Methods Offered for Noncommercial Broadcasters’ Copyrighted-Material Rates

This story originally appeared in Government Video.

The U.S. government has proposed methods for establishing “rates and terms” for the use of copyrighted material—through 2017—by noncommercial broadcasters.

On April 25, 2012, the Library of Congress posted a Federal Register notice — Determination of Reasonable Rates and Terms for Noncommercial Broadcasting — saying the library’s copyright royalty judges are seeking comment on proposed rates and terms for the use of certain works by noncommercial broadcasters for the period beginning Jan. 1, 2013 and running through Dec. 31, 2017.

The Copyright Act of 1976 requires the judges establish a statutory license for the use of certain copyrighted works in connection with noncommercial television and radio broadcasting. In addition, the Act directs the judges to conduct proceedings every five years to determine the rates and terms for the use of copyrighted material by public broadcasting entities.

According to the library, there are two ways that copyright owners and public broadcasting entities may negotiate rates and terms for the use of copyrighted material. Those methods are:

Copyright owners may negotiate rates and terms with specific public broadcasting entities for the use of all of the copyright owners’ works covered by the statutory license of the Copyright Act (providing that such license agreements are “given effect in lieu of any determination by the copyright royalty judges,” and that copies of the agreement are submitted to the judges “within 30 days of execution”).

Copyright owners and public broadcasting entities negotiate rates and terms for categories of copyrighted works that would be binding on all owners and entities, provided the judges approve the agreement.

In addition, the copyright royalty judges are providing those who would be bound by the terms, rates or other determination set by any agreement an opportunity to comment on the agreement, and object to its adoption as a basis for setting terms and rates, the notice says. The deadline for comments is May 25, 2012.

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