Text: H.R.4449 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (08/06/1998)


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[Congressional Bills 105th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 4449 Introduced in House (IH)]







105th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 4449

To amend title 17, United States Code, to reform the copyright law with 
  respect to satellite retransmissions of broadcast signals, and for 
                            other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             August 6, 1998

Mr. Burr of North Carolina (for himself and Mr. Graham) introduced the 
 following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, 
   and in addition to the Committee on Commerce, for a period to be 
subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration 
  of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee 
                               concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To amend title 17, United States Code, to reform the copyright law with 
  respect to satellite retransmissions of broadcast signals, and for 
                            other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Satellite Access to Local Stations 
Act''.

SEC. 2. LIMITATIONS ON EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS; SECONDARY TRANSMISSIONS BY 
              SATELLITE CARRIERS WITHIN LOCAL MARKETS.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 1 of title 17, United States Code, is 
amended by adding after section 121 the following new section:
``Sec. 122. Limitations on exclusive rights; secondary transmissions by 
              satellite carriers within local markets
    ``(a) Secondary Transmissions of Television Broadcast Stations by 
Satellite Carriers.--A secondary transmission of a primary transmission 
of a television broadcast station into the station's local market shall 
be subject to statutory licensing under this section if--
            ``(1) the secondary transmission is made by a satellite 
        carrier to the public;
            ``(2) the secondary transmission is permissible under the 
        rules, regulations, or authorizations of the Federal 
        Communications Commission; and
            ``(3) the satellite carrier makes a direct or indirect 
        charge for the secondary transmission to--
                    ``(A) each subscriber receiving the secondary 
                transmission; or
                    ``(B) a distributor that has contracted with the 
                satellite carrier for direct or indirect delivery of 
                the secondary transmission to the public.
    ``(b) Reporting Requirements.--A satellite carrier whose secondary 
transmissions are subject to statutory licensing under subsection (a) 
shall, on a semiannual basis, submit to the Register of Copyrights, in 
accordance with requirements that the Register shall prescribe by 
regulation, a statement of account, covering the preceding 6-month 
period, specifying--
            ``(1) the names and locations of all television broadcast 
        stations whose signals were secondarily transmitted within the 
        local markets of those stations at any time during that period; 
        and
            ``(2) the total number of, and addresses provided by, all 
        subscribers receiving those secondary transmissions.
    ``(c) No Royalty Fee Required.--A satellite carrier whose secondary 
transmissions are subject to statutory licensing under subsection (a) 
shall have no royalty obligation for such secondary transmissions.
    ``(d) Noncompliance With Reporting Requirements.--Notwithstanding 
subsection (a), the willful or repeated secondary transmission to the 
public by a satellite carrier of a television broadcast station and 
embodying a performance or display of a work is actionable as an act of 
infringement under section 501, and is fully subject to the remedies 
provided under sections 502 through 506 and 509, if the satellite 
carrier has not submitted the statement of account required under 
subsection (b).
    ``(e) Definitions.--As used in this section--
            ``(1) Distributor.--The term `distributor' means an entity 
        that contracts to distribute secondary transmissions from a 
        satellite carrier and, either as a single channel or in a 
        package with other programming, provides the secondary 
        transmission either directly to subscribers or indirectly 
        through other program distribution entities.
            ``(2) Local market.--The `local market' of a television 
        broadcast station has the meaning given that term in section 
        337(g) of the Communications Act of 1934.
            ``(3) Television broadcast station.--The term `television 
        broadcast station' means an over-the-air, commercial, or 
        noncommercial television broadcast station licensed by the 
        Federal Communications Commission under subpart E of part 73 of 
        title 47, Code of Federal Regulations.
            ``(4) Subscriber.--The term `subscriber' means a person or 
        entity that receives a secondary transmission service by means 
of a secondary transmission from a satellite and pays a fee for the 
service, directly or indirectly, to the satellite carrier or to a 
distributor.
            ``(5) Other terms.--The terms `satellite carrier' and 
        `secondary transmission' have the meanings given such terms 
        under section 119(d).''.
    (b) Technical and Conforming Amendments.--The table of sections for 
chapter 1 of title 17, United States Code, is amended by adding after 
the item relating to section 121 the following:

``122. Limitations on exclusive rights; secondary transmissions by 
                            satellite carriers within local markets.''.

