Code of Federal Regulations: Section 261
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Title 37: Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights
(a) This part 261 establishes rates and terms of royalty payments for the public performance of sound recordings in certain digital transmissions by certain Licensees in accordance with the provisions of 17 U.S.C. 114, and the making of ephemeral recordings by certain Licensees in accordance with the provisions of 17 U.S.C. 112(e).
(b) Licensees relying upon the statutory license set forth in 17 U.S.C. 114 shall comply with the requirements of that section and the rates and terms of this part.
(c) Licensees relying upon the statutory license set forth in 17 U.S.C. 112 shall comply with the requirements of that section and the rates and terms of this part.
(d) Notwithstanding the schedule of rates and terms established in this part, the rates and terms of any license agreements entered into by Copyright Owners and services within the scope of 17 U.S.C. 112 and 114 concerning eligible nonsubscription transmissions shall apply in lieu of the rates and terms of this part.
For purposes of this part, the following definitions shall apply:
Aggregate Tuning Hours mean the total hours of programming that the Licensee has transmitted over the Internet during the relevant period to all end users within the United States from all channels and stations that provide audio programming consisting, in whole or in part, of eligible nonsubscription transmissions. By way of example, if a service transmitted one hour of programming to 10 simultaneous listeners, the service's Aggregate Tuning Hours would equal 10. Likewise, if one listener listened to a service for 10 hours, the service's Aggregate Tuning Hours would equal 10.
Business Establishment Service is a Licensee that is entitled to transmit to the public a performance of a sound recording under the limitation on exclusive rights specified by 17 U.S.C. 114(d)(1)(C)(iv) and that obtains a compulsory license under 17 U.S.C. 112(e) to make ephemeral recordings for the sole purpose of facilitating those exempt transmissions.
Commercial Broadcaster is a Licensee that owns and operates a terrestrial AM or FM radio station that is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission to make over-the-air broadcasts, other than a CPB-Affiliated or Non-CPB-Affiliated, Non-Commercial Broadcaster.
Copyright Owner is a sound recording copyright owner who is entitled to receive royalty payments made under this part pursuant to the statutory licenses under 17 U.S.C. 112(e) or 114.
Designated Agent is the agent designated by the Librarian of Congress for the receipt of royalty payments made pursuant to this part from the Receiving Agent. The Designated Agent shall make further distribution of those royalty payments to Copyright Owners and Performers that have been identified in §261.4(c).
Ephemeral Recording is a phonorecord created solely for the purpose of facilitating a transmission of a public performance of a sound recording under the limitations on exclusive rights specified by 17 U.S.C. 114(d)(1)(C)(iv) or under a statutory license in accordance with 17 U.S.C. 114(f), and subject to the limitations specified in 17 U.S.C. 112(e).
Gross proceeds mean all fees and payments, as used in §261.3(d), including those made in kind, received from any source before, during or after the License term which are derived from the use of copyrighted sound recordings pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 112(e) for the sole purpose of facilitating a transmission to the public of a performance of a sound recording under the limitation on the exclusive rights specified in section 114(d)(1)(c)(iv).
Licensee is: (1) A person or entity that has obtained a compulsory license under 17 U.S.C. 112 or 114 and the implementing regulations therefor to make eligible non-subscription transmissions and ephemeral recordings, or
(2) A person or entity entitled to transmit to the public a performance of a sound recording under the limitation on exclusive rights specified by 17 U.S.C. 114(d)(1)(C)(iv) and that has obtained a compulsory license under 17 U.S.C. 112 to make ephemeral recordings.
Listener is a recipient of a transmission of a public performance of a sound recording made by a Licensee or a Business Establishment Service. However, if more than one person is listening to a transmission made to a single machine or device, those persons collectively constitute a single listener.
Non-CPB, Non-Commercial Broadcaster is a Public Broadcasting Entity as defined in 17 U.S.C. 118(g) that is not qualified to receive funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting pursuant to the criteria set forth in 47 U.S.C. 396.
Performance is each instance in which any portion of a sound recording is publicly performed to a listener via a Web Site transmission or retransmission (e.g. the delivery of any portion of a single track from a compact disc to one listener) but excluding the following:
(1) A performance of a sound recording that does not require a license (e.g., the sound recording is not copyrighted);
(2) A performance of a sound recording for which the service has previously obtained license from the copyright owner of such sound recording; and
(3) An incidental performance that both: (i) Makes no more than incidental use of sound recordings including, but not limited to, brief musical transitions in and out of commercials or program segments, brief performances during news, talk and sports programming, brief background performances during disk jockey announcements, brief performances during commercials of sixty seconds or less in duration, or brief performances during sporting or other public events; and
(ii) Other than ambient music that is background at a public event, does not contain an entire sound recording and does not feature a particular sound recording of more than thirty seconds (as in the case of a sound recording used as a theme song).
