H.R.4449 - Satellite Access to Local Stations Act105th Congress (1997-1998)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Burr, Richard [R-NC-5] (Introduced 08/06/1998)|
|Committees:||House - Judiciary; Commerce|
|Latest Action:||08/12/1998 Referred to the Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property. (All Actions)|
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Text: H.R.4449 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Bill Information (Except Text)
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Introduced in House (08/06/1998)
[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. <all>