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Distribution of 2019 Satellite 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 2019 satellite royalty funds.


Comments are due on or before July 26, 2021.


Interested claimants must submit timely comments using eCRB, the Copyright Royalty Board's online electronic filing application, at

Instructions: All submissions must include a reference to the CRB and docket number 20-CRB-0009-SD (2019). 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. 20-CRB-0009-SD (2019).

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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 providers 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 June 10, 2021, representatives of all the Allocation Phase (formerly “Phase I”) claimant categories [1] filed with the Judges a motion requesting a partial distribution amounting to 40% of the 2019 satellite royalty funds on deposit pursuant to section 801(b)(3)(C) of the Copyright Act. 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 2019 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.

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. 20-CRB-0009-SD (2019).

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Dated: June 15, 2021.

Jesse M. Feder,

Chief Copyright Royalty Judge.

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1.  The representatives are Program Suppliers; Joint Sports Claimants; Commercial Television Claimants Group; Devotional Claimants; Broadcast Music, Inc.; American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers; and SESAC, Inc., which represent traditionally recognized claimant categories. The Judges have not determined, and do not by this notice determine, the universe of claimant categories for 2019 satellite retransmission royalties.

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[FR Doc. 2021-13418 Filed 6-23-21; 8:45 am]