Statutory License for Secondary Transmissions by Cable Systems - Section 111


An important message for cable operators on filing Statements of Account: Beginning with the January 1 to June 30, 2017 accounting period (2017/1), the U.S. Copyright Office now allows cable systems operating under the section 111 statutory license for secondary transmissions of broadcast programming to electronically sign Statements of Account, and to submit these documents to the Office electronically. For details see the Federal Register, May 19, 2017 (82 FR 22884).


The Office has released fillable electronic versions of its short- and long-form Statements of Account. Filers under the section 111 license now have the choice of continuing to use the paper-based forms (either the paper forms you receive in the mail semi-annually from the Copyright Office or the PDF forms available on the Copyright Office’s website that print out for mailing), or switching to their electronic counterparts. For paper forms, filers have the option of signing either with a handwritten signature or using an electronic or “s-signature” (e.g., /s/ John Smith), and then submitting the form to the Office either via physical mail in accordance with the instructions on the paper form, or via email to [email protected]. For paper forms submitted via physical mail, a legible copy of the Statement of Account must be submitted together with the original. For the electronic forms, filers must sign the form using an electronic or “s-signature” (e.g., /s/ John Smith), and must submit the electronic form in native Excel format via email to [email protected]. Do not print and mail the electronic form to the Office via physical mail. To confirm receipt of an electronic form, the Copyright Office will email a PDF version of the electronic form to the cable operator, using the email address designated in Space N of the form.


To access the electronic short- and long-form Statements of Account, please click the “SA1-2E SHORT FORM” or “SA3E LONG FORM” links on this page under “Related Information.”


NOTE: [email protected] has a file size limitation of 20 MB for each submission. Submit one email for each Statement of Account. The Office will not accept multiple or batch Statement of Account filings in one email.


Section 111 of the Copyright Act of 1976, Title 17 of the United States Code, established a compulsory licensing system under which cable systems may make secondary transmissions of copyrighted works. The license prescribes various conditions under which cable systems may obtain a compulsory license to retransmit copyrighted works, including the filing of statements of account forms. It also establishes the requirements governing the form, and content of the filing of these semi-annual statements and submission of statutory royalty payments. 37 CFR 201.17

The law requires a cable system to file statements of account for two purposes:

(1) To show basis for the semiannual royalty fee the cable system owes under its statutory license; and
(2) To give the information needed to allocate royalty fees among copyright owners.
FILL OUT A STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT FORM WHEN:
  • You are the legal owner (or represent the owner) of a cable system on the last day of the accounting period; and
  • You are filing the semiannual statement of account required by the copyright law; and
  • You are also depositing the required semiannual royalty fee and filing fee with the Licensing Division of the Copyright Office.

STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT FORMS TO USE:

If your figure for semiannual gross receipts in Space K is less than $527,600, use either the paper SA 1-2 (PAPER SA1-2 SHORT FORM) or Excel-based SA1-2E form (SA1-2E SHORT FORM)

If your figure for semiannual gross receipts in Space K is $527,600 or more, use either the paper SA3 form (PAPER SA3 LONG FORM) or Excel-based SA3E form (SA3E LONG FORM)

NOTE: If you are filing for an accounting period prior to the January 1 to June 30, 2017 accounting period (2017/1), contact the Licensing Division for the correct form.