[Federal Register: July 30, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 146)]


[Page 41473]




Copyright Office

[Docket No. 99-5 CARP CD 97]


Ascertainment of Controversy for 1997 Cable Royalty Funds

AGENCY: Copyright Office, Library of Congress.

ACTION: Notice with request for comments.


SUMMARY: The Copyright Office of the Library of Congress directs all 

claimants to royalty fees collected for secondary transmission by cable 

systems in 1997 to submit comments as to whether a Phase I or a Phase 

II controversy exists as to the distribution of these funds.

DATES: Comments are due September 28, 1999.

ADDRESSES: If sent by mail, an original and five copies of written 

comments and a Notice of Intent to Participate should be addressed to: 

Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel (CARP), PO Box 70977, Southwest 

Station, Washington, DC 20024. If hand-delivered, an original and five 

copies of written comments and a Notice of Intent to Participate should 

be brought to: Office of the Copyright General Counsel, James Madison 

Memorial Building, LM-403, First and Independence Avenue, SE, 

Washington, D.C. 20559-6000.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David O. Carson, General Counsel, or 

Tanya M. Sandros, Attorney Advisor, Copyright Arbitration Royalty 

Panels, PO Box 70977, Southwest Station, Washington, DC 20024. 

Telephone: (202) 707-8380. Telefax: (202) 252-3423.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Each year, cable systems submit royalties to 

the U.S. Copyright Office under a statutory license which allows cable 

systems to retransmit broadcast signals to their subscribers. 17 U.S.C. 

111. These royalties are distributed, in turn, in one of two ways to 

copyright owners whose works were included in a cable system's 

secondary transmission and who timely filed a claim with the Copyright 


    These copyright owners may either negotiate a settlement agreement 

among themselves as to the distribution of the royalty fees, or the 

Librarian of Congress may convene an ad hoc Copyright Arbitration 

Royalty Panel (CARP) to determine the final distribution of the royalty 

fees which remain in controversy. See 17 U.S.C. chapter 8. The 

Copyright Act also allows the copyright owners to receive a partial 

distribution of the royalty fees prior to the final determination so 

long as sufficient funds are withheld from distribution ``to satisfy 

all claims with respect to which a controversy exists.'' 17 U.S.C. 


    Each year since 1996, representatives of the Phase I claimant 

categories to which royalties have been allocated in prior distribution 

proceedings have filed with the Copyright Office a motion for partial 

distribution of the cable royalties collected two years prior to the 

requested distribution. However, before beginning a distribution 

proceeding or making a partial distribution, the Librarian of Congress 

must first ascertain whether a controversy exists as to the 

distribution of the funds. 17 U.S.C. 803(d).

    In anticipation of a similar filing in 1999, the Office is 

requesting comment on the existence of any controversies as to the 

distribution of the 1997 cable royalties. The Office also requests that 

those claimants intending to participate in the 1997 distribution 

proceeding file a Notice of Intent to Participate, noting whether they 

anticipate participating in a Phase I proceeding, a Phase II 

proceeding, or both.

    In a Phase I proceeding, the arbitrators ascertain the distribution 

of royalties among the categories of broadcast programming represented 

in the proceeding, and in a Phase II proceeding, the arbitrators settle 

disputes between claimants within a particular category concerning the 

distribution of royalty fees within the group. If a claimant 

anticipates a Phase II controversy, the claimant must state each 

program category in which he or she has an interest which by the end of 

the comment period has not yet been satisfied by private agreement.

    Participants must advise the Office of the existence of all 

controversies, Phase I or Phase II, by the end of the comment period. 

The Office will not consider controversies which come to its attention 

after the close of the comment period. Failure to file a timely Notice 

of Intent to Participate shall also preclude a party from participating 

in this proceeding.

    Dated: July 26, 1999.

Marybeth Peters,

Register of Copyrights.

[FR Doc. 99-19585 Filed 7-29-99; 8:45 am]