[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 248 (Thursday, December 26, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 78257-78258]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-30776]


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LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

Copyright Office

37 CFR Part 201

[Docket No. 2012-5]


Verification of Statements of Account Submitted by Cable 
Operators and Satellite Carriers

AGENCY: U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress.

ACTION: Interim rule.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Copyright Office is adopting an interim regulation 
that implements certain aspects of the Satellite Television Extension 
and Localism Act of 2010 (``STELA''). Cable operators and satellite 
carriers must file statements of account (``SOAs'') and deposit royalty 
fees with the Office in order to use the statutory licenses that allow 
for the retransmission of over-the-air broadcast signals. The Office 
published two notices of proposed rulemaking concerning a new process 
to allow copyright owners to audit the SOAs and associated royalty 
payments. The Office received extensive comments on its proposed audit 
procedures and is carefully reviewing these comments to address them as 
appropriate in a final rule. In the meantime, the Office is issuing an 
interim rule to establish the procedure for filing a notice of intent 
to audit one or more SOAs.

DATES: Effective Date: December 26, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jacqueline C. Charlesworth, General 
Counsel, or Erik Bertin, Attorney Advisor, U.S. Copyright Office, P.O. 
Box 70400, Washington, DC 20024-0400. Telephone: (202) 707-8380. 
Telefax: (202) 707-8366.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: STELA amended the Copyright Act by directing 
the Register of Copyrights to issue regulations to allow copyright 
owners to audit the SOAs and royalty fees that cable operators and 
satellite carriers file with the Office. See 17 U.S.C. 111(d)(6), 
119(b)(2). On June 14, 2012, the Office published a notice of proposed 
rulemaking that set forth an initial proposal for this procedure. See 
77 FR 35643. The Office received extensive comments from groups 
representing copyright owners, cable operators, and individual 
companies that use the statutory licenses. The parties offered 
conflicting points of view on nearly every aspect of the proposal, 
including the procedures for selecting an auditor, for protecting the 
confidentiality of the licensee's records, for correcting the errors 
and underpayments identified in the auditor's report, and for 
allocating the cost of the audit procedure between the copyright owners 
and the licensee.
    The Office carefully studied these comments and revised its 
proposal based on the suggestions that it received. The revised 
proposal was published for comment on May 9, 2013. See 78 FR 27137. The 
Office received comments from a wide range of stakeholders, and once 
again, the parties raised a number of complex issues, such as the 
records retention requirement and the procedure for expanding or 
suspending the scope of the audit.
    The Office is carefully reviewing these comments and intends to 
issue a final rule that strikes an appropriate balance between the 
interests of the copyright owners and the cable and satellite licensees 
in the audit process. In the meantime, the Office is issuing an interim 
rule that addresses a procedural issue--the provision of notice of an 
intent to audit--that was not contested by the parties.
    The Office's initial proposal explained that a copyright owner may 
initiate an audit by filing a notice with the Office. It explained that 
the notice should identify the SOAs to be included in the audit and the 
licensee that filed those SOAs. In addition, the notice should provide 
contact information for the copyright owner, along with a brief 
statement establishing that the copyright owner owns at least one work 
that was included in a secondary transmission made by that licensee 
during the accounting period or periods subject to audit. The proposed 
regulation further provided that a notice of intent to audit a 
particular SOA should be submitted within three years after the last 
day of the year in which that SOA was filed. It also explained that the 
copyright owner should provide a copy of the notice to the licensee on 
the same date that the notice is filed with the Office. It stated that 
the Office would publish this notice in the Federal Register. Within 30 
days thereafter, any other copyright owner that wished to participate 
in the audit would be required to notify both the copyright owner that 
filed the notice and the licensee to be subject to the audit. Copyright 
owners that failed to comply with this requirement would not be 
permitted to participate in the audit process and would not be 
permitted to audit the same SOAs in a subsequent proceeding.
    All of the parties agreed with this proposal. A group representing 
the copyright owners offered a minor suggestion for clarifying one 
aspect of this procedure, namely, that a group

[[Page 78258]]

representing multiple copyright owners should be able to file an audit 
notice on behalf of its members. None of the other parties objected to 
this, and, as discussed in the prior Federal Register notice, the 
Office included this suggestion in its revised proposal. See 78 FR at 
27139.
    The Office finds there is good cause for adopting this procedural 
rule concerning notification of an intent to audit as an interim rule 
and for making the rule effective immediately. The other issues 
presented in this proceeding are numerous and complex. The Office 
issued an initial notice of proposed rulemaking that was based in part 
on a proposal that the Office received from a group of copyright 
owners. See 77 FR at 35644. In response to its initial proposal, the 
Office received detailed comments from more than a dozen stakeholders. 
It also received a counterproposal for revising nearly every aspect of 
the proposed regulation. The Office addressed many of these issues in a 
second notice of proposed rulemaking, which was published earlier this 
year. See 78 FR 27137. In response to this latest notice, the Office 
received another round of comments from nearly all of the parties in 
this proceeding. All of these parties raised issues of first impression 
that were not addressed in the initial phase of this proceeding. The 
Office is studying these new issues and intends to issue a final rule 
early next year. In the meantime, the interim rule will allow copyright 
owners to identify any SOAs from accounting periods beginning January 
1, 2010 and later that they intend to audit. At the same time, it will 
provide licensees with advance notice of the SOAs that will be subject 
to audit when the final rule goes into effect.

