[Federal Register: April 30, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 83)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 21176-21178]
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

Copyright Office

37 CFR Parts 252 and 257

[Docket No. 2002-5 CARP]

 
Filing of Claims for Cable and Satellite Royalties


AGENCY: Copyright Office, Library of Congress.


ACTION: Waiver of regulation.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Due to the continued disruption in the delivery of mail, the 
Copyright Office of the Library of Congress is announcing alternative 
methods for the filing of claims to the cable and satellite royalty 
funds for the year 2001. In order to ensure that their claims are 
timely received, claimants are encouraged to file their cable and 
satellite claims electronically, utilizing the special procedures 
described in this document.


EFFECTIVE DATE: April 30, 2002.


ADDRESSES: If hand delivered, an original and two copies of each claim 
should be brought to: Office of the Copyright General Counsel, James 
Madison Memorial Building, Room 403, First and Independence Avenue, SE, 
Washington, DC 20540 from July 1, 2002 through July 31, 2002. 
Submissions by electronic mail should be made to the following: for 
cable claims [email protected]; for satellite claims 
[email protected] See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for information 
about on-line electronic filing through the Copyright Office website. 
If sent by mail, an original and two copies of each claim should be 
addressed to: Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel (CARP), P.O. Box 
70977, Southwest Station, Washington, DC. 20024.

[[Page 21177]]


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tanya Sandros, Senior Attorney or 
Susan Grimes, CARP Specialist, P.O. Box 70977, Southwest Station, 
Washington, DC 20024. Telephone: (202) 707-8380. Telefax: (202) 252-
3423.


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Section 111 of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C., places a statutory 
obligation on cable systems who retransmit over-the-air broadcast 
signals to submit royalty fees to the Copyright Office for such 
retransmissions. Distribution of the royalty fees is made to copyright 
owners whose works were embodied in those retransmissions made by cable 
systems. 17 U.S.C. 111(d)(3). In order to claim eligibility for a 
distribution of cable royalty fees, a claimant must submit to the 
Copyright Office a claim during the month of July following the 
calendar year in which the retransmission took place. 17 U.S.C. 
111(d)(4)(A). The regulations governing the content and submission of 
cable claims are found at 37 CFR part 252.
    Likewise, copyright owners whose works were embodied in over-the-
air television broadcast signals retransmitted by satellite carriers 
may seek a distribution of the satellite royalty fees collected by the 
Copyright Office. 17 U.S.C. 119. Eligibility for satellite royalty fees 
is predicated upon the submission of a claim in the month of July 
following the calendar year in which the retransmission took place. 17 
U.S.C. 119(b)(4)(A). The regulations governing the content and 
submission of satellite claims are found at 37 CFR part 257.
    For both a cable and a satellite claim, a claim is considered 
timely filed with the Copyright Office if it is hand delivered to the 
correct office within the Copyright Office during the month of July, or 
if it is mailed to the correct address and it bears a July U.S. Postal 
Service postmark. See 37 CFR 252.4 (cable); 37 CFR 257.4 (satellite). 
The regulations do not provide for the filing of cable and satellite 
claims by alternative methods such as electronic submission and, until 
now, the Office has perceived no need for alternative methods in filing 
these claims.
    Unfortunately, recent events, namely the concerns about anthrax in 
the United States Postal Service facilities in the District of 
Columbia, have caused severe disruptions of postal service to the 
Office since October 17, 2001. See 66 FR 62942 (December 4, 2001) and 
66 FR 63267 (December 5, 2001). While mail delivery to the Office has 
now resumed, it has been sporadic and all incoming mail continues to be 
diverted to an off-site location for treatment, considerably delaying 
its delivery. Consequently, in light of these disruptions and delays, 
the Office is offering and recommending alternative methods for the 
filing of cable and satellite claims to the 2001 royalty funds. The 
alternative methods set forth in this Notice apply only to the filing 
of cable and satellite claims for the 2001 royalties which are due by 
July 31, 2002, and in no way apply to other filings with the Office.
    Whatever method you choose to use in filing your claims for 
royalties, you are strongly advised to send your claims early in the 
month of July. Persons submitting claims at the end of the month risk 
missing the deadline for submission of claims.
    This Notice covers only the means by which claims may be accepted 
as timely filed; all other filing requirements, such as the content of 
claims, remain unchanged, except as noted herein. See 37 CFR parts 252 
(cable) and 257 (satellite).