SEC. 3. RETRANSMISSION CONSENT.

    Section 325(b) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 325(b)) 
is amended--
            (1) by striking ``(b)(1)'' and all that follows through the 
        end of paragraph (1) and inserting the following:
    ``(b)(1) No cable system or other multichannel video programming 
distributor shall retransmit the signal of a broadcasting station, or 
any part thereof, except--
            ``(A) with the express authority of the station;
            ``(B) pursuant to section 614, in the case of a station 
        electing, in accordance with this subsection, to assert the 
        right to carriage under such section; or
            ``(C) pursuant to section 337, in the case of a station 
        electing, in accordance with this subsection, to assert the 
        right to carriage under such section.''; and
            (3) in paragraph (3), by adding at the end the following:
    ``(C) Within 45 days after the effective date of the Satellite 
Access to Local Stations Act, the Commission shall commence a 
rulemaking proceeding to revise the regulations governing the exercise 
by television broadcast stations of the right to grant retransmission 
consent under this subsection. Such regulations shall establish 
election time periods that correspond with those regulations adopted 
under subparagraph (B). The rulemaking shall be completed within 180 
days after the effective date of the Satellite Access to Local Stations 
Act.''.

SEC. 4. MUST-CARRY FOR SATELLITE CARRIERS RETRANSMITTING TELEVISION 
              BROADCAST SIGNALS.

    Title III of the Communications Act of 1934 is amended by inserting 
after section 336 the following new section:

``SEC. 337. CARRIAGE OF LOCAL TELEVISION SIGNALS BY SATELLITE CARRIERS.

