Summary: H.R.5949 — 97th Congress (1981-1982)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (09/28/1982)

(Measure passed House, amended, roll call #374 (347-53))

Cable Copyright and Signal Carriage Act of 1982 - Title I: Amendments to Title 17, United States Code - Amends the copyright law to conform with amendments to the Communications Act of 1934 made in title II of this Act concerning secondary transmissions. Makes actionable as an act of copyright infringement the willful or repeated secondary transmission to the public by a cable system of a primary transmission made by a broadcast station where the system fails to delete series program packages and feature films in which a broadcasting station has exclusive broadcast exhibition rights.

Modifies the royalty fee schedule for secondary transmissions to exempt any cable system which carries no distant signal equivalents or fraction thereof.

Redefines "local service area of a primary transmitter" to make a distinction between full service television broadcast stations and other stations and services.

Makes any secondary transmission by a cable system actionable as an infringement of copyright unless the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) determines such transmission was due to a technical error or factors beyond the control of the system.

Permits the Copyright Royalty Tribunal, rather than the FCC, to consider specified factors in adjusting copyright royalty rates for secondary transmissions, including the impact of the deletion of nonnetwork television programming caused by the syndicated exclusivity provisions codified by title II of this Act.

Provides for distribution of a portion of royalty fees from secondary transmissions to copyright owners of aural signals as specified.

Permits petitions for the adjustment of royalty rates for inflation or deflation to be filed during 1983, rather than 1985, and in every subsequent third, rather than fifth, year.

Sets forth the effective dates for provisions of this Act, with a delay of the programming syndicated exclusivity protections depending upon a cable system's location within the major television markets.

Title II: Amendments to the Communications Act of 1934 - Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to direct the FCC to require the carriage of television broadcasting stations by cable television systems. Excludes: (1) any broadcasting station which operates on a channel not listed in the Commission's table of allotments; (2) any direct broadcast satellite service; (3) a station in the multipoint distribution service; or (4) any other radio communication service intended for direct reception by members of the public. Sets forth the obligation of a cable television system to carry noncommercial educational stations based upon the number of activated channels and the percentage of program duplication. Requires a system to carry a nonentertainment commercial station located within 35 miles of the system, as specified. Provides for the deletion of stations as specified. Permits systems with 12 or fewer activated channels to elect not to carry any television broadcasting station which transmits subscription television broadcast programs.

Directs the Commission to require cable television systems to delete the simultaneously duplicating network television programming of lower priority television signals, depending upon the location of stations in differing standard time zones.

Sets forth the exclusivity rules requiring a cable television station to delete certain syndicated television programming (including series program packages and feature films) broadcast by any commercial television station ineligible for mandatory carriage.

Title III: Sports Programming - Makes an act of infringement the secondary transmission of a primary transmission consisting of a nonnetwork television broadcast licensed for local distribution only of an intercollegiate football game.

Title IV: Miscellaneous Provisions - Expands the exemption from infringement of copyright for secondary transmissions to guests or residents of private lodgings to include transmissions received by means of the direct reception of a free space radio wave in addition to transmissions made within the local service area of the station.

Eliminates the requirement that the notice of identity and address of persons operating the secondary transmission service be reported to the Copyright Office.

Eliminates the requirement that a cable system automatically give detailed information concerning number of channels and subscribers and other data in the semi-annual report deposited with the Register of Copyrights.

Permits regulations relating to the calculation of royalty fees to take into account such secondary transmission made to a limited number of subscribers or carried on a tier other than the initial tier of service.