Broadcasters’ 2015 Copyright Royalty Claims Due by August 1, 2016

Television stations have until August 1, 2016 to file claims for cable and satellite copyright royalties. Any station that produced and aired at least one program of its own that was carried as a distant signal by a cable system anytime during 2015 is eligible to file a royalty claim. Stations may also file a claim if they own a program that was broadcast on a different station that was carried as a distant signal by a cable system. To be eligible to file for a satellite royalty fee, a station’s program must have been included in a secondary transmission for private home viewing made by a satellite carrier during calendar year 2015.

Stations must file claim forms with the Copyright Royalty Board. Cable royalty claim forms are available here; satellite royalty claim forms are available here. The Copyright Royalty Board strongly suggests that claims be filed online. The National Association of Broadcasters will assist stations that authorize NAB to represent them.

Pursuant to the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, a cable or satellite system carrying secondary transmissions of broadcast stations must pay “compulsory license” royalties to the Register of Copyrights. These royalties are held in a pool to compensate eligible copyright owners who submit timely claims. Stations then file annual claims if they believe they are eligible for a distribution from the pool.

If you have questions about copyright royalties or the requirements for filing, please contact any Lerman Senter attorney.

Categories: Media