    ``(a) Carriage Obligations.--Each satellite carrier providing 
secondary transmissions of a television broadcast station to 
subscribers located within the local market of such station shall offer 
to carry all television broadcast stations located within that local 
market, subject to section 325(b), except that the carriage obligations 
of this section shall not apply to satellite carriers that do not 
retransmit the signals of broadcast television stations pursuant to the 
statutory license under section 122 of title 17, United States Code. 
Carriage of additional television broadcast stations within the local 
market shall be at the discretion of the satellite carrier, subject to 
section 325(b).
    ``(b) Duplication Not Required.--Notwithstanding subsection (a), a 
satellite carrier shall not be required to offer to carry the signal of 
any local television broadcast station that substantially duplicates 
the signal of another local television broadcast station which is 
secondarily transmitted by the satellite carrier, or to offer to carry 
the signals of more that one local television broadcast station 
affiliated with a particular broadcast network (as the term is defined 
by regulation).
    ``(c) Carriage of All Local Television Stations on Contiguous 
Channels.--All local television broadcast stations retransmitted by a 
satellite carrier to subscribers in the stations' local markets shall 
be made available to subscribers in their local markets on contiguous 
channels and in a nondiscriminatory manner on any navigational device, 
on-screen program guide, or menu.
    ``(d) Compensation for Carriage.--A satellite carrier shall not 
accept or request monetary payment or other valuable consideration in 
exchange either for carriage of local television broadcast stations in 
accordance with the requirements of this section or for channel 
positioning rights provided to such stations under this section, except 
that any such station may be required to bear the costs associated with 
delivering a good quality signal to the principal headend of the 
satellite carrier. No station carried in accordance with the 
requirements of this section shall be required to bear the costs of 
delivering a good quality signal to a location other than the principal 
headend of the satellite carrier.
    ``(e) Remedies.--
            ``(1) Complaints by broadcast stations.--Whenever a local 
        television broadcast station believes that a satellite carrier 
        has failed to meet its obligations under this section, such 
        station shall notify the carrier, in writing, of the alleged 
        failure and identify its reasons for believing that the 
        satellite carrier is obligated to offer to carry the signal of 
        such station or has otherwise failed to comply with other 
requirements of this section. The satellite carrier shall, within 30 
days after such written notification, respond in writing to such 
notification and either begin carrying the signal of such station in 
accordance with the terms requested or state its reasons for believing 
that it is not obligated to carry such signal or is in compliance with 
other requirements of this section. A local television broadcast 
station that is denied carriage in accordance with this section by a 
satellite carrier may obtain review of such denial by filing a 
complaint with the Commission. Such complaint shall allege the manner 
in which such satellite carrier has failed to meet its obligations and 
the basis for such allegations. A failure by a satellite carrier to 
carry a local television broadcast station within its local market if 
there has been a change in that station's local market, or to carry a 
local broadcast television station that is significantly viewed outside 
its local market due to technical limitations of that satellite 
carrier's existing facilities, shall not constitute a failure by the 
satellite carrier to comply with its obligations under this section.
            ``(2) Opportunity to respond.--The Commission shall afford 
        such satellite carrier an opportunity to present data and 
        arguments to establish that there has been no failure to meet 
        its obligations under this section.
            ``(3) Remedial actions; dismissal.--Within 120 days after 
        the date a complaint is filed, the Commission shall determine 
        whether the satellite carrier has met its obligations under 
        this section. If the Commission determines that the satellite 
        carrier has failed to meet such obligations, the Commission 
        shall order the satellite carrier, in the case of an obligation 
        to carry a station, to begin carriage of the station and to 
        continue such carriage for at least 12 months. If the 
        Commission determines that the satellite carrier has fully met 
        the requirements of this section, it shall dismiss the 
        complaint.
    ``(f) Regulations by Commission.--Within 180 days after the 
effective date of this section, the Commission shall, following a 
rulemaking proceeding, issue regulations implementing the requirements 
imposed by this section.
    ``(g) Definitions.--As used in this section:
            ``(1) Television broadcast station.--The term `television 
        broadcast station' means a full-power television broadcast 
        station, and does not include a low-power or translator 
        television broadcast station.
            ``(2) Local market.--The term `local market' means the 
        designated market area in which a station is located and--
                    ``(A) for a commercial television broadcast station 
                located in any of the 150 largest designated market 
                areas, all commercial television broadcast stations 
                licensed to a community within the same designated 
                market area are within the same local market;
                    ``(B) for a commercial television broadcast station 
                that is located in a designated market area that is not 
                one of the 150 largest, the local market includes all 
                commercial television broadcast stations licensed to a 
                community within the same designated market area, and 
                may also include any station that is significantly 
                viewed, as such term is defined in section 76.54 of the 
                title 47, Code of Federal Regulations; and
                    ``(C) for a noncommercial educational television 
                broadcast station, the local market includes any 
                station that is licensed to a community within the same 
                designated market area as the noncommercial educational 
                television broadcast station.
            ``(3) Designated market area.--The term `designated market 
        area' means a designated market area, as determined by the 
        Nielsen Media Research and published in the DMA Market and 
        Demographic Report.
            ``(4) Principal headend of the satellite carrier.--The term 
        `principal headend of the satellite carrier' means the 
        reception point in the local market of a broadcast television 
        station or in a market contiguous to the local market of a 
        broadcast television station at which the satellite carrier 
        initially receives the signal of the station for purposes of 
        transmission of such signals to the facility which uplinks the 
        signals to the carrier's satellites for secondary transmission 
        to the satellite carrier's subscribers.
            ``(5) Secondary transmission.--The term `secondary 
        transmission' has the meaning given that term in section 119(d) 
        of title 17, United States Code.''.

SEC. 5. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    This Act and the amendments made by this Act shall take effect on 
January 1, 1999.
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