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Distribution of 2015 Cable Royalty Funds

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Copyright Royalty Board, Library of Congress.


Notice requesting comments.


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


Comments are due on or before May 25, 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 Start Printed Page 19092Board, 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, Program Specialist, by telephone at (202) 707-7658 or email at

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Each year cable systems must submit royalty payments to the Register of Copyrights as required by the statutory license set forth in section 111 of the Copyright Act for the retransmission to cable subscribers of over-the-air television and radio broadcast signals. See 17 U.S.C. 111(d). 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. 111(d)(4)(A). If all claimants do not reach 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. 111(d)(4)(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. 111(d)(4)(C), 801(b)(3)(C).

On February 17, 2017, representatives of the Allocation Phase (formerly Phase I) Parties (“Allocation Phase Claimants”) [1] filed with the Judges a motion requesting a partial distribution amounting to 60% of the 2015 cable 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 cable royalty funds to the Allocation Phase Claimants. Parties objecting to the partial distribution must advise the Judges of the existence and extent of all 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 Judges have caused the Motion of the Allocation Phase Claimants for Partial Distribution to be posted on the Copyright Royalty Board Web site at​crb.

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Dated: April 19, 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; Public Television Claimants; National Association of Broadcasters; American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers; Broadcast Music, Inc.; SESAC, Inc.; Canadian Claimants Group; Devotional Claimants, and National Public Radio. In the Allocation Phase of a cable royalty distribution proceeding, the Judges allocate royalties among certain categories of claimants whose broadcast programming has been retransmitted by cable systems. The “Allocation Phase Claimants” who are the moving parties in this requested partial distribution represent traditional claimant categories. The Judges have not and do not by this notice determine the universe of claimant categories for 2015 cable retransmission royalties.

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[FR Doc. 2017-08289 Filed 4-24-17; 8:45 am]