List of Subjects in 37 CFR Part 201

    Copyright, General Provisions.

Interim Regulation

    In consideration of the foregoing, the U.S. Copyright Office amends 
part 201 of 37 CFR, as follows:

PART 201--GENERAL PROVISIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 201 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  17 U.S.C. 702.
    Section 201.10 also issued under 17 U.S.C. 304.


0
2. Add new Sec.  201.16 to read as follows:


Sec.  201.16  Verification of a Statement of Account and royalty fee 
payments for secondary transmissions made by cable systems and 
satellite carriers.

    (a) General. This section prescribes procedures pertaining to the 
verification of a Statement of Account and royalty fees filed with the 
Copyright Office pursuant to sections 111(d)(1) and 119(b)(1) of title 
17 of the United States Code.
    (b) Definitions. As used in this section:
    (1) The term cable system has the meaning set forth in Sec.  
201.17(b)(2).
    (2) Copyright owner means any person or entity that owns the 
copyright in a work embodied in a secondary transmission made by a 
statutory licensee that filed a Statement of Account with the Copyright 
Office for an accounting period beginning on or after January 1, 2010, 
or a designated agent or representative of such person or entity.
    (3) The term satellite carrier has the meaning set forth in 17 
U.S.C. 119(d)(6).
    (4) The term secondary transmission has the meaning set forth in 17 
U.S.C. 111(f)(2).
    (5) Statement of Account or Statement means a semiannual Statement 
of Account filed with the Copyright Office under 17 U.S.C. 111(d)(1) or 
119(b)(1) or an amended Statement of Account filed with the Office 
pursuant to Sec.  201.11(h) or Sec.  201.17(m) of this chapter.
    (6) Statutory licensee or licensee means a cable system or 
satellite carrier that filed a Statement of Account with the Office 
under 17 U.S.C. 111(d)(1) or 119(b)(1).
    (c) Notice of intent to audit. (1) Any copyright owner that intends 
to audit a Statement of Account for an accounting period beginning on 
or after January 1, 2010 must notify the Register of Copyrights no 
later than three years after the last day of the year in which the 
Statement was filed with the Office. The notice of intent to audit may 
be filed by an individual copyright owner or a designated agent that 
represents a group or multiple groups of copyright owners. The notice 
shall identify the statutory licensee that filed the Statement(s) with 
the Copyright Office, the Statement(s) and accounting period(s) that 
will be subject to the audit, and the party that filed the notice, 
including its name, address, telephone number, facsimile number, and 
email address. In addition, the notice shall include a statement that 
the party owns, or represents one or more copyright owners that own, a 
work that was embodied in a secondary transmission made by the 
statutory licensee during one or more of the accounting period(s) 
specified in the Statement(s) of Account that will be subject to the 
audit. A copy of the notice of intent to audit shall be provided to the 
statutory licensee on the same day that the notice is filed with the 
Copyright Office. Within 30 days after the notice has been received in 
the Office, the Office will publish a notice in the Federal Register 
announcing the receipt of the notice of intent to audit.
    (2) Within 30 days after a notice of intent to audit a Statement of 
Account is published in the Federal Register pursuant to paragraph 
(c)(1) of this section, any other copyright owner that owns a work that 
was embodied in a secondary transmission made by that statutory 
licensee during an accounting period covered by the Statement(s) of 
Account referenced in the Federal Register notice and that wishes to 
participate in the audit of such Statement(s) must provide written 
notice of such participation to the statutory licensee and to the party 
that filed the notice of intent to audit. A notice given pursuant to 
this paragraph may be provided by an individual copyright owner or a 
designated agent that represents a group or multiple groups of 
copyright owners, and shall include all of the information specified in 
paragraph (c)(1) of this section.
    (3) Once a notice of intent to audit a Statement of Account has 
been received by the Office, a notice of intent to audit that same 
Statement will not be accepted for publication in the Federal Register.

    Dated: December 13, 2013.
Maria A. Pallante,
Register of Copyrights.
James H. Billington,
The Librarian of Congress.
[FR Doc. 2013-30776 Filed 12-24-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 1410-30-P