Performer means the respective independent administrators identified in 17 U.S.C. 114(g)(2)(A) and (B) and the parties identified in 17 U.S.C. 114(g)(2)(C).
Receiving Agent is the agent designated by the Librarian of Congress for the collection of royalty payments made pursuant to this part by Licensees and the distribution of those royalty payments to Designated Agents, and that has been identified as such in §261.4(b). The Receiving Agent may also be a Designated Agent.
Side channel is a channel on the Web Site of a Commercial Broadcaster or a Non-CPB, Non-Commercial Broadcaster, which channel transmits eligible non-subscription transmissions that are not simultaneously transmitted over-the-air by the Licensee.
Webcaster is a Licensee, other than a Commercial Broadcaster, Non-CPB, Non-Commercial Broadcaster or Business Establishment Service, that makes eligible non-subscription transmissions of digital audio programming over the Internet through a Web Site.
Web Site is a site located on the World Wide Web that can be located by an end user through a principal Uniform Resource Locator (a “URL”), e.g., www.xxxxx.com.
§261.3 Royalty fees for public performances of sound recordings and for ephemeral recordings.
(a) For the period October 28, 1998, through December 31, 2002, royalty rates and fees for eligible digital transmissions of sound recordings made pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 114(d)(2), and the making of ephemeral recordings pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 112(e) shall be as follows:
(1) Webcaster and Commercial Broadcaster Performance Royalty. For all Internet transmissions, including simultaneous Internet retransmissions of over-the-air AM or FM radio broadcasts, a Webcaster and a Commercial Broadcaster shall pay a section 114(f) performance royalty of 0.07¢ per performance.
(2) Non-CPB, Non-Commercial Broadcaster Performance Royalty.
(i) For simultaneous Internet retransmissions of over-the-air AM or FM broadcasts by the same radio station, a non-CPB, Non-Commercial Broadcaster shall pay a section 114(f) performance royalty of 0.02¢ per performance.
(ii) For other Internet transmissions, including up to two side channels of programming consistent with the mission of the station, a Non-CPB, Non-Commercial Broadcaster shall pay a section 114(f) performance royalty of 0.02¢ per performance.
(iii) For Internet transmissions on other side channels of programming, a Non-CPB, Non-Commercial Broadcaster shall pay a section 114(f) performance royalty of 0.07¢ per performance.
(b) Estimate of Performance. Until December 31, 2002, a Webcaster, Commercial Broadcaster, or Non-CPB, Non-Commercial Broadcaster may estimate its total number of performances if the actual number is not available. Such estimation shall be based on multiplying the total number of Aggregate Tuning Hours by 15 performances per hour (1 performance per hour in the case of transmissions or retransmissions of radio station programming reasonably classified as news, business, talk or sports, and 12 performances per hour in the case of transmissions or retransmissions of all other radio station programming).
(c) Webcaster and Broadcaster Ephemeral Recordings Royalty. For the making of any number of ephemeral recordings to facilitate the Internet transmission of a sound recording, each Webcaster, Commercial Broadcaster, and Non-CPB, Non-Commercial Broadcaster shall pay a section 112(e) royalty equal to 8.8% of their total performance royalty.
(d) Business Establishment Ephemeral Recordings Royalty. For the making of any number of ephemeral recordings in the operation of a service pursuant to the Business Establishment exemption contained in 17 U.S.C. 114(d)(1)(C)(iv), a Business Establishment Service shall pay a section 112(e) ephemeral recording royalty equal to ten percent (10%) of the Licensee's annual gross proceeds derived from the use in such service of the musical programs which are attributable to copyrighted recordings. The attribution of gross proceeds to copyrighted recordings may be made on the basis of:
(1) For classical programs, the proportion that the playing time of copyrighted classical recordings bears to the total playing time of all classical recordings in the program,
(2) For all other programs, the proportion that the number of copyrighted recordings bears to the total number of all recordings in the program.
(e) Minimum fee. (1) Each Webcaster, Commercial Broadcaster, and Non-CPB, Non-Commercial Broadcaster licensed to make eligible digital transmissions and/or ephemeral recordings pursuant to licenses under 17 U.S.C. 114(f) and/or 17 U.S.C. 112(e) shall pay a minimum fee of $500 for each calendar year, or part thereof, in which it makes such transmissions or recordings.