Acceptable Methods of Filing Cable and Satellite Claims for the 
Year 2001

    Claims to the 2001 cable and satellite royalty funds may be 
submitted as follows:

a. Hand Delivery

    In order to best ensure the timely receipt by the Copyright Office 
of their cable and satellite claims, the Office encourages claimants 
who do not file their claims electronically to deliver their claims 
personally by 5 p.m. E.S.T. during the month of July, 2002, and no 
later than July 31, 2002, to the Office of the Copyright General 
Counsel, James Madison Memorial Building, Room 403, First and 
Independence Avenue, SE, Washington, DC. Private carriers should not be 
used for such delivery, as packages brought in by private carriers may 
be subject to treatment at the off-site facility before being delivered 
to the Office and may be deemed untimely and rejected unless the 
treated package is received by the Office of the Copyright General 
Counsel by 5 p.m. E.S.T. on July 31, 2002. Thus, claims should be hand 
delivered by the claimant or a representative of the claimant (i.e., 
the claimant's attorney or a member of the attorney's staff).
    Claimants hand delivering their claims should note that they must 
follow all provisions set forth in 37 CFR parts 252 and 257.

b. Electronic Mail Submission

    Claimants may submit their claims via electronic mail as file 
attachments. Cable claims should be sent to [email protected] 
Satellite claims should be sent to [email protected] These 
electronic mailboxes will not be operational before July 1, 2002. The 
Office has devised forms for both single and joint cable and satellite 
claims. The form for cable claims is posted at 
http://www.copyright.gov/carp/cable/claims.html. The form for 
satellite claims is posted at
http://www.copyright.gov/carp/satellite/claims.html. 
These forms will be available at these locations by July 
1, 2002. Claimants filing their claims via electronic mail must use 
these and only these forms, and the forms must be sent in either Adobe 
Portable Document (``PDF'') format, in Microsoft Word Version 10.0 or 
earlier, or in WordPerfect 9.0 or earlier. Claims sent as attachments 
using formats other than those specified in this Notice will not be 
accepted. Likewise, claims sent as text messages, and not as 
attachments, will also be rejected.
    It is critically important that cable and satellite claims be sent 
to the correct, separate electronic mail addresses. Claims that are 
sent to the wrong address (e.g. a cable claim sent to 
[email protected]'') will not be accepted.
    When filing claims electronically, all provisions set forth in 37 
CFR parts 252 and 257 apply except Secs. 252.3(b) and 257.3(b), which 
require the original signature of the claimant or of the claimant's 
duly authorized representative on the claim. The Office is waiving this 
provision for this filing period because at this time the Office is not 
equipped to receive and process electronic signatures.
    Claims filed by electronic mail must be received by the Office no 
later than 11:59 p.m. E.S.T. on July 31, 2002. Specifically, the 
electronic message must be received in the Office's server by that 
time. Any claim received after that time will be considered untimely 
filed. Claimants will receive an electronic mail message in response 
stating that the Office has received their submission. Therefore, 
claimants submitting their claims via electronic mail are strongly 
encouraged to send their claims no later than July 30, 2002, in order 
to better ensure timely receipt by the Office and to allow sufficient 
time to receive the electronic mail message that the submission has 
been received.

[[Page 21178]]

c. On-line Submission

    The Office has devised on-line electronic forms for filing both 
single and joint cable and satellite claims from July 1, 2002 through 
July 31, 2002. Claimants will be able to access and complete the forms 
via the Copyright Office website and may submit the forms 
electronically as provided in the instructions accompanying the forms. 
Cable forms will be posted on the Office website at 
http://www.copyright.gov/carp/cable/claims.html. Satellite forms will 
be posted at http://www.copyright.gov/carp/satellite/claims.html.
    Both cable and satellite on-line forms will be available for use 
during the month of July. It is critically important to follow the 
instructions in completing the forms before submitting them to the 
Office. Claims submitted on the wrong form (e.g. a cable claim 
submitted on a satellite form) will not be accepted. Claimants filing 
their claims electronically must use these and only these forms. Claims 
submitted on-line using forms or formats other than those provided at 
http://www.copyright.gov/carp/cable/claims.html and 
http://www.copyright.gov/carp/satellite/claims.html will not be 
accepted. Claims filed on-line must be received by the Office no later 
than 11:59 p.m. E.S.T. on July 31, 2002. Specifically, the completed 
electronic forms must be received in the Office's server by that time. 
Any claim received after that time will not be considered timely filed. 
Claimants will receive an electronic mail message in response stating 
that the Office has received their submission. Therefore, claimants 
submitting their claims on-line are strongly urged to submit their 
claim no later than July 30, 2002 in order to better assure timely 
receipt by the Office and to allow sufficient time to receive the 
electronic mail message that the submission has been received.

