On February 17, 2017, representatives of all the Allocation Phase claimant categories (formerly “Phase I”) [1] filed with the Judges a motion requesting a partial distribution amounting to 60% of the 2015 satellite royalty funds pursuant to section 801(b)(3)(C) of the Copyright Act. 17 U.S.C. 801(b)(3)(C). That section requires that, before ruling on the motion, the Judges publish a notice in the Federal Register seeking responses to the motion for partial distribution to ascertain whether any claimant entitled to receive the subject royalties has a reasonable objection to the requested distribution. Accordingly, this notice seeks comments from interested claimants on whether any reasonable objection exists that would preclude the distribution of 60% of the 2015 satellite royalty funds to the Allocation Phase Claimants. Parties objecting to the proposed partial distribution must advise the Judges of the existence and extent of all their objections by the end of the comment period. The Judges will not consider any objections with respect to the partial distribution motion that come to their attention after the close of the comment period.

The Motion of the Allocation Phase Claimants is posted on the Copyright Royalty Board Web site at​crb.

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Dated: April 11, 2017.

Suzanne M. Barnett,

Chief U.S. Copyright Royalty Judge.

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1.  The “Allocation Phase Claimants” are Program Suppliers, Joint Sports Claimants, Broadcaster Claimants Group, Music Claimants (represented by American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Broadcast Music, Inc., and SESAC, Inc.), and Devotional Claimants.

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[FR Doc. 2017-07648 Filed 4-14-17; 8:45 am]