[Federal Register: May 18, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 95)]
[Page 27012-27013]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Copyright Office
[Docket No. 97-1 CARP SD 92-95]

Distribution of 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1995 Satellite Royalty 

AGENCY: Copyright Office, Library of Congress.

ACTION: Initiation of arbitration.


SUMMARY: The Librarian of Congress is announcing initiation of the 180-
day arbitration period for the proceeding to distribute the 1992-95 
satellite carrier compulsory license royalties.

DATE: Effective May 18, 1999.

ADDRESSES: All hearings and meetings for the 1992-95 satellite 
distribution proceeding shall take place in the James Madison Memorial 
Building, Room LM-414, First and Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington, 
D.C. 20540.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David O. Carson, General Counsel, or 
William J. Roberts, Jr., Senior Attorney, P.O. Box 70977, Southwest 
Station, Washington, D.C. 20024. Telephone: (202) 707-8380. Telefax: 
(202) 252-3423.


I. Background

    Section 251.72 of 37 CFR provides:

If the Librarian determines that a controversy exists among the 
claimants to either cable, satellite carrier, or digital audio 
recording devices and media royalties, the Librarian shall publish 
in the Federal Register a declaration of controversy along with a 
notice of an initiation of an arbitration proceeding. Such notice 
shall, to the extent feasible, describe the nature, general 
structure and schedule of the proceeding.

The notice published today fulfills the requirements of Sec. 251.72 for 
the distribution of satellite carrier compulsory license royalties for 
the years 1992-95.
    On January 31, 1997, the Copyright Office published a notice in the 
Federal Register requesting comment as to the existence of Phase I and/
or Phase II controversies concerning the distribution of the 1992, 
1993, 1994, and 1995 satellite royalty fees, and in the event that a 
controversy exists, whether to consolidate the determination of the 
distribution of the 1992-95 royalty fees into a single proceeding, or 
to conduct multiple proceedings. 62 FR 4814 (January 31, 1997). The 
notice also requested that each interested party file a Notice of 
Intent to Participate, indicating the level of participation for each 
year, i.e., Phase I, Phase II, or both, with the Office. In response to 
this notice, the following parties identified the existence of 
controversies for distribution of the 1992-95 funds: James Cannings; 
<SUP>1</SUP> the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers 
(ASCAP), Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), and SESAC, Inc. (collectively the 
Music Claimants); Program Suppliers; CBS, Inc.; ABC, Inc.; Public 
Television Claimants; Devotional Claimants; Home Shopping Network; 
Multimedia Entertainment, Inc.; National Broadcasting Company, Inc.; 
Joint Sports Claimants; and Broadcaster Claimants. All but one party 
favored consolidating the 1992-95 satellite funds into a single 
distribution proceeding.

    \1\ Mr. Cannings identified only a Phase II controversy.

    On June 4, 1997, the Office issued an Order consolidating the 
determination of the distribution of the 1992-95 satellite royalty fees 
into a single proceeding and announcing the precontroversy discovery 
schedule for a Phase I proceeding. See Order in Docket No. 97-1 CARP SD 
92-95 (June 4, 1997). The June 4, 1997, Order set September 8, 1997, as 
the beginning of the 45-day precontroversy discovery period, with the 
initiation of the arbitration set for December 1, 1997. This schedule, 
however, proved unworkable, so at the request of the parties, the 
Copyright Office rescheduled the start of the 45-day precontroversy 
discovery period.

[[Page 27013]]

See Order in Docket No. 97-1 CARP SD 92-95 (August 20, 1997). In fact, 
the Office reset the schedule three times before establishing a 
schedule which met the needs of all the parties. See also Orders in 
Docket No. 97-1 CARP SD 92-95 (January 15, 1998, July 20, 1998, and 
October 15, 1998).
    During this time, the parties continued to negotiate among 
themselves. As a result, all of the Phase I parties, with the exception 
of Joint Sports Claimants and Program Suppliers, settled their Phase I 
claims for 15.5% of the total aggregate amount of the satellite royalty 
fees for the years 1992-95. See Order in Docket No. 97-1 CARP SD 92-95 
(December 21, 1998). Thus, the only parties who will appear before the 
CARP in the current Phase I proceeding are the Joint Sports Claimants 
and the Program Suppliers. The 45-day precontroversy discovery period 
for these parties began on January 8, 1999, and proceeded according to 
the schedule announced in the October 15, 1998, Order. However, the 
April 5 initiation date set in that schedule has been rescheduled for 
May 18, 1999, in order to accommodate conflicts in both the 
arbitrators' and the parties' schedules.

II. Initiation of Proceeding

    Pursuant to Sec. 251.72 of 37 CFR, the Copyright Office of the 
Library of Congress is formally announcing the existence of Phase I 
controversies to the distribution of satellite carrier compulsory 
license royalties for 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995, and is initiating an 
arbitration proceeding under chapter 8 of title 17 of the United States 
Code to resolve the distribution of those funds. The arbitration 
proceeding commences on May 18, 1999, and runs for a period of 180 
days. The arbitrators shall file their written report with the 
Librarian of Congress by November 15, 1999, in accordance with 
Sec. 251.53 of 37 CFR.
    On April 20, 1999, the parties to this proceeding met with the 
arbitrators for the purpose of setting a schedule for this proceeding. 
The Office announced the schedule and the arbitrators for the 
proceeding on May 11, 1999. See 64 FR 25374 (May 11, 1999). Copies of 
the hearing schedule are available at the Copyright Office upon 

    Dated: May 13, 1999.
David O. Carson,
General Counsel.
[FR Doc. 99-12480 Filed 5-17-99; 8:45 am]