d. By Mail

    Sections 252.4(a)(2) and 257.4(a)(2) direct claimants filing their 
claims by mail to send the claims to the Copyright Arbitration Royalty 
Panel, P.O. Box 70977, Southwest Station, Washington, DC 20024. 
Claimants electing to send their claims by mail are encouraged to send 
their claims by certified mail return receipt requested, to have the 
certified mail receipt (PS Form 3800) stamped by the United States 
Postal Service, and to retain the certified mail receipt in order to 
provide proof of timely filing, in the event that the claim reaches the 
Office after the last day in July. In the event there is a question as 
to whether the claim was deposited with the United States Postal 
Service during the month of July, the claimant must produce the 
certified mail receipt (PS Form 3800) which bears a United States 
Postal Service postmark, indicating an appropriate date.
    As noted above, disruption of the mail service and delivery of 
incoming mail to an off-site decontamination center have considerably 
reduced the timeliness of receipt of mail by the Copyright Office. It 
is conceivable, if not likely, that cable and satellite claims mailed 
to the Office in July may not arrive until many months thereafter. Such 
delays will hamper the Office's ability to compile a claimant list, and 
may dramatically affect the Office's ability to make partial 
distributions of cable and satellite funds not in controversy.\1\ 
Consequently, claimants are strongly urged not to use the mail as a 
means of filing their claims to the 2001 cable and satellite royalty 
funds. Those who do use the mail are advised to send their claims early 
in the month of July. While the Office is not prohibiting the filing of 
claims by mail, those who do so assume the risk that their claim will 
not reach the Office in a timely manner, or at all, and/or that the 
mail, when received by the Office, will be significantly damaged. 
Claims sent by mail should be addressed in accordance with 
Secs. 252.4(a)(2) and 257.4(a)(2), and the Office again strongly 
encourages the claimant to send the claim by certified mail return 
receipt requested, to have the certified mail receipt (PS Form 3800) 
stamped by the United States Postal Service, and to retain the 
certified mail receipt, as it constitutes the only acceptable proof of 
timely filing of the claim. Claims dated only with a business meter 
that are received by the Office after July 31, 2002, will be rejected 
as being untimely filed. Claimants who have ignored this rule have had 
their claims rejected.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ The Office also notes that some of the mail it has recently 
received was damaged due to handling and the decontamination 
process. Damage or destruction of claims sent by mail could 
adversely affect a claimant's eligibility for cable or satellite 
royalties.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    When filing claims by this method, claimants must follow all 
provisions set forth in 37 CFR part 252 for cable claims and part 257 
for satellite claims.

Faxes Not Permitted

    Although the Copyright Office permitted the submission of 2001 
Digital Audio Recording Technology (``DART'') claims via facsimile 
transmission, the Office has determined that, due to the high volume of 
cable and satellite claims received by the Office relative to DART 
claims, it is impractical to permit the faxing of cable and satellite 
claims. Consequently, any cable or satellite claims received by the 
Copyright Office via facsimile transmission will not be accepted.

Waiver of Regulation

    The regulations governing the filing of cable and satellite claims 
require ``the original signature of the claimant or of a duly 
authorized representative of the claimant.'' Sec. 252.3(b) (cable); 
Sec. 257.3(b) (satellite). This Notice however, waives these provisions 
as set forth herein solely for the purpose of filing claims to the 2001 
cable and satellite royalty funds. The Office is not waiving the 
statutory deadline for the filing either cable or satellite claims, a 
deadline the Office has no power to waive. See, United States v. Locke, 
471 U.S. 84, 101 (1985). Thus, claimants are still required to file 
their claims by July 31, 2002.
    Waiver of an agency's rules is ``appropriate only if special 
circumstances warrant a deviation from the general rule and such 
deviation will serve the public interest.'' Northeast Cellular 
Telephone Company v. FCC, 897 F.2d 1164, 1166 (D.C. Cir. 1990); see 
also, Wait Radio v. FCC, 418 F.2d 1153 (D.C. Cir. 1969), cert. denied, 
409 U.S. 1027 (1972). Under ordinary circumstances, the Office is 
reluctant to waive its regulations. However, the recent disruption in 
the delivery of the mail constitutes a special-indeed, an 
extraordinary--circumstance which has forced the Office to deviate from 
its usual mail processing procedures. Thus, given such uncertainties, 
the Office believes that the public interest will best be served by 
waiving, for this filing period only, the requirement that cable and 
satellite claims bear the original signature of the claimant or of a 
duly authorized representative of the claimant when, and only when, 
such claim is filed electronically.

    Dated: April 25, 2002.
David O. Carson,
General Counsel.
[FR Doc. 02-10618 Filed 4-29-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 1410-31-P