(2) Each Business Establishment Service licensed to make ephemeral recordings pursuant to a license under 17 U.S.C. 112(e) shall pay a minimum fee of $10,000 for each calendar year, or part thereof, in which it makes such recordings.
§261.4 Terms for making payment of royalty fees and statements of account.
(a) A Licensee shall make the royalty payments due under §261.3 to the Receiving Agent. If there are more than one Designated Agent representing Copyright Owners or Performers entitled to receive any portion of the royalties paid by the Licensee, the Receiving Agent shall apportion the royalty payments among Designated Agents using the information provided by the Licensee pursuant to the regulations governing records of use of performances for the period for which the royalty payment was made. Such apportionment shall be made on a reasonable basis that uses a methodology that values all performances equally and is agreed upon among the Receiving Agent and the Designated Agents. Within 30 days of adoption of a methodology for apportioning royalties among Designated Agents, the Receiving Agent shall provide the Register of Copyrights with a detailed description of that methodology.
(b) Until such time as a new designation is made, SoundExchange, an unincorporated division of the Recording Industry Association of America, Inc., is designated as the Receiving Agent to receive statements of account and royalty payments from Licensees. Until such time as a new designation is made, Royalty Logic, Inc. and SoundExchange are designated as Designated Agents to distribute royalty payments to Copyright Owners and Performers entitled to receive royalties under 17 U.S.C. 114(g)(2) from the performance of sound recordings owned by such Copyright Owners.
(c) SoundExchange is the Designated Agent to distribute royalty payments to each Copyright Owner and Performer entitled to receive royalties under 17 U.S.C. 114(g)(2) from the performance of sound recordings owned by such Copyright Owners, except when a Copyright Owner or Performer has notified SoundExchange in writing of an election to receive royalties from a particular Designated Agent. With respect to any royalty payment received by the Receiving Agent from a Licensee, a designation by a Copyright Owner or Performer of a particular Designated Agent must be made no later than thirty days prior to the receipt by the Receiving Agent of that royalty payment.
(d) Commencing September 1, 2002, a Licensee shall make any payments due under §261.3 to the Receiving Agent by the forty-fifth (45th) day after the end of each month for that month. Concurrently with the delivery of payment to the Receiving Agent, a Licensee shall deliver to each Designated Agent a copy of the statement of account for such payment. A Licensee shall pay a late fee of 0.75% per month, or the highest lawful rate, whichever is lower, for any payment received by the Receiving Agent after the due date. Late fees shall accrue from the due date until payment is received by the Receiving Agent.
(e) A Licensee shall make any payments due under §261.3 for transmissions made between October 28, 1998, and August 31, 2002, to the Receiving Agent by October 20, 2002.
(f) A Licensee shall submit a monthly statement of account for accompanying royalty payments on a form prepared by the Receiving Agent after full consultation with all Designated Agents. The form shall be made available to the Licensee by the Receiving Agent. A statement of account shall include only such information as is necessary to calculate the accompanying royalty payment. Additional information beyond that which is sufficient to calculate the royalty payments to be paid shall not be required to be included on the statement of account.
(g) The Receiving Agent shall make payments of the allocable share of any royalty payment received from any Licensee under this section to the Designated Agent(s) as expeditiously as is reasonably possible following receipt of the Licensee's royalty payment and statement of account as well as the Licensee's Report of Use of Sound Recordings under Statutory License for the period to which the royalty payment and statement of account pertain, with such allocation to be made on the basis determined as set forth in paragraph (a) of this section. The Receiving Agent and the Designated Agent shall agree on a reasonable basis on the sharing on a pro-rata basis of any incremental costs directly associated with the allocation method. A final adjustment, if necessary, shall be agreed and paid or refunded, as the case may be, between the Receiving Agent and a Designated Agent for each calendar year no later than 180 days following the end of each calendar year.
(h) The Designated Agent shall distribute royalty payments on a reasonable basis that values all performances by a Licensee equally based upon the information provided by the Licensee pursuant to the regulations governing records of use of performances; Provided, however, that Copyright Owners and Performers who have designated a particular Designated Agent may agree to allocate their shares of the royalty payments among themselves on an alternative basis.
