Electronic Signatures and Submission for Cable Systems Filing Section 111 Statements of Account

Section 111 of the Copyright Act provides cable operators with a statutory license to retransmit a performance or display of a work embodied in a primary transmission made by a television station licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”). Cable system statutory licensees are required to file Statements of Account and pay royalty fees to the Copyright Office. Statements of Account contain information on a cable operator’s channel line-ups and gross receipts for the sale of cable service to the public. Payments made under the cable statutory license are remitted semi-annually to the Office, which invests the royalties in United States Treasury securities pending distribution of the funds to those copyright owners who are entitled to receive a share of the fees.

The Copyright Office has adopted a final rule amending 37 CFR § 201.17, which prescribes requirements related to the submission of Statements of Account under the section 111 license for secondary transmissions of broadcast programming by cable systems. These changes allow cable systems operating under the statutory license to electronically sign Statements of Account, and to submit these documents to the Office electronically.

To implement these regulatory changes, the Office is releasing fillable electronic versions of its short- and long form Statements of Account, designated as SA1/2E, and SA3E forms. Filers under the section 111 license now have the choice of continuing to use the paper-based forms (designated as SA1/2 and SA3) or switching to their electronic counterparts (designated as SA1/2E and SA3E). In either case, these forms may be signed using an electronic or “s-signature” and submitted to the Office via email, rather than physical mail. To access these forms, and for more information about filing Statements of Account or the section 111 license more generally, please visit the Licensing Division’s section 111 webpage here.