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Distribution of 2018 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 2018 cable royalty funds.


Comments are due on or before June 17, 2020.


Interested claimants must submit timely comments using eCRB, Start Printed Page 29754the Copyright Royalty Board's online electronic filing application, at​.

Instructions: All submissions must include a reference to the CRB and this docket number. All submissions will be posted without change to eCRB at​ including any personal information provided.

Docket: For access to the docket to read submitted background documents or comments, go to eCRB, the Copyright Royalty Board's online electronic filing and case management system, at​, and search for Docket No. 19-CRB-0010-CD (2018).

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Anita Blaine, CRB 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 detailed 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 file a timely 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), 801(b)(3)(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), 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. 111(d)(4)(C), 801(b)(3)(C).

On May 11, 2020, representatives of all the Allocation Phase (formerly “Phase I”) claimant categories [1] filed with the Judges a motion pursuant to section 801(b)(3)(C) of the Copyright Act requesting a partial distribution amounting to 40% of the 2018 cable royalty funds on deposit. That statutory 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. 17 U.S.C. 801(b)(3)(C).

Accordingly, this notice seeks comments from interested claimants on whether any reasonable objection exists that would preclude the distribution of 40% of the 2018 cable royalty funds to the requesting claimant representatives. Parties objecting to the proposed 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 that come to their attention after the close of the comment period.

Members of the public may read the motion by accessing the Copyright Royalty Board's electronic filing and case management system at​and searching for Docket No. 19-CRB-0010-CD (2018).

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Dated: May 13, 2020.

Jesse M. Feder,

Chief U.S. Copyright Royalty Judge.

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1.  The representatives 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, which represent traditionally recognized claimant categories. The Judges have not determined, and do not by this notice determine, the universe of claimant categories for 2018 cable retransmission royalties.

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[FR Doc. 2020-10609 Filed 5-15-20; 8:45 am]