(i)(1) A Designated Agent shall provide to the Register of Copyrights:
(i) A detailed description of its methodology for distributing royalty payments to Copyright Owners and Performers who have not agreed to an alternative basis for allocating their share of royalty payments (hereinafter, “non-members”), and any amendments thereto, within 30 days of adoption and no later than 60 days prior to the first distribution to Copyright Owners and Performers of any royalties distributed pursuant to that methodology;
(ii) Any written complaint that the Designated Agent receives from a non-member concerning the distribution of royalty payments, within 30 days of receiving such written complaint; and
(iii) The final disposition by the Designated Agent of any complaint specified by paragraph (i)(1)(ii) of this section, within 60 days of such disposition.
(2) A Designated Agent may request that the Register of Copyrights provide a written opinion stating whether the Agent's methodology for distributing royalty payments to non-members meets the requirements of this section.
(j) A Designated Agent shall distribute such royalty payments directly to the Copyright Owners and Performers, according to the percentages set forth in 17 U.S.C. 114(g)(2), if such Copyright Owners and Performers provide the Designated Agent with adequate information necessary to identify the correct recipient for such payments. However, Performers and Copyright Owners may jointly agree with a Designated Agent upon payment protocols to be used by the Designated Agent that provide for alternative arrangements for the payment of royalties to Performers and Copyright Owners consistent with the percentages in 17 U.S.C. 114(g)(2).
(k) A Designated Agent may deduct from the royalties paid to Copyright Owners and Performers reasonable costs incurred in the collection and distribution of the royalties paid by Licensees under §261.3, and a reasonable charge for administration.
(l) In the event a Designated Agent and a Receiving Agent cannot agree upon a methodology for apportioning royalties pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, either the Receiving Agent or a Designated Agent may seek the assistance of the Copyright Office in resolving the dispute.
§261.5 Confidential information.
(a) For purposes of this part, “Confidential Information” shall include the statements of account, any information contained therein, including the amount of royalty payments, and any information pertaining to the statements of account reasonably designated as confidential by the Licensee submitting the statement.
(b) Confidential Information shall not include documents or information that at the time of delivery to the Receiving Agent or a Designated Agent are public knowledge. The Receiving Agent or a Designated Agent that claims the benefit of this provision shall have the burden of proving that the disclosed information was public knowledge.
(c) In no event shall the Receiving Agent or Designated Agent(s) use any Confidential Information for any purpose other than royalty collection and distribution and activities directly related thereto; Provided, however, that the Designated Agent may report Confidential Information provided on statements of account under this part in aggregated form, so long as Confidential Information pertaining to any Licensee or group of Licensees cannot directly or indirectly be ascertained or reasonably approximated. All reported aggregated Confidential Information from Licensees within a class of Licensees shall concurrently be made available to all Licensees then in such class. As used in this paragraph, the phrase “class of Licensees” means all Licensees paying fees pursuant to §261.4(a).
(d) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section and as required by law, access to Confidential Information shall be limited to, and in the case of paragraphs (d)(3) and (d)(4) of this section shall be provided upon request, subject to resolution of any relevance or burdensomeness concerns and reimbursement of reasonable costs directly incurred in responding to such request, to:
(1) Those employees, agents, consultants and independent contractors of the Receiving Agent or a Designated Agent, subject to an appropriate confidentiality agreement, who are engaged in the collection and distribution of royalty payments hereunder and activities directly related thereto, who are not also employees or officers of a Copyright Owner or Performer, and who, for the purpose of performing such duties during the ordinary course of employment, require access to the records;
(2) An independent and qualified auditor, subject to an appropriate confidentiality agreement, who is authorized to act on behalf of the Receiving Agent or a Designated Agent with respect to the verification of a Licensee's statement of account pursuant to §261.6 or on behalf of a Copyright Owner or Performer with respect to the verification of royalty payments pursuant to §261.7;
(3) In connection with future Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel proceedings under 17 U.S.C. 114(f)(2) and 112(e), under an appropriate protective order, attorneys, consultants and other authorized agents of the parties to the proceedings, Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panels, the Copyright Office or the courts; and
(4) In connection with bona fide royalty disputes or claims by or among Licensees, the Receiving Agent, Copyright Owners, Performers or the Designated Agent(s), under an appropriate confidentiality agreement or protective order, attorneys, consultants and other authorized agents of the parties to the dispute, arbitration panels or the courts.
(e) The Receiving Agent or Designated Agent(s) and any person identified in paragraph (d) of this section shall implement procedures to safeguard all Confidential Information using a reasonable standard of care, but no less than the same degree of security used to protect Confidential Information or similarly sensitive information belonging to such Receiving Agent or Designated Agent(s) or person.
(f) Books and records of a Licensee, the Receiving Agent and of a Designated Agent relating to the payment, collection, and distribution of royalty payments shall be kept for a period of not less than three (3) years.