DART Factsheet on Filing Claims for Royalty Distribution
The Copyright Royalty Tribunal Reform Act of 1993, PL 103-198, eliminated the Copyright Royalty Tribunal (CRT) and replaced it with ad hoc Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panels (CARPs) administered by the Librarian of Congress and the Copyright Office. CARPs adjust copyright royalty rates and distribute royalties to eligible claimants.
How Are DART Royalties Created?
The Audio Home Recording Act of 1992, PL 102-563 created a new statutory obligation under the Copyright Code, chapter 10 of title 17 U.S.C. Under the Act, manufacturers and importers of digital audio recording devices and media who distribute the products in the United States must: (1) file an initial notice upon distribution of such devices and media; and (2) submit quarterly and annual statements of account and royalty fees to the Licensing Division of the Copyright Office, which invests the fees in U.S. Treasury securities until royalties are scheduled for distribution.
Who Can File DART Claims?
Section 1006 of the Act authorizes the distribution of DART royalty payments to any interested copyright party who has filed a claim and whose musical work or sound recording has been: (1) embodied in a digital or analog musical recording lawfully made and distributed; and (2) distributed in the form of digital or analog musical recordings or disseminated to the public in transmissions, during the appropriate royalty payment period. Content of DART Claims Claimants must file an original and two copies. The Copyright Office provides no forms printed or otherwise. All claims must be signed by the claimant or the claimant s representative. The claimant must provide: (1) the full legal names of the person or entity claiming royalty payments; (2) the telephone number, facsimile number, if any, and the full address, including a specific street number and name or rural route, of the place of business of the person or entity; (3) a statement as to how the claimant fits the definition of interested copyright party; (4) a statement indicating the fund and subfund the claim is for:
Sound Recordings Fund:*Royalties in these two subfunds are distributed by the Copyright Office in accordance with the Act directly to an independent administrator. Musical Works Fund:Copyright Owners Subfund
Claims filed for more than one subfund must be filed separately; and (5) identification of at least one musical work or sound recording establishing the basis for the claim. If a claimant moves or has a name change after filing a claim, the claimant must notify the Copyright Office of the change. Note: Changes must be sent to the CARP address.
Deadlines for Filing Claims
By statute, the Copyright Office must receive claims during the months of January and February following the year for which royalties are sought. The Copyright Office will accept claims bearing January and February U.S. postmarks by the U.S. Postal Service. Failure to file a claim on a timely basis forfeits a persons claim to any portion of the previous calendar years funds. Claims must be sent to the CARP address noted below. Claims filed bearing only a business meter date which are received after the deadline will not be accepted. No claims may be filed by facsimile transmission.
Interested copyright owners and the American Federation of Musicians or the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists appoint an independent administrator by March 31 to manage and distribute royalty payments to Nonfeatured Vocalists or nonfeatured Musicians, respectively.
Distribution of Royalties
After the filing deadline, the Librarian places a notice in the Federal Register to ascertain whether there are any controversies among the claimants as to the proper distribution of royalties. If there are no controversies, i.e., claimants have settled among themselves, the Library of Congress' Copyright Office distributes the royalties in accordance with the settlement agreements. If there are controversies, the Librarian selects a CARP to distribute the royalties, and the parties bear the entire cost of the proceeding in proportion to their share of the distribution.
Public Inspection of Claims
Claims may be viewed and photocopied Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Public Records Office, Licensing Division, Copyright Office LM-458, James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington, D.C.
Regulations Governing the Distribution of DART Royalties
Before filing DART claims, claimants should consult the regulations governing the distribution of DART royalties in order to comply with statutory requirements. These regulations are found in 37 CFR 251 and 259. They are also available in law libraries or by contacting the Copyright Office.
Where Can One Call for More Information?
Call (202) 707-8380 for general information and (202) 707-8150 to inquire about amounts in the royalty pool.
What Is the CARP Address?
Claims, general correspondence, and statements should be sent to: Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel, P.O. Box 70977, Washington, D.C. 20024.